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, keynote speaker, and incessant doodler. He is the co-author of Wendell the World's Worst Wizard and the co-founder of Write About, a new social publishing platform due out this Fall. He is passionate about helping students find their voice as they grow into stronger writers and deeper thinkers.