Wednesday, October 30, 2013

So thank you...

"By the way I wanted to thank you. You were the first English teacher I had, that had confidence in me and my writing, and I really appreciate that.  Without that I would probably still dislike English, writing, and reading, and would have never taken your dad's creative writing course, nor would I have had the confidence to start at the normal college level English class- I would have probably placed myself in the basic one... So... thank you..." --Dani

            A student wrote this to me.  She FB messaged me, after I wrote to her, asking her how she was doing.  Dani is a smart girl.  She was very timid.  She was a shy, quirky girl, who wore winter hats throughout the school year, and was most definitely overwhelmed by me in our first few classes.  
          I'm an energetic teacher.  First period English students used to joke that they were glad they had me first thing in the morning, because I woke them up--They didn't need coffee.  In past years teachers let them sleep through class...  That's what the kids said... (Whizat?!!!)  They could never sleep through a Coleman class.   
         I know shy students don't know what to think at first, but I swear they really like me once they get used to me not letting them hide in their shells.  I would try to make them laugh at first.  I could get a smile to crack.  I mean, some of these kids weren't used to teachers making eye contact with them...  "Yes, I see you."  How many teachers don't see anything at all?
       Next, I would point out something amazing they did on an assignment to the entire class.  They would turn red the first few times, but a month into class, they were participating in discussions, and debating about grand ideas of humanity and the Earth inspired by literature and current events...  They were sharing their writing with the class on their own.

      So, Dani liked to draw anime.  Drawing was her thing.  Her creativity and artistic ability spilled over into her use of language, and the written word.   And I just saw what anyone should have seen...  And she sent me that little message just a week ago...  And it made me smile through some tears.  I miss teaching.

There! I wrote something positive.

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