Why I Teach: A Short Short Story to Inspire
Story 1: Does Anyone Care?
A Short Short Story to Inspire
“Class, please turn to page 35 in your textbooks,” Laura said, looking out on her sixth grade Social Studies class. It had been a rough day already and her students weren’t helping. Most of them weren’t paying attention, several were texting, others just talking, a few poking each other.
“Can I get a volunteer to read…” Laura’s voice continued on, but in her head she could hear her words trailing off into “blah, blah, blah-blah” in her students’ ears.
She really just wanted to find a hole somewhere, to turn and walk out the door. Would they even notice? She could just keep talking while she made her exit and then let them do what they wanted.
A sudden crash broke her out of her daydream. Kyle had fallen asleep and fell out of his chair. The whole class erupted in laughter as a dazed Kyle tried to regain his senses and climb back up.
That was the last straw for Laura.
“Does anyone here care about any of this?!” she practically screamed. “Or am I just doing this for myself?”
The quiet continued for about thirty seconds until it was broken by a well-timed belch from the second row.
“Thank you, Jimmy. I appreciate your contribution,” Laura exclaimed as Jimmy’s face turned beet red.
Laura stood there, glancing from one face to another. Were they even getting any of this? Was it worth it?
Then, suddenly, her gaze connected with Jenny’s. She was reminded of the struggles going on at home for Jenny and wondered if anyone else knew the weight that she carried. And then there was Jose, who was sort of a loner and just needed to feel like he belonged. And Sarah and Katie and Kyle and…the list went on.
In that moment, she remembered why she loved teaching. The opportunity to build into these lives and make an impact that would last.