33: The Hardest Part About Teaching

I tried everything under the sun to connect with this student. I gave up my lunch hours to work with him on assignments. I let him come in before school and hang out with me, hoping the relationship would build some rapport. I tried calling home a number of times, but always the calls went to voicemail. Heck even for spirit week I wore one of his sweaters to match him in a desperate attempt to build a connection. And yet seemingly, none of it worked. A sample of my thoughts during that time: “What’s wrong with this kid?” “What’s wrong with his parents?” “What’s wrong with me?” In March of that year, Mason moved away, and I have not seen nor heard from him since. I have absolutely no idea whether any of my efforts paid off. I don’t know if he learned any discipline, if he passed high school, or even remembers that English teacher. This is one of the hardest parts about teaching.