Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Memorable Parent Email

I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of students over the years, many of whom walk into my class hating English, especially reading and writing. I make it my mission to win over these nay-sayers and have them see how vital language arts and all aspects of written and verbal communication are to their lives every day. While I cannot win all of them over, I think I do a pretty decent job engaging many of them.

One such student walked into my classroom last fall announcing he hated English and wanted nothing to do with my class. All he loved was math and science, and that was all there was to it. Of course, I immediately took that as a challenge and worked to get to know him and what truly motivates him. Now, at the end of the third marking period, Nathan is allowing himself to become engrossed in what we are studying and the important historical implications of the literature we are reading. He became so passionate about the Civil War time period that he delved into his visual literacy essay and wrote one of the best essays I have ever seen on the assignment.

Immediately, I emailed his mother and got the following response. This is truly why I teach...

Thanks for the note. 

He really liked that specific painting and was excited about it.  When he shared the assignment with me I did not know where he was going to go with that picture.  Actually, I  tried to get him to use one of the other "easier" pictures.  Then he started rambling on for a good 20 min about all the details and what they meant.  I was impressed and thought that you had probably discussed some of it at school.  It is very funny the things that grab his interest sometimes.  He did spend more time on this then I have seen him spend on anything else.  He really wanted to write a good paper and it showed.  He is slowly turning a corner and is now way more open to new ideas ie. using a thesaurus on to help with word choice.  He was unsure about how to fix the transitions.  It was a discussion point one night at dinner and he said he understood but clearly he still needs to work on those.  All in all I was very proud of his effort, and good ideas on the comparison not just looking at what was on the picture but what it symbolized.  He is so excited he go an A which should make him finishing a History paper tonight that much easier for him.  I to a happy for the A but really did not care what grade he got I was happiest to see that he put all he had into it this we have not seen in quite some time. So for me it was an A moment no matter what the grade.

Thank you for whatever encouragement you gave.  I really think that Nathan senses that you understand him and his sometimes offbeat personality. Thank you for everything this has been the most wonderful year for him as far as English goes and he has learned a tremendous amount.  Hopefully he can carry it over to his other classes.  I really do not think I can ever thank you enough for all that you have done for him this year. 

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