Thankful-less

It is unlikely that a future president will mention in his inaugural speech, “Thanks to that specific teacher I had in college…”, but I still daydream about it during class.  I’ll look at a particularly diligent student, hunched over his notebook, and think, Yeah, that guy, he could be president.  I’ll be sure to say something wise to him to encourage a political career.  Better yet, I should encourage the girl in the corner.  She seems a little flighty now–and she has a peculiar obsession with cargo pants– but there’s passion there.  I can see the headlines: “First Female President Admits She Was Greatly Inspired by Writing Teacher during Second Year of College!”  The following article will thank me for gifting the country with a president who is both communicative and well-read.   Cargo pants will become the hottest fashion trend.

Maybe one day I’ll get a phone call from a successful mother, out of the blue, to let me know how she continues to use the communication skills I gave her to this day.  I’ll hear the scamper of little feet in the background and we’ll laugh about how she used to hate writing essays, but now realizes that they were for her own, and her children’s, good.

In the long-run, this may be a thankless job.  But teaching is an unconditional responsibility; I have to accept that I may never be appreciated as a celebrity in the same way I have to accept every aspect of my students’ broad range of learning abilities.  That doesn’t stop me from daydreaming that the next Nobel Laureate writer will donate a small portion of his winnings to my mortgage, so that I can continue to inspire future generations anxiety-free.

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