in my past life, I was a hero

I didn’t keep much of my “teacher” stuff after I headed back to graduate school, because I knew that it wouldn’t be appearing again. I gave it away to as many classroom friends as I could… spreading the love of manipulatives and homemade handouts and lesson plans. But I did keep some mementos… like this one…


I taught Algebra and Physics, while I had an amazing partner teacher in the room next door who taught our students English and History. One of their writing assignments was a “hero report” and obviously the class selected a gamut of people ranging from grandparents to sports figures to political leaders. One day, a student asked if she could “borrow” a picture from the photofile on my desk. It had photos from class and home in it (and one of me as a certain costumed character, so that I could prove just how super cool I was in my off-hours), so I let her borrow the one above.

A few days later, I saw this essay posted on the bulletin board between our classrooms. I’m not going to lie… I totally teared up. As a teacher, I took on many different roles in the classroom as a mentor to students, but whenever I saw evidence that what I was doing was working, I’d capture that moment. Because on that ride, there were so many tearful days that weren’t full of happy tears.

Some days it’s hard to be far removed from that personal one-on-one level working in education. I know that the work I do has the capacity to impact students on a large scale around the world, but some days I miss walking into that classroom and teaching my heart out.

At least I have this memento to remember that I succeeded in the eyes of at least one student…