Spotty attendance. Unsigned emails. Late assignments. Half-hearted preparation for exams. Cheating. Our students (probably) aren't terrible people; some of them just make the same decisions as terrible people. With multiple courses and perhaps multiple hundreds of students it's sometimes hard for us to remember that. Who are our students? Where are they coming from? What motivates them? What challenges do they confront, and which have they already overcome? Making a connection with our students isn't just for their sakes, it's also for ours. As we maintain a positive outlook on our students we will be more effective teachers and educators-but also happier, more fulfilled, and more inspired.