You never know how our words affect our students

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mmswm, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Oct 13, 2008

    I had the opportunity to day to talk with a former professor of mine. We were talking about my classes, and I brought up that one of the projects I assign is the direct result of an off the cuff remark he made those many years ago. He wasn't sure what I meant, so I explained to him: I was a nursing student when I was in his class. I had left music due to a chronic wrist problem. This was a behavioral stats class (which, also, because of him, would turn out to be my "new" new major). We were talking about betting odds and he made a side remark about how most newscasters and sports announcers and even advertisers misused the terminology. That one remark has stuck with me all these years, to the point where my students are assigned a project where they have to listen to a sportscast and pay attention to advertisements and decide if odds are stated correctly or not (and how often they're misused).

    Think about it...I was just one student in one class, yet that remark is shaping the education of dozens of kids every year I teach. When I think about it, I'm in awe of the power of a teacher. It's amazing the influence we have on our students and even students we may never meet.
     
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  3. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Oct 13, 2008

    Whoa, I think that's really neat. I thought about my students writing a humorous pet peeve paper after hearing a remark out of a student's mouth once... :)
     
  4. TeacherMJ

    TeacherMJ Comrade

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    Oct 13, 2008

    That's so true!! I love the idea of students listening to sports reports as well...
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 14, 2008

    A slight variation of a theme:

    Several years ago I had a nice kid in one of my Senior Precalculus classes. He answered when I called on him, held the door if I was coming through, and said hello when I passed him in the hallway. I liked him well enough, though I never got to know him on an incredibly personal level.

    The next year he went to the Merchant Marine Academy. Several months later, he died as the result of an accident.

    Like many other teachers I attended the wake. His parents wrote a thank you to me.

    But this one I still have. It said that Mike really loved my class, loved having me as a teacher, finally understood math well enough to think he could succeed at the Academy-- all sorts of remarkable things.

    It's scary sometimes to realize the effect we have on our kids, even when we're not doing the exceptional.
     

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