The last day of school – boy had I waited for it. Then it finally came! Unlike most of my co-workers who were sad to see their students leave, I was downright ecstatic. Despite my best wishes for their academic and personal successes, the majority of my students had made my 2008 – 2009 school year a living hell. Since August, it seemed to me my students had either ignored every word I said and/or disrespected me in at least as hundred different ways. It should not have surprised them that May 20, 2009 was to me the most joyous of occasions.
With that said, I was shocked speechless when one of my students presented me with a beautiful rose and the most softest of teddy bears and told me quietly in the hallway, away from all her peers, that I was the most wonderful teacher in the world. Again I was quite speechless, for this young lady, whom I shall call Maria, had been quite a handful. Her mind was more on young men and shocking her parents and other authority figures than it was on her studies. She so rarely did her homework (perhaps seven or eight times the entire school year) that I actually applauded in class when she turned an assignment in to me. After I gained my composure, I told Maria, “thank you” and gave her a brief hug.
When we entered the classroom, Maria returned to her usual self, promptly cussing out the young lady who sat next to her for presumably stealing a priceless pencil. I let them bicker for a moment (after all it was the last day of school), and as the other students got in on the debate, I smiled. This is what they had done all year, over the smallest of things. But for one moment, I had seen a different side of just one of them, and for that reason, perhaps I would find my way inside of a classroom in August.