1. While sitting in my classroom late in the evening, grading papers, I hear a boy come down the hallway and greet the janitor with a, "Hey man, what's happening?" followed by the sound of a high five.
2. Perched on high school bleachers with my son in my lap, I watch previous students who have blossomed into these amazing performers sing alongside my current students at our Cultural Arts Night, setting such a fine fine example for them.
3. A card sits on the front desk for a dear colleague who injured herself, filled with the most heartfelt, sincere words and sentiments.
4. A boy kindly (and aptly) corrects my comma usage in a piece of writing I share with the group.
5. The classroom is so silent you could hear a pin drop as I read aloud the assassination scene from Chasing Lincoln's Killer--27 sets of eyes on me, breath held. Who knew nonfiction could be so engaging and suspenseful?
6. A group of girls practice their 1920s flapper dance moves for the spring musical in my room at lunch. Every day. They practice their lines. They do the Charleston. Their theater director has instilled inspiration.
7. We laugh every day in 7th grade. Loudly. But I can hear them laughing across the hall in Social Studies too. Perhaps louder?
8. A student beams at me when she receives the 93 that she says I gave her, but really she worked hard for and earned.
9. A parent calls, just to say thank you.
10. A group of students pops their head in the math teacher's room on 3/14 at 1:59 exactly to wish her a Happy Pi Day! (3.1459...)
Just reminders of why we do what we do...and why we love it so much.