“You have the ability to touch the lives of many people.”
Although I don’t eat fortune cookies due to the gluten, I always open one when we order Chinese from PF Chang’s gluten free menu. When I read one that connects with me, I keep it on my desk for several weeks reading it over and over again. I often have ideas of how the fortune applies to me, but like to let it sit and see what transpires.
The connection I felt to this fortune was revealed to me as my Saturday class came to a close over the weekend. Throughout the morning, students thanked me for being so patient with them. They told me they like my teaching style. Since most of us have been together all year, they wanted to know if I would be teaching the same class in the fall. (I hope so!) All of this positive feedback made me know in my heart that I have indeed touched many lives. My fortune had come true.
After meeting one on one with the last student, I walked next door where I knew the students had brought food to share and were patiently waiting on me to eat. What I didn’t know was that I would be met with a round of applause as I walked through the door. A student said, “This is for you Teacher Cathy.” There was tons of food along with a cake, a card signed by everyone with lovely notes, and a beautiful potted plant for me to take home. Wow! I felt so special.
I think what my students don’t realize is that I get as much out of the classes as they do. This class in particular has been very special to me. It was a big class that met for four hours every Saturday and rather than having them for eight weeks-16 weeks as I normally do, I had them all year long so we really got to know each other. The personalities in this group were BIG and they were excited about learning not only what was in the curriculum, but often brought things from the outside world to ask about. One gal is part of a non-profit start up to help educate children, especially girls, in Sudan. She often brought questions and need for edits to class. Another student has many English speaking friends and they often point out mistakes in his text messages. He was sure “I am boring,” was correct and his friends were wrong when they said, “You are bored.” When he explained his theory, I knew he was thinking the right way, but unfortunately wasn’t correct on this one. I liked that he challenged his friends though. One student uses English at work but often struggles with vocabulary. It brought a lot of satisfaction when she would say, “I hear that word a lot, but I never knew what it meant.” Many days she would bring additional words for us to talk about. This class kept me on my toes from the start to finish. After our four hours together, my brain was exhausted in a way I have never experienced with other classes. This group of students was made up of nine different nationalities. Watching students from various countries get off track from their group assignment to go to the map and show where they lived or explain their culture was the kind of distraction a teacher can’t help but be okay with. Honestly, I am so lucky to have the job I have. I love going to work knowing that I am appreciated and that I am touching the lives of many people. I am glad my fortune spoke the truth.