I was really touched yesterday when I had a gathering with my portrait students.  I had come to the conclusion that the "drawing from life" class I've been teaching for 20 years was no longer viable for financial and other reasons, and to end it until I came up with another venue.  I was surprised at the response! One of the high school students teared up, lip quivering, and another just put her head down.  One of the adults in the class, who is a dynamic business owner, said she NEEDED my classes, that my teaching skills, and the class dynamic needed to continue. She even offered space at her design studio to keep things going in the meantime!
With the economy over the past few years, even with my tutoring five days a week, I have been just scraping by.  Sometimes I want to give up, then I get a letter, or a phone call from a parent, or a past student reminding me of how my influence on them had changed them for the better.  That's what keeps me going.  I'm not sure yet how things will morph this year, but I know it's time for a change, and I'm ready.   One thing is NOT going to change.  I will always teach...and my students are my rewards.