Why I Teach

14 12 2011

Warning:  Serious bragging ahead!

In a culture where people are quick to condemn and slow to praise, it’s affirming when that praise does come.  I promise I did not make any of these quotes up, but following is a snippet of why I teach. 

No, it’s not for the amazing paycheck.  You don’t go into education to become monetarily rich, but we teachers are occasionally rewarded with something money cannot buy—a heartfelt thanks from students and parents.  Below are excerpts from comments sent to me over the years.  (All names have been withheld to protect the potentially embarrassed.)

    • “Digital Media has possibly been one of my favorite classes.  I have already recommended this class to many people that are interested in this kind of thing.  Thank you Mrs. Huddleston for an awesome class!” –student
    • “Mrs. Huddleston, thank you so much for creating such a unique opportunity. Your class was constantly intriguing, and valuable beyond measure. It’s been a haven to have a small relaxed class once a day, and your organization and predictability always gave me a sense of stability. You’re a wonderful teacher, and I’ll miss having your class.” –student
    • “I loved Digital Media and I wish I could take it again next semester and forever and ever and ever!!!!!!!! (I know how you love exclamation points Mrs. Huddleston!!!!!!!!!!!!)” –student
    • “I can’t believe Digital Media is over already.  This has been my favorite class, probably ever.  There are about a million other things I could say about Digital Media, but if I kept going, I wouldn’t have time to study for the exam.  I am going to miss this class so much, but at least I still have yearbook where I can see 4/5 of the class every day! (counting Mrs. Huddleston)” –student
    • “My daughter is in your technology class, and I have to say it has really been fun learning about her cupcake business. She has even mentioned dropping out of school, and starting a cupcake business (just kidding!) She has really enjoyed your class, and I have to say that the information that you are teaching our children is very relevant and important for their futures. Reviewing your curriculum, I told her that after completing your class that she will have completed her first MBA class. Thanks again for all that you do for my daughter.”  -parent

  • “It’s exciting to see (student’s) work progressing.  Wow, you are really preparing our students for the future-thank you!” –parent

  • She is loving the class and sat down with us last night to show us how much of a “wiz” she is at Excel now!!  Thanks for the inspiration!!” –parent
  • “Thank you so much for the sacrifices you make for our kids.  I know how hard it is to work and be a mommy.  By the way, we have been so excited to see this curriculum it so practical and something that 80% of all workers end up in the business world.  Thank you for giving each of these students hands on experience with this information.” –parent
     
  • “THANK YOU  for teaching and making the course so appropriate and useable outside of the classroom. (Student) has enjoyed you as a teacher and your class this year. I feel that the knowledge and skill he’s obtained in your class will help him through high school, college and into the real world of working.” –parent

Those of you in school or who have children in school, you have no idea what a short note of thanks will do for your or your child’s teacher.  I have held on to some of these emails for years, and I do go back and read through them, especially when I am having “one of those days” at school.

If you have ever had a teacher who impacted you positively, take a moment now and let him/her know.  Kind words are free, and they make excellent Christmas gifts.

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” -Proverbs 12:25

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3 responses

14 12 2011
camdenstables

I am going to sound negative here as your topic got me thinking about people (and it is not negative toward you getting to realize the impact you had on your students). I find so many people can not function unless someone is constantly boosting their ego. If they do not get get positive feedback for everything they think they are a failure and will quit. I think what you do when you teach is create learning possibilities. Solid lessons that allow people to achieve. That is why they come back to praise you. You are probably one of the few people who actually give them something worthwhile to build a life on. Kids may get a lot of negative in their lives but also as damaging is the false positive that does not contribute to real self awareness and self worth.

15 12 2011
huddlestonk

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that swinging to either side of the pendulum (from neglect to an over-abundance of meaningless praise) is detrimental. I’m not a fan of doing things just to boost someone’s self-esteem (such as giving ribbons to all participants in a race regardless if they finished first or 32nd. Don’t get me started on that!)

14 12 2011
The Ed Buzz

I think that’s pretty impressive and nice for you to have. It is great that you keep them to read after a rough day to remind yourself what a great teacher you obviously are.

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