Monday, January 28

This one's for the teachers . . .

From what I can tell, people go into the teaching profession for a myriad of reasons.

Me?  I became a teacher because I love teenagers, and because I knew - without a shadow of a doubt - I had the capability to impact my kids for the better.

About two weeks ago I was told, "You might have been able to influence [your students] in the moment, but you probably didn't have an impact that would last through the years." *This is a paraphrase, but essentially what this person was telling me.

This person didn't mean to offend or upset me, but wow.  How ignorant.

Fast forward to today.  Today, through the magic of Skype, I entered a high school classroom to hear a student read her letter to me, thanking me for the impact I had on her while she was in my class.  The current teacher had students write letters to people who had influenced them for the better, and this student chose me.

When she was in my class, D. was a freshman.  She was full of spunk, smarts, and attitude to boot.  She was part of a crew of girls who all aspired to be cholas.  They had no clue they'd met the HCIC.  Needless to say, it was challenging to have them all in the same class.  There was a lot of "tough love" shown on my part, but I knew that she was better than the choices she was making.

In her letter today, D. explained that it was during a parent-teacher conference that my words really struck and caused her to start changing her path.  I had no idea that I had impacted her in this way.  Now, three years later, she's sharing that there's no other teacher she'd rather write about.  Wow.  I was in tears.  Now, because she listened - because she made a choice for the better - she is well on her way to making her family proud of the young woman she's becoming.  Very few students thank their teachers, but that doesn't change the fact that there is a powerful relationship there and no matter how hard it is with certain kids, it's worth it.

Both of my parents were teachers.  To this day,  their former students still seek them out to thank them for all that they did.  Not all kids recognize when they're being loved, but they remember it.

If you're a teacher, it matters.  It doesn't matter if others don't get it.

In closing, some classic Taylor Mali. {A little "French" at the end, so you're warned.}

No comments:

Post a Comment