June 13, 2023

A former student of mine left me quite a nice card and a gift when she visited the school last week. It got me thinking about the impact I have on my students.

I don’t know what I want my students to walk away with at the end of the school year. Do I want them remembering me some twenty years down the line? Hell, do I want them remembering me next year? If they do remember me, what will it be? It won’t all be good, I’m sure of that, but it won’t all be bad either, I would think. Maybe it doesn’t matter.

What I often forget is that students and teachers see the same learning experience very differently. They remember things differently. They don’t remember everything, either. Teachers forget, too. But, perception is very particular in these sorts of things. Students’ and teachers’ expectations are different so our focus is different.

When I first started teaching, I was speaking with a teacher who was retiring. She said that she aims to reach 1-3 students a year. I was shocked. That’s only about 10-12% of the class. Seems a small number. Now, I realize that it’s a lofty goal.


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