reflective practice · standardized tests

Go Make a Difference

Tonight’s post is just a little reminder.

Your story matters.

Your teaching matters.

Take a minute and remember why you joined the profession in the first place. Do you remember? I do. I wanted to change the world one child at a time.

Today I spent the day in a meeting. The content was a little difficult to swallow. However, I was sitting beside one of my first mentors. Mr. Phillips. He was my 8th grade science teacher. That was before I decided to become a science teacher. That was before I realized I was made to love middle school kids.

Once I realized these things, I knew I wanted to learn from Mr. Phillips. He was my cooperating teacher for student teaching. I learned a lot of important things from him. Things not taught in college classrooms. Things I couldn’t learn from reading. Things not found on Google.

Tony (I can call him that now that I’ve joined the ranks, became a colleague, and more importantly, a friend.) taught me to care more. He taught me to care when they push you away. He taught me to care when they act like they don’t care.

He said to me today, “I just want to make a difference. That’s why I became a teacher.”

Sometimes in the face of mandates and standards and evaluations it seems like it’s harder to be the kind of teacher who cares more. And then I remembered sitting in Tony’s class, and learning to care about science and the world and the people around me. All because the teacher in the front of the room wanted to make a difference.

In spite of it all, teachers still matter. You matter. Go teach like it’s the most important thing in the world. Because, here’s a little secret, it is the only way teachers will continue to make a difference.

21 thoughts on “Go Make a Difference

  1. I love this message! What a good time for it as well, so much to swallow these days that has little to do with our mission. But a mission is suppose to be hard. Work is suppose to be hard too, otherwise it wouldn’t be either of those things, we would call it something else! Thanks for continuing to remind us to keep going, it is worth it, valued and appreciated by so many more than we realize.


  2. And I will echo along with the rest.. Thank You! Beautifully written and timely for so many of us ending our school year. I have so many mentors that have helped me along the way to realize that teaching does matter…sometimes those mentors are colleagues and other times they are students I have had.


  3. Yup, pretty proud and beeming ear to ear. I’m so lucky to have met a beautiful spirit like Ruth when I was starting out in the classroom. Ruth is one of my prized pupils. A bigger heart I’ve never met. Now I too know that the final days will give me another opportunity to truly make a difference because validation always feels so good and I can feel the energy returning. Thanks Ruth!


  4. As Jee said, how great to hear that you are now working with a favorite teacher who was your own guiding light, Ruth. Thank you for the boost in these final few weeks. Some are nearly finished, but some of us have 3 more weeks, & more.


  5. Wow, this is such an inspiring piece. Something I needed to read today! I think it’s so amazing that you get to work with one of your teachers.


  6. This is a great reminder. I love my job, I love spending my days with kids, I love learning. But there are those “other” things that often make it cloudy and hard to see your way. It’s always nice to have a reminder to stop, think, reflect on what is important.


  7. Ruth,
    Thank you for your inspiration. It’s been a tough couple of weeks around our district…and it doesn’t look like the rain clouds are going away any time soon. Positivity goes a long way!


  8. Ruth,

    Thanks for the inspiring words. When I slow down, listen, and savor students’ words -spoken and written I remember why I wanted to be a teacher. Or when I “hang around” positive people like yourself. ~ Theresa


  9. I had no idea that I could even consider being a teacher until I spent a week as a camp counselor for nine-year old girls. That’s when I realized I had something to offer. They have been teaching me ever since.


  10. You gave me goosebumps as I got to the end of this and reflected on what you said. If Mr. Phillips had not been that special teacher who made the difference to you, none of your awesome work with teachers, students, or bloggers would have happened. Sometimes we don’t know how we have touched someone’s life and sometimes we do. Thanks.


  11. We are closing out our school year, but before I know it, I’ll be unpacking and getting ready for another year. Refreshing to know that when I get there, I’ll be there by choice because I choose to be the difference I want to see in the world. Thanks for the reminder.


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