Tonight was a hectic night. I had to take my son to the ER (everything turned out fine), and while we were waiting, I had a conversation with my father. It just so happens that my father just hired one of my old students. This particular young man just graduated from high school and was in one of my classes the first year I taught Jr. High. I taught in the inner city, and this group was particularly rough. In case you don't remember how I wound up teaching secondary, I took the job as a favor to a friend after this particular group had run off several teachers and even more long term subs in the first 2.5 months of the school year. To say they were rough was an understatement. So, I'm talking to my dad, and out of the blue he says "oh, do you remember "Joe"? And explains to me that he'd just hired him, and he was a great kid and a hard worker. He'd graduated from high school with a 3.7 GPA and was heading off to a big name university with a full scholarship in the fall. In the course of their talks while they've been working "Joe" told my father that having me for 9th grade Algebra I was the best thing that had ever happened to him. He'd never actually gotten a passing score on the FCAT before that year, usually getting 1's, which is what you get for putting your name in the test booklet. That year, he got a 4 in math, and got a 5 (the highest score) on his 10th grade FCAT. He told my father that he honestly believes that if it weren't for having me as a teacher that year, he'd probably be a high school drop out with no real future. He said that I was the first teacher who believed in him, wouldn't take his crap, and pushed him harder than he thought he could be pushed, and that he would never, ever forget me. Do you have ANY idea how wonderful that feels? All the bologna of working in an inner city environment suddenly became worth it, even if he's the only kid who ever feels that way. I'm bouncing around like a little kid, I'm so elated.