Today a student paid me the highest compliment, when she told me that, although she normally hates to read, she has found the stories that I've taught so far so interesting that she actually wants to read them, and has even been taking them home to discuss with her mother.
While I cannot pretend that the bureaucratic nonsense we teachers are subjected to by the school's administration, the DOE, and the mayor does not matter, it is because of moments like this that I am still a teacher. It is in moments like this where I see the ability I have to make a difference, no matter how slight, in the futures of my students.
While I know that not every literary text I teach will hold the same level of interest for my students, and that their individual tastes will vary greatly according to their personalities, I hope that these small breakthroughs will awaken in my students a new openness to literature, a motivation to experience new things.
And while I shall never know the answer to this for all my students, it is in these moments that hope is rekindled anew.