Reminded Why I Do This…

So, my school has this program “Natural Helpers”, where juniors and seniors go on retreats and discover how amazing they are and how they are change agents.  Good stuff.

At the end of the day Thursday, the Natural Helpers were in the cafeteria  preparing for their retreat when one of them, a former student, Kaitlin, walks up to me in the hall:

“Mrs. Stone! Guess what?”

“What?”

“I graduated last week!”

(we’re on the trimester system, so seniors can finish up in November, March or June of their senior year.)

I grabbed her and hugged her tightly.  I love it when one of my babies reaches the finish line.  I am so happy for her.

As I returned to my classroom, I noticed a couple of notes on brightly colored paper taped to my door.  One was from Kaitlin. It said the following: kaitlin

I started to cry.  Kaitlin came into my 8th grade classroom 5 years ago and announced she hated science.  By the end of the school year, she was telling me about the things she watched on Myth busters and the Science Channel.  I ran back to find her in the cafeteria to ask her if she was going to school.  Yes, to major in biology and perhaps go on to med school or a masters in the sciences.  I’m happy for her.

It has been hell going to work the last couple of weeks.  Pressures from the district office about test scores, frustrations in the classroom, stress and tension between coworkers; I am just about fried.  Then along comes Kaitlin to remind me why I do this.  Thank you Kaitlin and good luck on your journey!

Here’s some video of Kaitlin. She’s the one standing nervously behind me at the lab bench (her comment about farting eyeballs always makes me laugh)… I think this was the moment she fell in love with science.

Who was the student that renewed your spirit? What is he or she doing now?