Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day and like many people spent some time thinking of things to be thankful for. It has been a busy start to the school year. Job action has been hard for everyone and it has been especially difficult to find quiet moments in which to regroup and recharge. None the less there are always things to be thankful for. For me two key moments came in the form of responses from former students. One came to see me. The other visited virtually via twitter.
The first student was a young man I had taught years ago who was looking for a reference for his university applications. It had been a few years since I had seen him last and more than a few since he had been one of my students. He made his request and we reminisced a bit about his time in my class. He remembered mostly the good times, the assignments that had made him think and the fun he had learning. He concluded by thanking me for being one of his "better" teachers. "Your class was never boring" he smiled, "considering that it was English that's saying something!" I happen to think that English should never be boring, but I truly appreciated the praise. Its nice to be validated as a teacher.
The second student visit came via a response to a tweet I had sent out last week in recognition of International Teachers Day. "Can you remember your favorite teacher?" I had asked. This student responded in a way that really made me smile. Not only could she remember her favorite teacher - she had a favorite for every stage of her education. She listed her favorite elementary, secondary, college and university teachers. I didn't make the list, but that was ok. It made me feel good that she had so many fond memories of educators who had helped her along the way!
These students' visits and encouragement came at just the right time! I'm glad that they have fond memories of teachers and of learning. Cliche or not, they reminded me that I work in a profession that gets to make a difference in the lives of so many people. And for that I am truly thankful!