Dec
18

Please Keep In Touch

Filed Under (thinking) by on December 18, 2010

This post is dedicated to one of my students, who will know who he is, as I know he checks out my blog regularly.  He’s an incredible person, and I can’t wait to see the wonderful things he continues to do as he moves through life. The thanks should truly be mine, as we have learned much from one another.  So here goes:

Wow, I’ve had some great holiday gifts over the years, but I got one this year that meant more than almost any other one I’ve ever gotten in 37 years of teaching.

Earlier this week, I went to my school mailbox and saw a card.  Opening it, I expected a holiday blessing with perhaps a small gift card enclosed.  I wasn’t wrong… in it was a card signed by the parents and a note written by the student, along with a gift card. Just like many I’ve received over the years, right?

Wrong.

This one was from a FORMER student and his parents–a kid not even in my school any longer–he’s moved on to middle school. The parents began, “We can’t even begin to describe what a huge positive impact you’ve had on our son. . .”

Then, on the student’s note was a statement, “Because of you, I am interested more in technology, I am a better thinker, and I have become a great student.”

Wow.

Just WOW!

Doesn’t every teacher dream of helping students become a better thinker and becoming a great student?

What a great way to start a break.

Thanks, my friend, as I have learned from you, too! I’ll say again–I can’t wait to see the wonderful things you continue to do as you move through your life.  Please keep in touch.



4 Responses to “Please Keep In Touch”

  1.   Kim Caise Says:

    Paula, thanks for sharing this. This is the reason we continue in education despite the pros and cons of teaching. I love to receive these types of paychecks of the heart and know that you make a difference in the lives of many students every day. Thanks for sharing!

    Kim,
    I LOVE the phrase “paychecks of the heart.” Thanks so much for sharing that one! And, thanks for all you do to support educators everywhere!

    Paula

  2.   Chris O"Neal Says:

    Paula,
    Thanks for sharing this. This is wonderful. I love when I hear from former students. I think some of them don’t realize that notes like the one you received are the best gifts in the entire world. I’d choose that kind of gift any day over something else.

    His and his parents’ comments to you speak so much. As educators, we are so much more than we think when we take the time to encourage children beyond textbooks and tests. Inspiration in its purest form cannot be curriculum mapped.

    Thanks again for sharing this publicly – a great reminder to keep us all on the right path.

    Chris,
    Your comment “we are so much more than we think when we…” is so incredibly true. The extra time we take is always time well spent. Thanks for your inspiring work as well.

    Wasn’t meant to be a reminder–that’s simply a bonus I hadn’t thought of when I wrote it. :-)

    Paula

  3.   Dianne Mckenzie Says:

    That is wonderful Paula. I have had one ex student tell my daughter after1 year out of high school that I was the best teacher he had had. Funny thing was I never actually formally taught him, I listened to him and encouraged him when he came to the library. We all have an impact that we never always know.

    Dianne,
    I think librarians and those who see all kids (or see kids outside of the classroom) have an even greater impact than in the classroom sometimes. After all, those people see kids in situations where they often get to exercise choice, or show their passions. Kids may show more of their private selves, and thus become more vulnerable. Sounds like you built trust with that student well, for him to consider you his best. I bet there are LOTS more like him out there for you. Congrats!

    Paula

  4.   Janelle Catlett Says:

    I love your post. This is a wonderful reminder of our powers as educators and what impacts, known and mostly unknown… that we have on people around us that we touch in our day to day work. This card is indeed a memorable gift… and it’s apparent that what you once gave to this student is still growing and he is going to give much of himself to the world. I love it when they touch back!

    Yep, kinda like you, Janelle. You have no idea of the impact you’ve had. :-)

    Paula

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