Friday, June 17, 2016

Two Unrelated Pieces of Writing

For my final lunch of the year at school, Sherry placed what seemed to be a note in my lunchbox. I was wrong. It was an essay, Sam had written at school. I offer it below, unedited, so readers can appreciate his prose unvarnished.

Actually, Sam does love him quite a bit. But Sam's description of the cat is pretty objective. 
Another piece of writing is one I cannot copy here. Near the end of the school year I received a letter from a graduating student thanking me for things in a more heartfelt way than I'm used to seeing. Generally, the students I teach are grateful and verbalize their appreciation, but this student's letter was deeper than I normally see. In it, she validated a lot of what I implicitly try to do every day: show students that I like them, nudge them into a position to excel, counsel them when developments for the future seem daunting. I didn't realize I had done such a good job with this student in that regard. I value greatly the way her letter affirmed what I'm trying to do as a teacher, a father, and a Christian.

I had a nice exchange with my son's fourth-grade teacher at the end of the year, and in it she said: "I love each one of them for who they are and praise and push them differently." Those are the words of a teacher who gets the students she teaches and who gets what this profession is all about. Maybe, just maybe, in a way that makes sense to a high school student, that's what I did for the young woman who wrote me such a powerful letter.

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