I love my students. I really do. Every last one of them.
My composition students are awesome; they are intelligent, disciplined, and willing to work. I just read the in-class essays that they wrote today and noted that their writing skills are really beginning to show improvement. They're making fewer and fewer errors in the realm of "low-order concerns" (grammar, punctuation, etc.), and we're able to focus more on the "high-order concerns" (structure, organization, content, etc.). I don't know how much influence I've had, really, but I was impressed with these in-class essays on the whole. One student may have had a mediocre essay but a searing introduction. Another may not have worked out her thoughts clearly, but had one lone paragraph that articulately posed original and thought-provoking questions. Most of the essays were like that: none of them perfect, but all with bits and pieces that just shone through, like glints of mica in rock.
Does this excite me? Yes, it does! I know. I'm easily amused. It's really sad. I probably need to get a life. But writing is a difficult, time-consuming thing to teach (which is why most English teachers avoid it like the plague), and it's just thrilling to witness little bits of improvement here and there in my students. I have no doubt in my mind that, if they continue to work hard, the seniors in this class will be more than capable of excelling as writers on the college level.
And no, it's not because I'm a good teacher. I've been good on some days, and not so good on others. They're improving because they've been willing to do the work and (especially) to put up with my ridiculous red-pen hemorrhages on their drafts every two weeks.
OK. Time time put down the red pen and take off my teacher-nerd hat. It's the weekend. I'm not going to think about school again until Monday morning.
(Yeah ... who really believes that?!)