Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Every Moment Matters

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating a place to share our Slice of Life.  Read more slices or add you own here.

Since our commencement ceremony last Friday, I have been in the reflective mode.  Here is my post yesterday about "seeing greatness."  Today I am reflecting upon the words spoken from the teacher of the year during his speech:

"Every moment matters.  
Every moment has led up to where you are today."

I have heard many times, 

"You matter"

"Words matter"

"Stories matter"

"All reading matters"

But "every moment matters"

Hearing these words led to more reflection about my teaching this year.  Have I done enough?  Have I reached certain students?  Have I made every moment matter?  

On the last day school before I handed a particular student his report card, I looked him the eyes and said, "If you had worked as hard all year as you did these last three weeks, this piece of paper would look much different."  

He decided he would give me his best...the last three weeks of school.  He showed me he could think critically, write in complete sentences, and give me his best effort.  But it was a little too late.  Did I make every moment matter?  Could I have done more to motivate this student?  

We had several students suspended the last several days of school because of behavior. Did I make every moment matter?  Did I give them the tools they needed to change their behavior?  Could I have done more to keep them on the right track?

Many more incidents come to mind, and I could easily see these situations as failures.  Instead, I choose to see them as ways to reflect and improve my teaching.

Every moment of a school year leads up to the day my students leave my classroom.  I think I will always question my practices, my decisions, and my instruction.  I think that is what good teachers do.

But I know these students are the ones I will think about all summer and wonder, did I make every moment matter?


  1. Yup! I spend lots of time worrying about all those small moments that I could have done more, been more, supported more.

  2. It is very difficult to be present in the moment every single day. But from your writing I can tell you are in the moment more than the average bear. Give yourself a well deserved break this summer.

  3. I guess we all do this, Leigh Anne, wondering about the choices that students make, and then what we might have done to push them into better ones. You've shared it well, but don't forget all those you did make a difference. They are there, too!

  4. I feel this way, too, as I look over the responses to my student end-of-year library survey. Sure, there are lots of positive responses, but there are negative ones as well. Did I not purchase the right books this year? Did I miss teaching how to find a good fit book to that particular class? In the end, the reflections just make us better educators!

  5. I think it comes with the job - we can always find moments where we could have made different choices, when the best we did was still not enough, when we can see that under a bit different circumstances we could have made a bigger difference. But you are right, we can't change what was, we can reflect, learn and grow.

  6. Our wonderful God is always at work. He holds them in the palm of His hand.
    What a blessing you are in their lives. God knew they needed you this year.