Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Thank you, thank you

It doesn't take much to make a teacher's day.
This afternoon I was preparing for my fiction writing class when a man paused at the door, came in, and then went back out. This happened a couple of times, and I thought perhaps he was looking for someone. On his third venture inside, I asked if I could help him.
No, he said. It was just that he'd heard this was a really good class and he wanted to sit in.
I was floored.
Sure, I said, but today's class isn't one of my bigger lectures. We're going to talk about journaling - I had planned a pretty low-key approach to how new writers can keep writing in the absence of a class or workshop.
He said he'd come back in the fall - and I urged him to stay. Please. I heard the echo of my father's voice when he first started a business, an entrepreneur after a lifetime as an employee in manufacturing. He would follow people to the door, talking, trying to make that connection that might turn into a sale.
The visitor left. Too much attention, maybe.
I'd like to tell him, if I could, that I wish he had stayed. I felt insufficient for his interest, my extemporaneous teaching methods suddenly under a spotlight.
I'd like to tell him that that moment of self-doubt passed, and all that remained was the warm glow. Someone liked the class enough to tell him about it, and he cared enough to visit.
Thank you, thank you.

1 comment:

Sue said...

As an old (former) teacher and college professor, that hit home with me. You know you're doing something right. My hat's off to teachers at all levels who make that difference.