I love working at coffee shops. There's something about the background noise that makes it easier to concentrate and focus. I also love confusing the baristas by just ordering black coffee. It's fun when so many of them ask me "Are you sure?" or "Is that all you really want?"
Working away last weekend, lost in my glowing LCD screen, one of my former students and her family approached me. Mom, Dad, and student were all smiles and genuinely happy to see me. They told me how much they appreciated the work I did with her back in fourth grade. She's in sixth grade now and looked so grown up.
Mom and Dad thanked me for how much I prepared her for fifth grade and for middle school. My former student told me that many of the things we did years ago were actually helping her now. I really had no idea. It wasn't a student I thought I ever gave much to. It was so nice and refreshing to hear that encouragement. It was exactly what I needed at the time.
Teaching can be a thankless job on the day-to-day. We sow, and others reap. So often we don't understand the depth of impact we make with our students. Othertimes, while staring at pixels and sipping coffee, we do.