Monday, September 9, 2013

How to Make a Teacher's Day

September 9, 2013

Out of the blue, I got a Facebook message from a former student who is currently studying abroad in Austrailia.  This is a girl I absolutely adored--the kind of student who is full of life, love, wonder, and curiosity.  She has such a positive outlook and a generous heart, and is fiercely intelligent besides.  Imagine how completely gratifying and humbling it was for me, then, to receive this post from her:

Haley Laningham:  You should know as I'm sitting in a cozy flat at the bottom of the world, that the teaching you did and the literature you used to do it had a very important and lasting impact on my security and identity as a woman within which I find clarity and substance every day.

My response:

Donna:  Oh my dear, you can't possibly know how you've made my day. My job is not just a job to me--it is a calling, and it's a calling where I can only hope that in a small way I am able to make a connection with some of the kids I get to call my own for a short time. Most of the time, I can't really know how successful I am in that endeavor; these are not things that are measured on a test somewhere. If anything I did helped you even in the slightest realize or connect with yourself or the world around you, I am touched, and I am grateful to have shared in that. I have had the pleasure to have met some wonderfully spirited, intelligent, loving, curious, and beautiful-hearted individuals in my years of teaching--a handful of students who have left an imprint on me more profound than I am likely to have left in return. Please know that you are one of these, without a doubt. My very best wishes to you on this current adventure--I very much look forward to hearing all about it!

Seriously--this just may be enough of an emotional battery charge to carry me for months.  

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