Encore: A Smidgen of Difference

I teach high school.

And most days it’s a pretty fulfilling experience, and other days…

I wonder if I make even a smidge of a difference.

Fortunately I don’t feel the latter very often. Only when, like in most professions, I feel behind and overworked and unappreciated. And usually feeling this way is my own doing and a mere attitude adjustment (some days a total re-alignment) gets me straightened away on a positive path.

But last week I hit my wall. I had a gargantuan pile of marking, my condo hadn’t been cleaned in weeks, my vehicle needed gas…and the flu settled upon me like a scavenging vulture pecking away at my innards.

So,I stayed home from school,

felt sorry for myself,


and watched “The Avengers”…twice.

And during this pity party I wondered if I was missed.

Anyone could step into my classroom and with detailed enough sub plans they could fill my shoes with nary a ripple in the continuum.

To what extent am I needed? To what extent do my students note MY existence?

And work my way into a miserable hole of despair I did (albeit wrapped in flannel and sipping a hot tea).

The next morning the flu had abated and I mustered enough fortitude to get back to work but still feeling somewhat significant in my role as an educator.

With a heavy sigh I placed my pitiful lunch in the staffroom refrigerator and slowly trudged to my classroom.

And when I opened the door I found this lovingly drawn on my whiteboard:



And I couldn’t help but smile at this little mini- Shakespeare.

For the rest of the day I knew I was exactly where I belonged.


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