Then he said these words: "But there's always hope as long as you have a teacher who cares and who is willing to try new things."
I quickly began typing those words, so I could remember them. But he continued. He said my name: "As long as Scott cares for his students, there will be at least one good thing each day. It's when he gives up, when he thinks that the students are no longer worth it...that's when we have a problem."
I sat there almost stunned.
I know why he used me as an example. I'm the only one in the class that is currently in a classroom.
And I know why those words came out of his mouth. I needed to hear them.
I needed to hear them that day. I needed to hear them for the rest of the week I would have.
As I type this, I am on a personal day from school, trying to think through some things and adjust for next week.
On some days, I'm completely opposite from the teacher I want to be. I feel like I have a couple of kids that hijack the learning from others. I've felt at the point of just giving up.
But those words - As long as Scott cares for his students - pop back in my head. I do care. The ones that need my care the most, the ones that I want to reach the most, are the same ones that cause the most disruption.
Then I read this post about what students remember. I worry about what they will remember - the caring me or the frustrated me.
Yesterday, as I cleaned up spilled water, one boy said to me: "Mr. Wiley, you know things. When something happens, you find a way. You figure things out."
I'm trying, buddy. I'm trying to find a way.
And I'm looking for that one good thing each day.