What I Forgot When I Left the Classroom (Part Two)


A student stops by my classroom asking if he can borrow the computer over the break. "I want to blog on vacation."

"I don't really do extra credit," I tell him.

"I know," he answers. He spends two weeks blogging each day about video games, football, the holidays and movies.

Another student stops by with a gift basket containing a Starbucks mug, hot chocolate and coffee.

I wander outside before my duty starts and within minutes, I'm engaged in a conversation about holiday rituals with students who will be visiting Mexico.

When I was a coach, I remembered how to teach. I remembered what it looked like for students to get something for the first time. But I forgot what it was like to get an unexpected Christmas present. I forgot what it meant to know a student's story. I forgot what it felt like to watch a kid who who struggled for years with reading fall in love with a novel.

I forgot what it was like to have a circle of people around you while you're on duty, talking about life and arguing about football. I forgot what it was like when a kid decides to take on his or her own learning outside of school because of something that happened inside of school.

Don't get me wrong. I forgot just how hard teaching can be. But I also forgot just how rewarding it can be as well.


John Spencer is a teacher, author, speaker, and incessant doodler.
He is the co-author of Wendell the World's Worst Wizard
and the co-founder of Write About .

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