Do you feel like you make a difference?

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by educatingme, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. educatingme

    educatingme Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 13, 2007

    Because I am a "late in life" teacher-to-be and because I work full-time already, I realize that going to school to become the teacher I hope to be one day is going to take at least a decade. I don't even like to think about that aspect. And, as a rather impatient soul, I know the only way I'm going to get through it is to feel motivated and inspired to do so.

    I just finished reading a book called "Letters to My Teacher". A collection of letters from students young and old to the teachers that have made a difference in their lives. Very inspiring...though, I think I'll need to read those books back to back to keep me headed toward the light at the end of the ten year tunnel.

    However, it raises the question; with or without anyone having told you...do you feel like you make (or have made) a difference in the lives of any or all of your students? Please share.
     
  2.  
  3. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    1

    Feb 13, 2007

    Absolutely, I do!
    I have convinced students who were headed for the office to drop out of school to stick with it, and they have thanked me for it down the road. I've helped non-native English speaking students improve their reading skills, and had them bring me donuts to thank me for my help. I could give pages....but I also take into account small victories, too. I think any good teacher makes a difference! I know I had some as a student who did.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Feb 13, 2007

    I've told this story here before, sorry.

    A number of years ago, we had an alumni die. He was in the Merchant Marine Academy, fell down a ladder on a boat, and died. He had been in my Precalculus class a year or two prior. He was a nice enough kid, but didn't seem to stand out in my memory.

    Of course I went to the wake and expressed my condolences to his parents.

    A week or so later, I got a thank you note from his mom. She said that I had been Brian's favorite teacher, and that he always had such fond memories of my class. I still have the note upstairs in a drawer.

    We make a huge difference in the lives of our students without even knowing it. One of my Seniors was pale today after donating at the blood drive; I was worried and told her to eat before driving home, and to leave her car at school and get a ride if necessary. Assuming she took my advice, maybe nothing at all would have happened anyway. But maybe she didn't pass out at the wheel because one teacher noticed that she was pale. It's the ripple effect-- each thing we say or do effects our students in ways we never know or imagine.
     
  5. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,892
    Likes Received:
    169

    Feb 13, 2007

    Being brand new, it feels like my students are the guinea pigs because I'm still learning about which teaching strategies to use, what program to implement, etc., etc. I'm sure most new teachers feel this way, but in a few years, I'll definitely feel like I have more of a handle on things.
     
  6. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Messages:
    7,507
    Likes Received:
    3

    Feb 14, 2007

    Last year I had the most difficult class in the school. I had 3rd graders talking about suicide and cousins who were in gangs beating up other students in my class. It was the year from hell. I went home every night crying or drinking!

    This year, I'm back down in 2nd grade and have a pretty good class. My former students are in 4th grade. One girl in particular who used to curse me off and give me the most trouble last year (she tried to strangle herself with a dog tag in my classroom) sneaks into my room every day on her way to basic skills instruction to say hi and give me a hug. She tells me she loves me and misses me. To me, that is the greatest gift a child can give me.

    Also, my 2nd year teaching, one of my students lost her mother and step-father in a murder-suicide in the family's home. I had the ability to be there for my student for the remainder of the school year and her grandmother still thanks me for my support and understanding.

    You never know the impact you can have on a child. Thats the greatest reward of teaching.
     
  7. brigidy

    brigidy Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 14, 2007

    When I taught my first year I was definitely in the "survivor" phase of teaching and didn't think that I was making that much impact in my student's lives. Now those students are seniors in high school and I still have parent's telling me how I was their child's favorite or when I see my former students, they always hug me and tell me a something they remember about class.

    I have learned that if we take time to listen and care for the students along with teaching we will make a difference. Sometimes, it is not the content that they remember it is the fact that you cared. You may never know the impact you make, but remember that you DO make one.
     
  8. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    1,304
    Likes Received:
    0

    Feb 14, 2007

    My oldest students are now in the 7th grade. So...I haven't really had any of them come back and say how I have changed their lives. They are still changing. However, I think that I do make a difference. One of those kids' parents (I have the littlest sister this year) has told me how much of a difference I made in the older daughter's life and what a great inspiration I was to her. (She then requested me for her youngest daughter.)

    I have many parents who have said that I am a great teacher and that they are thrilled to have their child in my class because I am so patient and caring with them. I know that I make a difference to them and that I am better for that. I will always be their first and/or second grade teacher...no one else. They will always remember me and I hope that they will have fond memories of those years.
     
  9. Gwen

    Gwen Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 3, 2007

    Sometimes I think as a Kindergarten teacher that no, I don't make a difference and ten years from now the kids won't even remember my name. I changed schools this year. I was working in a school district in California which continuously had some of the highest test scores in all of california. I changed schools to an inner city charter school. These kids are some of the neediest kids Ive ever seen. The whole school (something like 97%) received free breakfast and lunch. Its this year that Ive really felt like my existence in the classroom matters. I think that the parents have good intentions for their children but I also realize that I bring a much needed stability to these kids lives. I think you will make a difference. I think this feeling of making a difference is dependent on what type of school you work in and what age group you work with. I do get worried that if I knew these kids 10 years from now I might not like the person that they have turned in to.
     
  10. Yen

    Yen Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 3, 2007

    I'll never forget the day I realized that the things I say or do make a difference.
    I was working at a recreational facility and was not quite 20 years old. There were a group of little girls on the floor playing "house" and the one leaned over to the other and said, "I'm going to name my baby Jenny because I want to be like her when I grow up."
    It was at that moment I knew I wanted to be a teacher forever.
     
  11. 4monthcountdown

    4monthcountdown Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 3, 2007

    I like to focus less on the emotional side of "making a difference" and more on what I can do to give kids the tools they need to succeed. So the hugs and gifts and letters are nice, but I would rather get a child from point A to point B academically. That is the real reward for me.
     
  12. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,492
    Likes Received:
    100

    May 3, 2007

    Each year I watch as my students go from being students who struggle with the responisbilites that 5th grade brings, come to terms with what needs to be done, and by the end of the year the majority of them are rather self sufficient when it comes to solving problems, getting homework done, taking/getting information they missed while sick or out of class. This year is always full of growing pains, but they manage it beautifully. Each spring I feel confident that I have prepared them for entrance into the jr. high wing and life with more than two teachers.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    May 3, 2007

    The other thing is when former students come back to teach in my department :)

    Right now there are 2 that I taught. (Not to mention the 10 or 12 in other departments.)
     
  14. Yen

    Yen Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 3, 2007

    Well academically speaking, my students have learned a lot of computer skills they didn't have in the fall. For being my first year as a teacher ever, and taking on the endeavor of teaching computers, I feel like I did make a difference. :)
     
  15. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,518
    Likes Received:
    9

    May 3, 2007

    I know I make a difference in lives, and I also know I might never see or hear about the difference I make. I know this for certain because I remember the people who came into my life, either briefly or for a long time, and made the difference for me, a kid from the projects, abusive home, poor, alcoholic father . . . I wasn't slated to succeed or have a good live, but certain key people made the difference for me. Many of them passed on before I even knew the impact they had on my life.

    So rest assured - when you live a life of dedication and sacrifice, especially working with children, you make a difference!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Chocolaccino,
  2. txmomteacher2
Total: 234 (members: 3, guests: 201, robots: 30)
test