I heard three simple words today and they thrilled my heart! I was working with a student who has a very difficult time in grasping information (particularly when it comes to school work... I haven't quite figured that one out yet:D), so I patiently explained to her the subject that most students love: History. I had already heard about her great dislike for English ("why do they think we need to know how to write a paragraph?") and also about the not-so-fond-feeling she had for Science ("There are too many constellations to remember."), so I was expecting some sort of comment about her history. As I got out the globe to explain why the Korean Peninsula is called that very thing, she exclaimed, "This is interesting!"
I was so shocked that you could have pushed me right over, and yet I felt gratified that my efforts were not in vain and this is the reason why I love working with the students and especially teaching them History. Today I felt like I went in and did my job right. Today I felt like I connected with a student. Today was a good day.
Now that doesn't mean that all the other students were terrific. That doesn't mean that there were no problems. That doesn't mean that at the front of the room there isn't a whiteboard with the words "18 days left!" written across the top. That doesn't mean that the kids haven't already started shutting down mentally for summer vacation.
But today I knew I made the right choice in working at EBA... in pouring countless hours into the students... in getting involved in their lives... in praying for them... instructing them... laughing with them... remembering them with special treats... these are the teens with whom I am privileged to work.
One question I have yet to figure out an answer to is the one at the bottom of the yearbook survey I had to fill out: "What was your favorite memory from the school year?" How do you sum up 183 days in a sentence or two? I've been able to interact with these students and "it's been a great year" just doesn't cut it.
But today the student who said, "this is interesting!" showed me what my favorite memory from the school year was: getting an opportunity to work with these students each and every day.