I have this adorable student who has the most adorable crush on another student in class. They came up to me this week toward the end of the period and asked me a rather out-of-the-blue question:
“Miss _____, can I ask you to do me a favor?”
Cue my shifty eyes: “Uh, OK. What do you need?”
“Can you help me make a paper flower for someone?”
Now, I’m not the art teacher, but I do enjoy art–though I’m not sure how this student figured it out. I told my pupil when my plan period was and that would be a good time to get with me to try to make paper flowers. Meanwhile, my brain is going “OMG HOW DO YOU MAKE PAPER FLOWERS? TO THE INTERNETS I MUST GO.”
So, right on time, my student arrives just as my plan period begins. After a brief Google search, I find a website totally devoted to making paper flowers. After the first failed attempt, I improvised all my own. Once I demonstrated it, I set my student to making it on their own. It was really touching to see the concentration and dedication–not to mention the love–put into this single construction paper flower with a wax stem made from some sort of new-fangled education substance I got for free from some company hawking out their wares.
Then my student asks if I would like to listen to the love note. Oh boy, okay, sure. What followed was a 3 stanza epic that sounded like it was ripped from some archaic ballad written by a dude in a toga. It was clear that some lines were inspired by Sunday school or The History Channel, but it was not without heart. In fact, you could tell a lot of thought went into it and not to mention all of the 12-year-old emotions flooding my student’s soul. So, I listened and gave my 2 cents, letting my student know how the recipient would feel toward certain lines.
While the outcome of the gift did not go as well as my student planned by the end of that day, this student never fails to hug me and tell me I’m the best teacher in the world every time we see each other now.
And on the worst of days as a teacher, being able to do something nice for someone and making an impact on a young life, however trivial, is worth it.