After 8 years of building relationships at a school a person runs across a few kids who leave an impression. I have several and each kid is very memorable to me. They are the kids who inspire me to continue what I do even when I run across a tough kid or a tough class. On the days when my patience is short and someone walks in for a hug they inspire me to keep going.
The Cynthias, Braxtons, Kias. Joels, Deseans, Kaydees. There are the Melindas, Kevins, Whitneys. Skylers, Michaels, Thomas', Blaines, Andrews and Louises. Hibas, Madisons, Carmens, Zachs Valerys and Brendans. They are the inspiring kids who make me want to change the world. They are the ones who stick out in my mind as kind, thoughtful, hard working or funny.
Some always remembered to open the door and let me leave first. One was honored last weekend for his exemplary ACT score as a 7th grader. One remembers to stop by every day and say, "Good MoWning!" each day. A few had me for 2 years and came out of their shell so completely that they almost got a little lippy with me.
I had 2 exit special ed or trial periods of it because they love reading now and want to do better. I hope I had some small part of that. Recently one young lady came to visit with her middle school choir and she was so excited to see me that she kept waving from the stage even though I know she wasn't supposed to.
I've gotten used candles, broken figurines, small gifts from a garage sale pile. But I've also gotten hugs and smiles, improved reading scores, MAP progress. I've gotten Facebook friends, Chinese food and requests from parents to have me as a teacher for his or her child. I have a nice note pile so full that it is spilling out.
But I feel like I've taken away much more than just that.