A couple years ago, I wrote an article about a former student of mine, whom we'll call Scarlett for the sake of anonymity.
You can click on that link to read the full story — it's quite brief — but the gist is this: I had assumed that Scarlett's time in my class did her no favors. She did not experience great success in high school. I saw her frequently in town, and I felt responsible for not having helped her more as a student.
But then one day I ran into her in town and she shared a great development in her life and said that my class really contributed to her current gladness.
I've told this story in person a dozen times since writing that article. I think it's such an important illustration of a phenomenon that I've come to call the Scarlett Principle.
The Scarlett Principle is simple: you don't know the impact your work is having, especially when your work is focused, simple, and consistent.
All that I do in my classroom is what I write about in These 6 Things. It is not complex. It is not overly laborious. It is efficient to the brink of fault.
But when applied consistently over time, colleague, simple and efficient and earnest methods of teaching can really, really, really work — not just for some students but for each one.
Today, I encourage you to be thankful of the truth that your work has made more of an impact than you know.
Best to you, and happy holiday for those celebrating Thanksgiving today.