It’s December already.  In one month, we’ll be writing 2019 on our….whatever we write now instead of checks. So I started thinking, what did I do with 2018?  A lot, as it turns out. This year, I:

-moved into a rental room after living with some patient and forbearing family members

-sold my house in Florida so I can buy a place in my new town

-bought a condo in a very convenient location and moved AGAIN (It’s closer to Wegman’s! And my office, incidentally.)

-started poking a stick at some side hustles I wanted to try (lots of fun!)

-started exercising every day

-started exercising every day again

-told myself I really needed to go back to exercising every day

Yeah, it turns out, I love exercising but I hate putting my shoes on. (Did I mention I’m from Florida? Shout-out to my flip-flop people!)

Anyway…all of those things are good things and I’m glad I did them. But I’m getting to the point in life where I’m not okay just being busy. What did I really DO this year that matters? Two days ago, I heard the BEST sentence I’ve ever heard in my work life.  What do you think it was?  News that I’d won the lottery?  A promotion? A pay raise?  Nope.

“He is happier here in your class than anywhere else.”

“He” is a student. One I’ve been working with for a year and a half. And the person speaking to me was another staff member. This staff member had been present in several other classes with this student in a supportive role and noticed that he really enjoyed my class. And this is huge news. HUGE. Because if you’re a teacher, you know that trying to teach an unhappy kid is an uphill battle. People naturally open up and are willing to listen and learn when they’re happy. So, wow. I’m pretty sure I heard angels singing when this I heard this.

I turned to my student. “You like this class?”

Big smile. Wow,what a smile! “Yeah. It’s fun.”

My student is happy in my class. He feels safe, valued, and respected. He’s ready to learn. He’s open to receiving instruction. The groundwork has been laid. Now, we just continue to input information (via well-planned activities, constant diagnosis and perpetual tweaking of learning strategies—easy, right?)

My student is happy. And THAT is what I did in 2018.

What did you invest your time in this year?  Did you do something with lasting impact that gave you a sense of satisfaction?

Drop a comment and share.