The student in the junior class with the highest GPA, likely to be the valedictorian next year came to me this morning to give me an end of the year gift and he told me, "Thanks for teaching us this year. This is the first time I've ever taken an English class and felt like I actually learned something." That's quite the compliment coming from a student who expresses that he rarely feels challenged in his classes. A second student with OCD, Tourette syndrome, ADHD, and with an IEP plan came to me to see what he got on his final. He's the type of kid who tries hard, but gets a lot of C's and can't quite seem to juggle all his classes at once. Well, he got a 98 on the final! He said, "I finally get it! I'm finally good at English!" What a year. With all of the mistakes I made as a first year teacher, a few things went right!