Some days it’s all worth it…

I don't mean to be self-aggrandizing here, but I need to share a comment that gives me hope.  A student who has not yet earned an A average in my class, nor counts English as his favorite subject, wrote this in his writing portfolio reflective letter:

But that’s one thing that made your class great, it was honestly about learning. Not finished X amount of work to give us the accreditation. I loved going into your class and sitting down to learn. Never once did I say “awww man I gotta go English now?!? Darn.” Not once. I wasn’t too often overly excited but I did enjoy sitting down in a comfy chair and preparing myself for some great learning, what a year.

 I've been teaching for nearly 30 years, but after trying to shift my classroom to a more student-centered approach this year, I have a renewed sense of optimism.
Reaching out to a community of learners through Twitter, blogs, skype, and the PLP allowed me to bring new ideas and experiences to my students; I tried to "be less me and more them" to quote Gary Stager. Oh, it wasn't always successful, and I had many days I wish I could do again. I'm sure some of my other students would share less positive reactions to class.

But tonight I am focusing on this one comment, "it was honestly about the learning."
It's going to keep me going.

4 comments

  1. As they say in Peanuts, “THAT’S IT!” (At which point we all roll over backwards.) Seriously, any student who walks into your class preparing him or herself for “some great learning” testifies to the best kind of selfless and self-effacing teaching.
    Students can see that you walk the walk, that you’re in these spaces too. They see you’re a learner too. And that makes all the difference.
    Onward and upward. You inspire us all.

  2. You’re in a good place as a teacher, Susan. Must feel fantastic. I imagine it’s a long, sometimes difficult, process. But it’s all worth it.

  3. Congrats on a successful year Susan. You know that this student wouldn’t say that unless he meant it. I am sure there were others that were too shy to write what the did. You have exposed them to another way of learning and opened their minds. They either know that now or will realize it later.

  4. Thanks Gardner, Tania, and Debra. I hesitated to post such a personal thought, but if people can generalize this to their own situations,then perhaps they’ll see possibilities too. Yes, onward.

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