This remote learning stuff has its ups and downs. Yesterday I got a couple reminders that the seemingly ordinary and unremarkable things in my teaching can make a difference.
The first reminder was a thank you email from a student. It was a small gesture, but it meant a lot since I’ve felt disconnected and dejected about this e-learning stuff at multiple points the past few weeks.
The second reminder was the reveal of next year’s agenda book cover for school. One of my students won!
Her skills and detail are amazing, but I couldn’t help notice she included a Post-It note of slope-intercept form (y = mx+b) with a smiley face in a prominent place among all the the other academic and extracurricular details in her drawing.
The equation is something I mention all the time throughout the year and encourage students to write down for reference. I never thought it would be something a student would choose to include in an art competition entry.
The smiley face was similar to the random smiley faces and smiling cat pictures I would find on my desk before or after class every so often throughout the year. They were usually left on my desk when a day had an above average level of stress. It’s nice to know that small token of kindness will be an ongoing reminder for next year’s students whenever they jot down assignments or frantically flip to a multiplication chart.
“I wonder if we might pledge ourselves to remember what life is really all about – not to be afraid that we’re less flashy than the next, not to worry that our influence is not that of a tornado, but rather that of a grain of sand in an oyster! Do we have that kind of patience?”Fred Rogers
It can be easy to lose sight of the small grains of sand I place through my teaching, chalking it up to being ordinary or unremarkable; however, it’s those grains that lead to pearls like these reminders.