Teachers Make a Difference

Do you ever find yourself frustrated, thinking that all this work you are doing is not yielding the results that you expect?

So often we don’t get to see the results of our teaching. If we are lucky, students will let us know years later about the impact we’ve had. This past weekend, I was just so lucky and received a note from a junior who I had in class several years ago.

I’m sharing for two reasons:

1. This meant a lot to me, we should do this more often. Take the time to thank people. I want to do this more. I’ve never tried to reach out to teachers in my past who helped me find this career. And aside from that, there are people who impact me on a daily basis, it’s important for me to pause and thank them.

2. It’s important for us to all remember that as teachers we are impacting students’ lives and often we don’t know how; often we don’t even get to see it in our time with them. I wanted to remind us all that we are doing important work.

Hola Profe!

I just wanted to write to you and thank you for helping me to learn Spanish as if I were in a real world environment. I know this may seem a bit random, but today I went to an open house Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, where I met with a Spanish professor. Upon meeting me, she started immediately talking to me in Spanish. I didn’t have a problem with that at all! I just switched into Spanish mode, and we had an interesting conversation about the school’s language department. What I’m trying to get at is, without your push and guidance to immerse myself in the language and culture, I wouldn’t have realized that I wanted to continue Spanish in college (something along the lines of an International Studies major), and in my future life. You helped to foster my love of Spanish, and world culture, and for that I am so grateful. The professor talked with my dad, who told me that she was significantly impressed with my fluency, and that she didn’t often speak with students who could just shift into Spanish mode so easily. That is all thanks to you! Again, I am so grateful, even if I didn’t realize it in seventh grade!
Sorry for writing this in English!
Have a good weekend,
(Student)

They won’t all write. Most won’t. We can’t need this type of confirmation to do this job. We can certainly appreciate it, but if we need it, we aren’t going to be able to sustain the work we do.

We should, however, all remind one another that the work we do is important work and the lives we are touching are going to use what they are learning in wonderful ways we can’t predict.

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