I recently received a totally out of the blue email from a former student. It contained incredibly nice things about the impact I had on her life, and also a link to this video, which she said reminded her of me:
I thought long and hard about whether or not I should post this, because I don’t want to seem like a braggart. But the reality is I was deeply moved by the words in that email because they MEANT something. They meant that I am becoming the teacher I set out to become. They meant that I had impacted at least one life in a way that will hopefully be lasting long after the final bell rings on that student’s academic career. They meant that days of toiling to learn materials and then come up with creative ways to share that material have paid off. They meant that the days when I come home and crash into my recliner totally spent are well worth it.
They meant the world to me.
In the end, I’m hopeful you can see that I am not bragging that a student said nice things about me. Rather, I am humbled by a measure of success in the face of the enormity of the task I am given each day. Tomorrow, I will stand in front of 158 different teenagers over the course of my day. I will give them everything I have – nothing will be held back. In the end, I can only hope that I will teach them what they need to know about economics and world history and real life, and that they will be better for it.
I’m so thankful for the email that told me I’ve accomplished that at least once before 🙂