This morning, a student handed me a letter with a granola bar taped to the envelope. I was asked to wait until after class to read it. Inside, was a typed letter with the following (unedited) text:
I want to start from the beginning. The beginning of the year was sketchy; I didn't know any sort of math or any thing about geometry. And though we didn't talk about geometry or any sort of math the first week or two, I have learned so much: from math to methods, from lectures to life lessons, and for that the least I can do is give my gratitude: so thank you.
Many of lectures and speeches or teaching methods maybe very unusual to a lot of people, however they were very funny and I loved them.
To be honest, I'm not emotional person unless it comes to something I seriously don't want to talk about or unless it really bothers me.
There were some times where you saw me cry - which I for one hated to let anyone see me like that - and you gave me a granola bar - more than one time. You helped me with a lot of stuff and told me advice, something none of my friends or family could
I really appreciate everything you did for the class and me. It might not be a lot but to me it was, so thank you for being there and for caring.
I have had a lot of good, even great teachers, but I had never had a teacher like you. You by far are my favorite and best teacher ever.
P.S. I will miss you and your weird/funny lectures and rants.
There may be a long list of students that I have failed this year, but there is at least one for whom I was a positive change. I am so grateful to this student for this letter. It allows me to feel good about the changes I made this year. It's one thing to think that you've done right by your students, helping them to enjoy your class as well as learned something from it.
It's entirely something else to have proof of it.
I will cherish this letter.
Hold on to that feeling, it's what makes teaching such a unique profession. Being a teacher allows you to pay it forward everyday, often times, without the benefit of seeing the results.ReplyDelete
I have so enjoyed reading about your transformation from being a teacher who was more concerned with "how things looked and should be," to an educator who takes into consideration both the social and academic aspect of learning. I see change on so many levels.
Academically, your usage of more Best Practices; including collaborations, project based learning, and technology has visibly enhanced your student's understanding of math concepts and, truly motivated you to create your own ingenious lessons.
Professionally, the level of respect that you have shown your students this year is a remarkable development in your classroom pedagogy, a move that will hopefully be at the core of your practice. Also, your willingness to share ideas, and still learn from colleagues, that share your passion for education, technology and creativity.
Socially you have taken the most risks. You have opened up your classroom and your heart to those of us who care about your success professionally and personally and it has been a terrific journey.
You once told me in fourth grade that you thought you would be a good judge. Well that has proven true. You judged yourself, went through growing pains, put in a tremendous effort and shared a part of yourself with your students that created a wonderful bond. Who knows, maybe 25 years from now you will be writing on one of those student's blogs.
So proud of you.
"I will cherish this letter." As well you should. And you deserve it, for your hard work, your caring, your constant and unflinching reflection, and your willingness to share it all with your friends on the Interwebs.ReplyDelete
Wow. That is incredibly powerful. Not only for you to have that incredible confirmation and recognition, but also as a reminder of how a person's expression of gratitude can make a difference. Tell those who matter to you that they matter to you. And I know for that one student who bothered to write to you, there are many others who were touched by your authenticity and sincerity in the way you've been doing things in the classroom. I'm delighted for you.ReplyDelete