I seriously thought about just leaving that as my answer. Why? It's the number one reason I get out of bed every day at 4:30 am for the last 20 years. I think sometimes with everything else that is going on in teaching that single word gets lost in the chaos. How are you students this year? Good. They are always good. I like my students. They are teenage kids though (yes even you Seniors) and that fact comes with some caveats. One of which is this: they are kids. I knew that coming in and so you learn that comes with the territory. Overly complaining about students when going into teaching is like complaining about running after joining a cross country team. Wait. What? Yea. That.
My fondest memories are students whom I have connected with over the years. (and in some cases after they leave, I still do) I have come the conclusion that probably over half of what I do is building relationships with students. If anyone wanted to improve education, improve teachers abilities to generate and maintain relationships with students. All students. While that may sound simple, it is extremely difficult to master.While I think I am pretty good at it, I have yet to master it. I am constantly amazed at how hard students are willing to work if you have built that relationship with them.
Students make teaching...well...interesting. It's different every year I step into the classroom and I have learned a lot from my students. Although there is this weird deja vu experience of walking into my room in the fall and seeing the same classroom that I have been in for the past 16 years but seeing not the students I had in the spring, but new students. It's like "Wait....who are you???" It's weird.
Simply put, students are why I do what I do. I think after all is said and done and I move on to something else, it's the students that I will miss the most. I know that sounds cliche, but in all honesty, it's the truth. So students.....thanks!