And yet, it did.
Even though I felt like I was a failure in so many ways, and was overwhelmed and pessimistic so many days, I loved it. After our mini faculty meeting at the end of school yesterday, I started to cry. When I noticed other teachers looking over at me with a "She's really doing that?" expression, I swallowed up my emotions, and quickly left the campus.
But now I can do whatever I want. And part of that is reading through my students' end-of-year evaluations. I'll include some below.
"This year math was amazing."
"You did fun creative lessons instead of just teaching us math."
"She was also really fun while she was teaching, and if we were having a hard time staying focused, she would help us wake up by singing fun songs and having us dance goofy dances."
"Thanks for being the best math teacher I've ever had =)."
"I really liked Mrs. Jacob because I felt like she was easy-going and also made sure we got our work done and learned or had the opportunity to learn what was needed."
"Mrs. Jacob did better at singling out struggling students than other math teachers I've had have done."
"My math teacher was awesome this year. She made class fun and interesting so that I actually wanted to go back. It was a place I enjoyed. Thank you for this amazing math year."
"My math teacher was good because she didn't take the easy way out. She always made sure that every student had the best opportunity to learn."
"Mrs. Jacob treated the class as equals to her instead of being beneath her."
"She became my favorite math teacher I've had at the Jr. high and I really enjoyed her class, she was patient and easy to talk to and understanding."
"My teacher did everything in her power to help us learn."
"She always taught me so I was ready for the test, and she never let me fail."
"Mrs. Jacob did very well. She told stories which are the best and hers were actually really funny and I enjoyed that."
"I think that my math teacher did well in not just teaching us math, but being our friend."
"She didn't teach just one method, she taught multiple ones, so that students could find the one that makes sense to them the most."
"She was always helping us become better learners."
"She would sympathize with you if you didn't get a question."
"She did great!!!!! This year I understood math a lot more than I have before and now I like math a lot more too."
"I felt like I could bond with her."
"You actually never gave up."
"Two of the things that really stood out to me were that she became friends with her students and she took the time to make sure each student understood."
"She was always there when you needed her, and she was just awesome in every way there was."
"Of all the things that you did well, the best one that you could possibly do was making math fun."
"It was the best math class I ever had in my life and she didn't bore us to death like most math teachers."
"Mrs. Jacob, thank you so much for all your efforts this year. You have made me a better person."
And then some humorous ones:
"One student brought up the fact that there is a pineapple in every Psych episode. You simply gave them the stink eye and they were quiet and we were back on track."
"Mrs. Jacob did a really good job of making math class fun. I have a U.S. history class that is really boring, but I have math afterwards which has always been more interesting than talking about dead people."
"She is really sweet and I like her clothes. She also does a great job on teaching math."
"She also is very patient with her students even when they don't really deserve it."
"She's really nice and pretty."
"I would also like to warn you that Mrs. Jacob has an eye of a hawk when it comes to phones; she will see it, she will take it."
"I think that my math teacher doesn't have to change anything, because she is like the perfect teacher any student could ever have. She's always nice and is understanding, so it makes it easier to learn around her."
"She is a very fun and happy teacher all the time unless people are being stupid."
"No other math teacher would beat her because she is the best one ever!"
More than the Pythagorean Theorem, the Distance Formula, the Slope Formula, or the relationships between similar polygons, students remembered how they felt. How I made them feel. I'm so grateful that somehow I was able to keep the perspective that they mattered more than the content. Because they do. They matter more than higher grades, or better test scores. I will admit that without this summer break I would've probably gone insane. Or died.
But I miss them. All of them.
Being home with Hiram has been wonderful, though! SO wonderful. Here's just a few reasons why:
- Hiram sings to me. He makes up his own love songs or re-writes old classics... like "Rubber Ducky."
- I get to hug and kiss Hiram all the time. Whenever I want.
- We're watching the Star Wars series together, and get to giggle over cute R2-D2 and silly C-3PO.
- Usually Hiram's the one who welcomes me home. Instead, I get to watch from our front window as he walks up and mouths from outside, "You are beautiful."