Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Polar Bear

Cooper got up close and personal with a polar bear at the zoo a couple days ago. Yes, there is very thick glass separating the bear from the children. The bear was quite interested in one boy's stuffed penguin, even though we all know that polar bears don't eat penguins. It was super cool to be so close to such an amazing animal.

Cooper is in the orange jacket.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Tiny Gift

A few weeks ago I received the following message in my Facebook inbox.

Not sure if you would like to be my friend,haha I thought it would be nice to let you know you were the best teacher ever .... Thanks for all your help... I hope all is well. Thank you Anthony S. Seaholm Summer school and Berkshire Middle School :)

To understand this student, you need to know that he was a boy just about every teacher in the school dreaded. He was a bundle of energy, not a real motivated learner, and many simply saw him as a pain in the butt. I gave him a chance. I first had him in summer school and then fought to get him in both my Social Studies and English classes for his 8th grade year. If I remember correctly I started and ended my day with him. While I think he probably averaged D's most of the year, I really felt like I at least gave him a voice and saw him as a fun student with potential to learn and succeed. Because I moved away and left that teaching job shortly after I never heard how his transition to high school went, never got the visits, and may not have even if I did stay. But like most teachers, I've wondered, not just specifically about him, but whether I had an impact, made any little difference, ignited even the smallest spark.

I've been carrying these words around with me every day. I have been out of the classroom for 8 years now, and often wonder why I ever left. This makes me ponder that once again, more deeply. But, if nothing else, it feels so good to be remembered and get such an unsolicited compliment and heartwarming thank you.