I had a nice little reminder about the importance of my job this week. One of my students was telling me earlier this week that he’d had an enlightening moment as was working on fixing some things in his life. He’s a great guy, and I told him I was really proud that he was continuing to do the work and improving himself. That wasn’t the moment, though.
The moment came at the end of class. As everyone was leaving, he sort of lagged behind and then walked up to me. He told me he just wanted to let me know how much he appreciated me being there all the time and working hard to teach them. It wasn’t much, but it was a nice reminder. And not just a reminder of why I do what I do.
It was a good reminder that students are always watching. One of the things I’ve learned in my few years as a dad is that my daughter is always watching and listening, even when I don’t think she is. Our students are the same. Just like we know when our students are giving their best effort, students know when we’re doing the same. They’re paying attention to us, and they’re following the lead we give them.
I’ve always been a believer in leading by example. Don’t want your students on their phones? Don’t be on yours. Don’t want students to get an attitude with you? Don’t get one with them. Want students to give you their best each day? Give them yours each day.
That doesn’t mean we don’t have bad days or off days or lazy days. Everyone does. But our students do deserve the best we can give them each day.