A micropost, while longer posts marinate and compose themselves: "My" class just graduated from Urban. They're the kids I came into Urban with—we were all freshmen together. I advised 12 of them from their freshman year to my maternity leave, and managed to see them as a group a few times over this year. I love so many things about both my group of advisees and the class as a whole. Smart, funny, caring, kind, creative, enthusiastic. I wish I'd had more time to say goodbye to them as we finished off the school year. I will miss them dearly next year. But among the goodbyes I did get to say, I heard some stuff that made me feel good about the job I do.
Even when I feel that I'm doing my best (which is certainly not how I felt about this year), I've never been the teacher people would characterize as the most rigorous or brilliant. And I'm OK with that, more than I was a couple of years ago. I know that I'm able to be the teacher I am because others in my department are far more rigorous and brilliant. But it does make me smile to hear from so many students that they find me to be approachable, that they were proud of the writing they did in my classes. I hope I can continue to help students find their voices and feel proud of the work they do; if I can keep doing that, maybe (but only maybe) it's worth all those nights of grading when I should be sleeping.