I had the chance to visit a place called Coastonoa for a couple of days with my family. It's a campground/resort off of Highway 1, between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay in CA. One afternoon, my wife and I took a walk down to the beach. We shuffled along the rocks towards a large gathering of kelp and my wife noticed a fin sticking out from underneath. We began to deliberate about what this could be...? Suddenly a large head popped up from under the kelp and turned towards us. We still didn't know what it was but could see its massive size. We decided quickly that this large mammal of some sorts, was beached and must need our help. My wife stayed back to keep her eyes on it and I began the mile-and-a-half jog back towards the lodge. I arrived at the front desk sweaty and bewildered. " Quick", I said. "Please give me the number to animal rescue!" The clerk (probably no more than 17 years old) rolled her eyes at me as she rummaged through a phone book. I called the hotline and described what I saw... "Sir, what you are describing is an adult male Elephant Seal, who is regaining his energy on the beach because he has been mating for several days..."
She proceeded to teach me about a little beach called, "Ano Nuevo" which is like one of the worlds largest breeding grounds for these things. I couldn't help but feel like she was calling me an idiot as she further explained! I got back to my wife and told her the news. We got a good laugh out of it as we said goodbye to our friend and headed back.
He had no idea what I just went through for him. The worry, stress, and effort to making sure he was safe... Sometimes our jobs in education are just the same. Our students will never know the worry, stress, and effort we put in, to making sure they're learning. Sometimes the help we thought they needed wasn't what they needed at all, and sometimes we actually learn from them.