Re-posting this might seem a little self-serving, and maybe it is. To whatever extent that’s true, my apologies. But while I’m deeply honored by what Rachel wrote, there is something here that goes beyond one teacher and one student.
Many teachers hear constant negative messages about our profession. We are frequently told that the work we do is not good enough, or it’s not important unless it is quantified. (Then when it’s quantified, it’s often labeled as not good enough.)
Please, let’s define our work in human terms. Let’s judge our work based on all kinds of results, not just charts and graphs.
Many teachers feel powerless in the face of all of the media and political criticism. But we are not powerless at all as long as we take the time to encourage, motivate, and authentically communicate with the young people we are privileged to learn with each day.
Each of us knows exactly how to make a difference. Although we may not all be thanked with eloquence like Rachel’s, we should have no doubt that we’re doing something very important when we let students know that we value, understand, and admire what they do.
Dear Mr. Anderson,
I know this may seem unconventional, writing a letter to you via blog rather than sending you a real letter. I will send you a letter, I promise I will. After all you’ve done for me, I think you deserve all of this on paper, but I also want as many people as possible to know just how amazing you are. I think its safe to say that I’ve never been conventional when it came to writing, but I wouldn’t be where I am without you. I’ll try to keep my tears to a minimum as I type this, but I’m already getting a little emotional, so just be glad I’m not reading this out loud.
To truly understand how much you mean to me, I have to tell you a story.
When I was in the fourth grade I had an awful teacher named Mr. Tomczyk…
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