Thursday, May 17, 2007

Random acts of love at my school this week…

Someone wrote “I love you!” on a sticky and stuck it to me. I wore it on my shirt all day.

Someone gave me a note that said, “I heard you had a ‘low esteem’ day yesterday, so I made you some ‘high esteem’.” Attached to the note was a piece of key lime pineapple pie. It was scrumptious!

I got a hug from a senior who was having a lot of stress and who just needed to hear someone say it was all going to be all right. It will be. I’m with you every step of the way!

A teacher, with whom I’ve been having some professional tension, sat down with me and reestablished our bonds of friendship. We are still on opposite sides of the issue at the heart of our tension, but we’ve agreed that this will not get in the way of a good thing.

A parent, whose daughter I have been working with closely to help establish academic routines that will allow her to take responsibility for her own success, wrote me a note to say, in essence, “Thank you, and we really appreciate what you’re doing.”

These are just some of the reasons why even a bad day as a teacher is filled with things that make me glad I’m in this profession.


Anonymous said...

Wow. That's really great. I kind of wish something like that would happen to ME sometime soon - I could use a little infusion of positive...

Wayfarer said...

It's one the most validating things for me as a teacher, Chili. I am a relationship-based teacher and I give positive reinforcement, feedback and love as often as I can. The payoff in performance is incredible. It goes hand-in-hand with the clear expectations I set for my students, and my honesty in telling them when they are not doing what they know damn right and well they are capable of.

I work hard to teach my classes that what we do involves more than just my teaching and their learning. We must come together and build a connection that allows them to discover for themselves what, among all the things I have to share, is of value to them and to feel empowered to succeed on their own terms and in their own way.

This is hard to do sometimes, and students (hell, all of us) take relationships for granted. It's when that happens that I get frustrated. I'll add more about this on your teacher blog (I'm drafting a reply to your post on first names, but it's lengthy and I'm in meetings all day).

I can say, because I've seen you teach, that you do your students a tremendous service by being passionate about your material, caring about their success and willing to work with them as they wrestle with your expectations and the whole meaning of being in college. I love your style! They may not show it or know how to, but I think your students do, too.