The Little Things Matter
This past spring, I prepared my first group of students for the Missouri End of Course exam, and I have a confession to make:  I taught to the test.  That's right, I did it.  I was that teacher that all the good teachers complain about.  Now that testing season is over and I've had the summer to reflect on my last school year, I feel like I'm on a perpetual walk of shame.  Did I let my students down by focusing too much on test preparation and not enough on what really matters in education?  Was I focused too much on the big picture and not enough on the little things that make up a school day?  Of course none of these thoughts crossed my mind while I was worried about 3s and 4s, but the day after my testing sessions ended, something amazing happened...

My first child, Giuliana, was born April 26th, the day after my students finished testing.  The birth of my first child has helped to  put a lot into perspective for me; mostly, that the little things matter, both in school and in my life outside of school.  Among other things, Giuliana has helped me realize that my professional life doesn't boil down to 3's and 4's, but being able to make a difference in a student's life.  I remembered that if I can ignite a passion for learning in the mind of my students then the test scores will take care of themselves.  

As I start a new school year, I am refocusing myself to make sure that I never again lose track of what's really important:  developing and maintaining a strong rapport with my students. Because as we all know,  the little things like knowing if your student scored the winning goal or just got a new dog is much more important that a 3 or a 4 any day of the week. 

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