For the first time in my almost 3.5 years of officially teaching (I’ve been interning and volunteering for many more years), I received a call from a parent. Now, I’ve received calls before about conference times, absences, issues that a student is facing, etc. This time was different.

From the moment I picked up, I was a bit nervous wondering if I had done something wrong or if the student had a complaint about class. But the mom was simply contacting me to tell me how much of an impact my lesson on Prophet Muhammad’s first revelation had had on her child. She told me he spoke to her after class, recounting all the details of the simulation and the discussions about the topic of spiritual experiences. She thanked me for what I do and for the learning I had helped her child internalize.

I felt so grateful. SO grateful. I have had parents thank me sporadically in the past, through emails or small tokens of appreciation, but this mom specifically called me to tell me how her child had learned in my class – and that’s the big goal, isn’t it?

I can’t take credit for the lesson; it was a mishmash of activities and ideas created by other teachers, tested and tried before I walked into my own classroom. Of course, there were pieces of me in it, but overall, it wasn’t my own unique lesson. So, here I thank the teachers who shared their ideas and let me work with them and take them into my own classroom.

I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity to do this work every day of every week of every year (well, except for over the summer when I spend time learning instead of teaching). It is moments like this one, when someone makes you aware of the impact you have had, that make every other moment, good or bad, completely worth it.

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