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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.


  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.

    Right Truth

  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?

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

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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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