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Joy from Teaching

Joy from Teaching

Written by Eileen Valverde
February 18, 2021

It’s been hard for me to be my “normal” self during distance education. I’m goofy and silly. My favorite memories as a teacher include playing Just Dance videos during class and watching the most timid student in my class dance along. I also remember the day I let a student “pie me in the face” with a cupcake in front of the entire class. He loved it and I loved it and the whole class laughed. That brings me joy.

I told my students funny stories about my roommates. I remember one day telling them that my roommate had stolen my GUMMY BEARS. We all panicked. I immediately made it an assignment for them all to draw a comic of this disastrous event. We giggled as we worked. I even had a student turn me into a superhero and my ‘evil’ roommate who had taken my gummy bears into a villain. He made a series of comics for me throughout the rest of the year. That brings me joy.

I long for these moments that don’t come as naturally in an online setting. It took till yesterday, for me to have a REAL conversation with my students. It took till FEBRUARY. Nearly 7 months. Three of my students lingered behind after our live session. A natural conversation just naturally sprouted… the students asked me about my roommates they had heard me talk about before. Their interest brings me joy.

I confessed to them that one of them was my boyfriend! They were so excited. They wanted all the details. I showed them a picture of him and I. They LAUGHED OUT LOUD. They saw how short I was. They didn’t even know. They’ve never seen me standing in reference to anyone else. My boyfriend being a foot taller than me, they loved i t. Their smiles bring me joy.

I love my students and the way they love so fully brings me the most joy.