Last night feeling quite discouraged by the reaction of the seniors I decided to reach out to the alums who received the journals over the past 3 years. Of course these were students who liked me, otherwise we would not be friends on Face Book. 98% said to keep writing the journals because they treasure the journal and what I wrote to them. 5% use the journals to write in and about 85% of them reread the journal often, knowing it will make them smile. One student commented that she threw hers in the trash can as she left the room. She felt that I put her down and talked about how she could become a better person. I told her I was sorry she felt that way and that was not the point of it. She never liked me.
As a teacher who truly cares for her students I want my students to know that. It is an exercise of loving another person when you don’t like them much but you try to find the good and take the time to write to them. All teachers are planting the seeds, sometimes the plants grow and other times they die. But like one of my alums said it is worth it for the few that will treasure that gift. At this age they are not mature enough to understand the gift and they are ready to graduate and just leave. Hopefully, someday they will look back and realize how much someone cared for them. As a person it is an exercise of learning how to give without expecting anything in return, because that is selfless giving.