The Reason Why

Last week started out really rough. We had just returned from fall break, which was a full week this year. And that was challenge enough because it broke up October in a way I’m not used to. October is usually my most productive month in teaching because the students and I have a relationship and an understanding of what is expected in my classroom, but they have not yet started to check out for vacations. Alas, a week-long fall break turned my productive month upside down.

But we’d just gotten back, and in the first three days of the week, I had four meetings and had to monitor two detentions. I was behind in my classwork because I lost so much prep time to meetings.

In the middle of the week, I was teaching my seventh graders about thesis statements. They have speeches coming up, and I was trying to help them craft interesting introductions with strong thesis statements. This task usually seems to involve me answering 614 questions and essentially writing a thesis statement for about a quarter of my students who just aren’t getting it. One student raised his hand and asked me to look over his thesis statement. It wasn’t bad. I said, “What if we move this phrase to the middle instead of the end? Then you can take these other words out and make the whole thing more concise.”

He eyes widened and with true appreciation he said, “Oooooh! Thank you! That makes so much sense!”

And that’s why I teach.


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