Teenagers are a tough bunch to teach sometimes. They are inconsistent, moody, smelly, obstinate, and often highly resistant to your best-intentioned assistance. You measure your victories with them therefore in small ways. Fewer eye rolls. One less fist-fight. Moments of personal responsibility.

Today, one of the Grade 8 students I help with Math stopped by my office to tell me he got a 90% on his most recent quiz. This was significant to me in a few ways. The first is that he started the year hating my guts. The second is that my office is on the opposite side of the school from his class, meaning he had to make an intentional trip to share his success with me.

This is success for me.

Not the mark. Not the quiz. Not the Math.

Just that one kid was proud of himself for doing well, and that he wanted to share it with me.