being a teacher, believe, making a difference

How Do You Know You Made a Difference?

How do you know you made a difference? Is it the test scores? The grades? The parent approval? Or your principal giving you a thumbs up? Is it the highlights? The low moments? The tears? Or the smiles? Maybe it’s the hugs? Or the excitement? The introductions and the goodbyes?

Or perhaps, just perhaps, it is the people. The kids, the conversations, the handwritten cards. Your self-satisfaction from knowing you tried your hardest. The tiredness that comes from focusing on something you know is important. Perhaps it is the kind words sent your way, a friendly gesture, or a friendly hello. Maybe a plea for help or an offer of assistance shows you made a difference. Maybe someone letting you try that new thing or even that old tried and true thing. Maybe somebody simply believing in you or letting you try again after you failed. Maybe that means you made a difference. Or maybe, just maybe, believing you are making a difference is all that it takes to make it come true. Maybe if you believe in yourself enough you will know that it matter, that it all counts, and that the kids are noticing. Maybe then you will know you are making a diffence.

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