As another school year ends, now is a great time for educators to celebrate successes. However, the problem with doing so is that we don’t always see the results of our labor right away. Oftentimes our efforts are laying a foundation or simply adding to the work of other teachers. And since our end goal is to develop healthy, well-adjusted, educated kiddos who can transition into adulthood as productive citizens, it is our cumulative work that makes the biggest and most lasting difference.
This past weekend my wife and I traveled to my home state, deep in the heart of South Louisiana to attend a wedding. The trip had many highlights. We spent time with friends we’ve known since college, strolled through shops in downtown New Orleans, and due to it being the right time of the year, I got to eat my way through several pounds of crawfish. Happy day.
I love crawfish. They were a staple in my diet from my youth through college. Funny – I don’t remember past individual crawfish boils, and there were many, but my unconscious collective memories of them are very positive. I think this is what we want to accomplish with our students – working together to establish positive collective memories.
The students you’ve worked with this year might still have academic or behavioral concerns, but if you’ve added positive experiences to their collective memories, I choose to think your efforts will pay off long after they have left your classroom – and that is success worthy of being celebrated.