Lately I have wondered: how many times do we only see what is right in front of us, but do not bother to look deeper? How many times do we judge something or someone, only to be proven terribly wrong soon, because we did not listen carefully, and only glanced at someone for a short moment? How many times do we not see the whole picture but only a part of it?’
As a teacher, it is soon time to hand out reports for the final class, which will then leave school to be doctors or study for the sake of studying, or some to actually change the world.
Some reports might seem meager, 3s and 4s only. However, no report tells us how much effort this student has actually put in a subject; no report tells us if he or she found it hard or easy to understand the material and if he or she used his/her time to help a friend, too. No report tells us if this student was the organisational talent of the class and thus valuable; no report tells us if he or she was the moral heart of a group and always strong; no report tells us what it felt like to teach this student, and if he or she could look you in the eye truly. No report tells us if this student has grown and developed.
I feel marks do not really matter. The report does not really matter. How a student got there, matters. What skills he or she has learned along the way, matters. How the student feels about the end result, matters. How he or she says “goodbye“, matters. How each student goes on, matters.
Thus, I feel grateful that I was their form teacher for five years; I am grateful that some of them have taught me how to see, how to listen, and that some people do change. Moreover I am grateful for the shared times, and I hope that they all find their way, somewhere, somehow.