I asked my students to sign my yearbook at the end of this school year. And now that I am packing my house up for a cross-country move, I finally took the time to read what they wrote. One student literally brought me to tears.
She wrote, "Thanks for see me as a person, not just as a student."
I posted about this in another forum. But it still just blows me away. I tried really hard this year to personalize my classes and to honor each and every student regardless of how "good" they were as students. It was hard sometimes, and I failed at it more often than I would have liked.
I completely gave up on one particular student, only to realize what a deep, thoughtful and caring person he is two days before the end of the school year. That stung. I mean, I had completely written him off. As far as I was concerned, he was a lazy, thoughtless loaf who was taking up space in my classroom. And then wham he comes at me with both barrels and I realize he is this amazing person who happened to not be my best student. And was I really his best teacher? I mean, I was so willing to buy his act and believe so little about him.
And then comes along this other student. The one who signed my yearbook. I can't honestly say she was a superstar in my class. Or that I spent tons of one on one time with her. I can't say I ever selected her answers as part of the class stories, or even noticed much about her.
Except, obviously I did. Whatever I gave her, she noticed, and she cared. For a little while, at least, she recognized that I was trying to see beyond that student/teacher facade to each person.
3 days ago