I had a student disappoint me this past week.
Of course, after five years of teaching, disappointment is just something you need to get used to. (I always loved the line “Get used to disappointment,” from The Princess Bride.)
It’s really no wonder to me why teachers aren’t lasting more than five years in the classroom, on average, and even less than if they are special needs teachers. Disappointment eats at you, and you can’t help but feel like it’s somehow your fault.
But in this instance, this incident was a little extra disappointing. Here’s why.
The student in question is one of my creative writing students. It’s an elective class, so it’s not like it’s needed for graduation. But the student came to me at the beginning of class, and told me that she didn’t want to take my class anymore.
I asked her why, and she told me she just didn’t think she was a good writer.
I told her no one starts writing good work; the idea was to write as much as possible, as well as possible, to get as good as possible. It’s a working-in-progress as much as a work in progress.
My resulting speech was groundbreaking, inspirational, and so lyrical I almost made myself cry, it was so beautiful. It was the epitome of awesome, an epiphany encompassed in words. Truth espoused from the purest, deepest, most hidden wells of beauty swelling up from inside my heart. If God ever wanted to write a Bible specifically for writers, my speech would have made it into the first chapter of the first book. (Well, maybe.)
My student then informed me she didn’t want to do the work.
And then that was it. She dropped my class.
It’s hard not to get cynical sometimes. Really, really, really hard.
It’s hard to keep teaching sometimes, especially when my students openly admit they don’t like to do much at home, other than watch Netflix or Amazon Prime shows or getting on Facebook or Instagram or some other app with a weird-sounding name. Especially when they admit to doing this for hours.
Of course, I am guilty of that, too.
So while my blog post is less than cheerful, let me give you hope today, especially if there is an area of your life you are struggling to work through.
- Try. You might feel like you can’t do something well, but you can choose to do it anyway. One moment can change your life, and you can change your life in one moment.
- Keep practicing. I’ve been working on my writing for about many years now, but it’s only been recently I’ve been getting really serious about it. It’s hard, but you know what? I’ve gotten better. Even my mother says so!
- GET OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA. (Storyhelix doesn’t count.)
- NO, SERIOUSLY, GET OFF. SIGN OUT, DELETE YOUR PHONE APPS, AND REQUIRE A TWO-STEP PROCESS TO SIGN BACK IN. It’s helped me more than I care to admit.
- Repeat. Especially 3 and 4.
Do you have any other tricks? Leave a comment to let me know!