"Perhaps she had not succeeded in 'inspiring' any wonderful ambitions in her pupils, but she had taught them, more by her own sweet personality than by all her careful precepts, that it was good and necessary in the years that were before them to live their lives finely and graciously, holding fast to truth and courtesy and kindness, keeping aloof from all that savoured of falsehood and meanness and vulgarity. They were, perhaps, all unconscious of having learned such lessons; but they would remember and practice them long after they had forgotten the capital of Afghanistan and the dates of the Wars of the Roses."
I have been reading my childhood favorite, the "Anne of Green Gables" series. This specific quote comes from "Anne of Avonlea," the second book. And this quote captures my heart, exactly. So many lofty goals comes with teaching- reading level goes up three grades, all the students are engaged all the time, everyone has a passion for learning and becomes doctors.
When you get there, you have one kid who everyday tells you he is bored and would rather just play video games, thank you very much. One student hasn't forgiven you for getting on to her back in September. Another student doesn't speak English and you are rusty on your pantomiming.
The group of students I tearfully said goodbye to at the end of May will always be special to me because they were my first set of students. I fondly look back on each of them, despite frustrations we have had wiith each other. Let's be honest. The students knew how to try my patience.
I have learned so much my first year. No matter how good your college education program is, and mine was great, nothing prepares you for your first year.
I have made so many mistakes but as I told my students, as long as you learn from them you have not failed. (Thomas Edison is such a good example of that, no?)
"Isn't it nice to know that tomorrow is a day with no mistakes in it yet?"
I am ready for my next batch of kids I will adopt for the year. Ready for the sweet moments and the "Mrs. Hill needs caffeine" moments.
Maybe I will not inspire lofty ambitions in my students, but hopefully they will unconsciously learn how to hold "fast to truth and courtesy and kindness."
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