Wednesday, January 4, 2012

why I teach

Do you ever wonder some days why you became a teacher? I usually have these moments in the middle of the frantic days where nothing seems to go right, where the stress and paperwork have me bogged down. And then, right when I need it, encouragement comes.

Today wasn't even a bad day. But it became even better when I checked my box in the workroom after school. In it was an envelope with a return address and the name of one of my students from my first year who has since moved to another school. I immediately got excited!

How precious those words were to read. This child held a special place in my heart that year. He worked so hard to overcome some difficulties. I was so excited and proud of him the next year when he did great on his end of grade tests!

Getting this card made me stop and think. Made me remember. I love the story of the man and the beach full of starfish by Loren Eisely:

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one.
Lord, thank you for letting me make a difference for that one.


  1. I've awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award. Come to my page to check it out!

    Sara :)

    Smiling In Second Grade

  2. I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award! Come check it out!

    Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

  3. Thanks for sharing this story. Its moments like that which make it all worth the stress, chaos, and massive headaches! Have a great day!

    I'm your newest follower =)

    Color Me Kinder

  4. CUTE BLOG!!! I nominated you for an award as well :)

  5. I'm your latest follower! I also just nominated you for the Liebster Award! :) Head on over to my blog to pick it up. What a cute card from your student. It makes our job worth every minute.

    Second Grade Sugar and Spice

  6. Ok, I LOVE the starfish story. My field hockey coach in high school first told it to me, and I've never forgotten it. AND, I think I know who that card is from....loved him! :-) I had no idea you had a teacher blog--make sure you visit my blog and comment/follow too. There will be some teacher posts there too, starting next week! Miss you!

  7. I love it. That is definitely what makes teaching so rewarding. The relationships you have with the students, parents, and community makes it all worthwhile. :-)

    Mrs. Kilby