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.Lord, thank you for letting me make a difference for that one.
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.