As someone who comes into classrooms to offer support, I don't have the same relationship with the kids as a classroom teacher. I often miss that connection, that day to day relationship and that sense of being the one that the kids look to first for guidance and management.
I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into one of the classrooms I support and a second-grader came running up to me to show me the letter she had written. It was addressed to me. The letter is a review of a book in The Magic Tree House Series. The review itself is lovely, well-structured and well-evidenced. A fine piece of work from an English Language Learner who entered first grade last year not really reading or writing in English.
But here is the part that melted my heart:
Dear Mrs. Cockerille,
In the Magic Tree House Series, Morgan is very nice to a lot people in the story, especially Jack and Annie, and she reminds me of you because she helps Jack and Annie and leads them to safety. She is kind and helpful. Just like you. Morgan helps them get better on their missions and you help the school to get better at reading and writing.
I thanked this student and complimented her review. Of course, I was thanking her for the compliment. But even more than that, I was thanking her for reminding me that we never know fully how our work affects students. Even if we feel the role we play is small, for some students, it just may be huge.