I just finished grading papers. [So far I've been great at getting them graded as soon as I get back from class. Hopefully that lasts...] Every week I give my students a question to respond to. Just one page is all they need to write (some get a little excited and write more though). Last week's question was "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" Some of them just shocked me.
One guy, we'll call him C, explained why he wants to be a teacher. He said he has a passion for middle school (here that's the equivalent of high school) students. He said he wants to always cherish their zest for life and that they will pass their passion on to him. His words. Seriously. He said many people think teaching is a hard job and their income is low but, without teachers, the country will lack scientists, managers, businessmen, soldiers, or even good farm workers. He said he wants to build his country up through teaching. He wants to live in a strong and wealthy country and the way to achieve that is through our teachers. WOW! Just wow! He's going to be an incredible teacher. I wrote that the world needs more people like him.
Here's where the title comes in to play. I'm reading through all of these papers, some sweet and simple, others inspiring, and I get to one of my last papers. 'R' writes that she has forgotten her childhood dreams because she hurried through the last 21 years. She's let her years slip away and she doesn't want the next 10 to be the same. She doesn't want an elaborate life. She just wants to make enough money to provide for her family and be happy. She described a typical day of working and then eating w/ her family and going to walk in the park and seeing the smiles on the faces of everyone there. I flip the page and she writes that 10 years is a long time, but also a short time and she knows that in order to live the life she described, she has to make her own plans and study hard.....
"There is no savior in this world. Only we can save ourselves. I will cherish everything I have now so I will not regret it ten years later."
BAM! I just sat there for a minute. I didn't want to start writing a huge response to that one part on her paper, but I didn't know what to write. I'm hoping I can grab her next week and see if we can get together soon to talk. What a perfect set up for a great conversation.
These assignments were meant to be a fun, simple way for me to get to know my students and they are pouring out so much of their lives to me in the process. This week I told them to tell me what superpower they'd want and why. Hopefully it's a bit more lighthearted, and entertaining.