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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tales From The Classroom

("Tales from the Classroom" is a feature posted occasionally here at this blog.  All tales are true and present matters about which I have personal knowledge.  The following tale relates the story of two messages that I received the week of April 13, 2014  — just in time for the resuming of classes today after our Easter break.  I say "just in time," because during Easter Break every year, I feel that I should have done more for my students.  Note: If you must have politics, please scroll down to other posts)

Via Facebook. I recently received affirmations from two former student of some fifteen years ago when I was teaching sixth grade at a small private school. Both of these students were challenges behaviorally, but I consistently held them accountable. They each lost many a recess for their constant talking in class.

They fought me all the way.

Back then.

But now?

Below the fold is the first message I received:
Finding you on Facebook made my DAY!! I know it sounds corny, but it's as if I've been able to complete my elementary memories!!

I hope all is well.

You look great!

I just wanted to thank you for all the dedication and hard work you put into teaching us. It truly made a difference in my life, I know.

I went on to graduate high school with honors and was voted most likely to succeed. I completed a Biochemistry degree, an MBA with a concentration in Pharmaceutical Business, and did a year and a half in law school (it was too gray for me, no black and white, lol, so I left).  I now work at Harvard.

Thank you.  Without people like you in my life, I wouldn't have made it this far!
The second message, which I received on April 19:
...I'm glad you are still teaching. You will always be one of the most influential teachers in my life. You were tough (and I hope you still are) but it was because you loved your students and expected only the best from them....
There isn't much money in what I do for a living.

But the other rewards? They are out of this world!

If you have a former teacher whom you now hold in high esteem, take a moment to thank that teacher.

7 comments:

  1. I love these tales from the classroom posts. What nice notes from both students. I know teachers live for moments like these, hearing that all their work and patience has paid off in the lives of their former students.

    Debbie
    Right Truth
    http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

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  2. I almost didn't write and publish this blog post because it seems so self-serving.

    However, I also think that it's important to understand that we teachers don't forget our students -- even after they are long gone from our classes.

    Don't most of us have at least one former teacher whom we should thank?

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  3. This is wonderful! I think it's wonderful how you share these stories. Well, done!

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  4. It's mostly important for folks to see what kids REALLY DO WANT...being held accountable, having the feeling people believe they CAN do their work well, etc. I learned at the school I worked at that it takes very little caring and support to change a child's outlook....it shocked me, frankly.
    Thanks for what you do with your kids, AOW. I wish we had thousands more like you.

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  5. Young people want to be disciplined and held to account. There is nothing sadder than a kid who has been allowed to run wild. Good job, AOW.

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  6. Great, AOW, and well deserved, I know. In publishing it's rule of thumb that for every fan letter the publication receives there are more than a hundred who feel the same way but don't bother to write, so you may assume your congratulations are in fact multiplied a hundredfold. In your case I'm sure that's absolutely true.

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  7. They only had insane people where I went to school. Except for 3rd grade, and I only remember one day of third grade and it had nothing to do with teaching or learning.

    But it was nice to read this. I can only imagine how great you feel when such accomplishments are realized.

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