Tuesday, June 11, 2013

365 Inspirations—162: Unexpected Gifts

Hugging trees in Hoh Rain Forest, Washington
"You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give."—Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

This is my last week of the quarter and then I'm on break for two weeks. I have to say that I really look forward to the time off as it was a heavy quarter of teaching for me. This summer I plan to only teach one class in order to give myself time to work on other projects.

There were many occasions, during the quarter, when I wondered how I'd make it through the day. Teaching classes back to back for 5 hours with very little down time was really challenging. I did my best and gave the students all that I had.

Now it's the end. Today I spent my class time proctoring a state test and then I met students individually to go over their tests and get them registered for next quarter.

It's really hard to gauge, at times, if everything I'm doing is having any impact. I think we are all our own worst critics at times, so I was happily surprised to hear all the positive feedback from my students today about my class.

Some students wrote letters, some gave gifts and some verbally let me know how much they really appreciated my class and me. I really did not expect any of this and that made it all the more special. Here's a letter from one of my students today:

Not perfect, but heartfelt!
What I realized is that if you give your full attention to whatever you are doing, it will not go unnoticed. You may not realize the impact you have on people and your surroundings, but the things you do are important.

This appreciation from my students, which came in many different forms, was an unexpected gift. These gifts are treasures that make me want to keep on giving.

Have you ever received an unexpected gift?

1 comment:

  1. Katherine, I understand how when you're teaching so much, you can't always realize the impact you're making. I recently received an email message on Facebook from a student that I taught at a community college about 20 years ago. He told me how much my class had meant to him. That made me feel so good! You just never know . . .