I got an email today from a student in my Spring class who had, at the end of the semester, a lot of conflicts with class attendance. He had signed on to coach a baseball team and kept needing to miss class because of it, including the final exam night. However, because he was diligent about communicating with me and making arrangements to get assignments in ahead of time, I worked with him, even though I found it a bit annoying. And ultimately, he did end up with a decent grade, regardless of his absenteeism, mostly because he had to work a little harder to keep on top of everything. In college especially, learning how to manage time wisely and putting in hard work is how a student ends up successful. At least my student was figuring that out. And his email to me today thanked me again for working with him so he could honor his other commitments, even though, as he said, he knew I didn’t have to. He then commented that he felt my class taught him strategies that he will use as he continues in college.
He certainly didn’t have to email me, since the semester is finished and he passed the class. So I was touched. Not only that he felt compelled to thank me again, but also that he affirmed that he learned something he will find useful as he continues in college. As a teacher, it’s not always easy to tell if you’re getting through. Students look bored, act disinterested, or otherwise don’t always seem to care. I love hearing that some of them do. It makes it worthwhile. I’m thankful today to know that I was successful making a difference in at least one student’s life last semester.