“She Makes Boring Stuff Exciting.”

Yesterday I sat in the back of a room while a few of my students were being interviewed by judges for a First Lego League competition. I listened intently to them, silently rooting for them to tackle their team challenge, show their collaboration, and answer the questions. Then a judge asked, “So what do you think of your teacher and what’s it like working with her?” This was it. Moment of truth. Kids are honest and they say what’s on their mind. We all know this from experience.


One kid: “Epic.”

Another kid: “Well, she makes boring stuff exciting.”

Me? I’m pretty sure I felt the way people feel when they receive an Academy Award or get inducted into the Football Hall of Fame.  No, there won’t be any newspaper articles or press releases about the comments.  Teaching is not about that.  I was reminded that what I do every single day matters to the kids I work with.  Something nobody can take away.

So when you find yourself questioning your career, whether you’re making a difference, don’t doubt yourself. There’s a kid from your classroom, remembering you and how you made learning exciting.

The differences we make may not be seen for many years to come, or even be visible to the human eye.  The differences we make are sometimes far bigger than that.  When we are really lucky, we get a glimpse of them.  A glimpse that reminds us just how much we do matter.


  1. I’m shocked at such a tacky question coming out of a judge. It’s so unprofessional. And no child should be put in that position.

    • I never thought of it like that at all. The competition is based on students doing the work, so I’m quite sure the question was asked to determine how much of the workload and thinking they carried. I actually like the idea of asking our students what they think of our classrooms, our schools, and learning. These questions can be very telling and eye-opening if we just take the time to listen to kids.

  2. Wow! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, and loving it, but today I felt I had to comment. A previous commenter thought it was a tacky, unprofessional question. I thought it was acceptable. But the answers they gave? Wonderful. You should be proud. You’re doing an amazing job that many of us envy and aspire to!

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