It is no secret to the people who have known me longest that I fancy myself to be Anne of Green Gables. We both have large imaginations. We’re both idealistic to the point of naivete. We both have red hair (mine’s dyed) and button noses. We’re both teachers. There’s one other striking similarity, but I can’t tell you here, because it might reveal my identity to the creepy strangers of the internet.
Last Monday was my one-year anniversary at my school. Even though this school year is my first one as a full-time teacher, I was a long-term sub for a senior-level physics class last year. In my first days at my school, I was going through a real Anne of Green Gables craze, and so I was rereading the books. One quote from Anne of Avonlea stood out, and I’ve said it over to myself many times throughout the year:
“We always love best the people who need us.”
In the context of the book, and in the context of my life, too, it means that the bigger a mess somebody is, the more that person needs help and somebody to mother them, the more I love them. For as much as I can’t stand battling my students on basic classroom rules and procedures, it is not, surprisingly, my “good” students that I like best. No, my favorite students are the ones who find themselves somehow at the center of the chaos each day. The ones with hideous grades. The ones whose parents I’ve gotten to know pretty well because of how many phone calls home I’ve had to make.