21 Replies Latest reply on Oct 3, 2011 4:42 AM by sadiasyed

    "Priceless Reward" moments

    glen_w

      I enjoyed a comment by erroth in the discussion "What's your day like as a teacher?".  It made me think of the MasterCard commercials about the price of things and then the "priceless" reward - like time with a child. I thought it would be fun for us to share some of the priceless reward moments we have experienced as teachers.

       

      At the end of my last annual physical exam, my doctor told me his nurse would be back to draw my blood. The nurse quickly returned and got to work. As she prepped my arm, she started a conversation.

       

      Nurse "Do you still teach 7th grade science at Orem Junior High?" Me "Yes I do." (Thinking ... she must be the mother of a student I taught recently.) Nurse "I remember being in your class." Me "When were you in 7th grade?" Nurse "15 years ago. Your class helped me realize I could do science and that I enjoyed it. I decided to become a nurse based on that." Me "I'm glad you enjoyed the class and decided to continue studying the sciences."

       

      Please share your "Priceless Reward" moments with us. Let's enjoy the positive feelings associated wtih these events.

        • Re: "Priceless Reward" moments
          julesfischy

          Glen - what a great conversation.  A mother of one of my former students is the school secretary at my son's high school.  I stopped by to drop something off and she was so excited to see me.  She wanted my email address so she could share the paper her daughter had to write for her university class.  This former student is working on her degree to become an educator and is even doing a classroom rotation at her former middle school.  The paper was on who are your educational mentors and I was surprised the paper was on me and the impact that I had on her when she was in 6th grade. I wanted to cry - it made my day.

           

          I also love that we were downtown before a sporting event getting a bite to eat and our server asked me if I was a teacher. He was a former student and he remembered me and even apologized for not being on his best behavior in 6th grade. He was a kid full of energy and at times a handful - but sometimes that is part of the job.  The fact that he apologized for his behavior 12 years before - shocked me and it made my day.  He really grew up.

           

          I can't wait to hear what other stories educators share.

            • Re: "Priceless Reward" moments
              glen_w

              Julia,

               

              These are two excellent stories. It is easy to see how your impact went further than just teaching "content." The love shines through when a student is willing to write a paper on how you are her mentor. I'm thrilled to share this experience with you.

            • Re: "Priceless Reward" moments
              sadiasyed

              Glen,

              I must say its a great conversation thread and every educator must have a lot to share. My career as a teacher is not very long as it is only 5 years old and counting. In previous 5 years my cherished moment came when a polio affected student of my class (Who was one of the back benchers of the class when I joined the class. Very shy, timid and having almost no confidence due to her physical handicap) presented before a gathering and at last thanked me in voice choked with tears that "My Miss provided me confidence enough to face you people and it is due to her that I am standing before you". At that moment I felt that I have earned my reward. She is doing her Graduation now.

              • Re: "Priceless Reward" moments
                erroth

                Glen,

                 

                Great story and great idea for a discussion thread. I've got to get my son to a soccer game, but I'll post a story later.

                • Re: "Priceless Reward" moments
                  erroth

                  I have a story similar to Julia's. I student taught at Fulmore Junior High and could never really get the hang of it. Two other student teachers were in my cohort and they were having similar problems. They both decided to call it quits but I decided to stick it out. One of my students was a prize pupil for all the veteran teachers, but was pretty darn disrespectful to me, along with plenty of other students. I knew that, in large part, it was my fault. Anyway, fast forward about 15 years. One of my students, who had previously disliked school, was having a great year. During a parent conference, the girl's mother revealed that she had been a student of mine at Fulmore during my student-teaching year. She apologized for her disrespectful behavior and was elated that her daughter was doing so well (I apologized for being a lousy student teacher). We had a great conversation, reminiscing about that year and talking about events that were current at that time. That was cool.

                    • Re: "Priceless Reward" moments
                      glen_w

                      Eric,

                       

                      What a fun story. It is incredible how change occurs. I'm glad ot know the parent was willing to admit her youthful disruption to you. This event probably meant more to her child because her mother had also been taught by you.

                       

                      Speaking of Parent Teacher Conference ... we had ours this past Thursday. A mother and father went past me headed to a different teacher's table.The mother quickly walked back to talk with me to share the following story. Her older daughter was my student 5 years ago. As a senior, this young lady is taking AP Biology and Physics. The daughter is trying to become a Sterling Scholar in Science this year. The mother continued, "She said your 7th grade science class gave her confidence she could do science. Thanks for all you've done for her and the other students you teach." I have never been told I helped someone work towards the Sterling Scholar before - what a confidence builder.

                      • Re: "Priceless Reward" moments
                        tdiener

                        Eric, Great story. Nice ending to something you thought went wrong years ago. When you said "One of my students was a prize pupil for all the veteran teachers, but  was pretty darn disrespectful to me, along with plenty of other  students." It reminded me of a great article that appeared in the special education edtition of the New York Times magazine on Sunday, September 18th. t makes a strong case for the importance of character education...not just moral character but also performance character. It's a good rea: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/18/magazine/what-if-the-secret-to-success-is-failure.html?scp=1&sq=the%20character%20test&st=cse

                          • Re: "Priceless Reward" moments
                            erroth

                            Thanks for the article reference. I agree very much with the case made about character development. Our principal sends this message every day and we try as well, although we do not have set program for this. Unfortunately, the bottom line remains passing the TAKS (soon-to-be STAAR) test, character notwithstanding.

                        • Re: "Priceless Reward" moments
                          Nasiraa

                          As a teacher there have been several moments when i received comments which focussed on how confidence has been inculcated in the students whom i had taught.But since eleven years while i am facilitating trainings as ST  it si the showcasing day when teachers are beaming with confidence and love for their work and are now looking at each other's presentations with awe and are good technology  critics. I love the change in them how confident they are in usign technology.

                          • Re: "Priceless Reward" moments
                            blancaedu

                            Glen, thank you for sharing your story and starting this discussion thread. I it! There are so many positive feelings from the stories I've read - thank you all for sharing.

                             

                            I can remember some pretty amazing people that mentored me and I'm happy to say they've been mainly my teachers.

                            One story that I'd like to share is about a teacher and it's about Intel® Teach. During one of my hybrid Intel® Teach Essentials courses, an early elementary childhood OT enrolled in my class. She was nervous the first day of class because she wasn't a "typical" educator but I encouraged her, this course wouldn't be like others, and it was meant to make her stronger. When I asked why she was afraid, she explained. She didn't understand the technology or the terminology so well. She'd never created a lesson plan. She was afraid the course would be too much of a challenge. During those first few weeks I supported her as much as I could. I encouraged her to embrace the work, and to believe that she would be the better for it. We talked about teaching pedagogy, Bloom's Taxonomy, the beauty of alternative assessments. Some of the work we were able to make connections to her job as an OT. Little by little  she began to get excited about the possibilities of what she could create for herself, and for her kids.

                             

                            Since we worked in the same school district we planned time to meet and observe students. We talked about the difference between formatitive and summative assessments. We created forms together, carefully reflected on lessons and assessed student work. After a little while she instinctively began to take charge of her own learning. She planned at night and executed by day. She no longer looked at herself as "just an OT". She now saw her role clearly and it was as teacher. Her whole career she had always felt "different" because she couldn't speak to teachers clearly - she wasn't schooled in the same way. This one course and the support behind her helped her clarify her mission.

                             

                            A year after I had left the district I received an email. It was this OT, writing to tell me she had started her administrative degree. The experience in the program and my support had inspired her to follow her passion - to be a leader. I often look back and smile. I know that every day we get a chance to make a difference in the lives of others - sometimes it's because of something as little as a smile or spending a short time together. Thank you for prompting me to reflect and remember.  Keep making a difference!

                            • Re: "Priceless Reward" moments

                              Last Aug 23, 2011 my son dislocates his kneecap while practicing for their cheeri-dance routine in preparation for the Intrams Opening. We brought him to the hospital for medical help. While waiting for my turn to pay for the hospital downpayment,  a clerk approached me and ask if I had a patient, I said yes my son needs medical attention. After paying the initial fee...I was nformed by the clerk that she had reserve an available room for my son and inform me that they already called the best orthopedic the hospital recommends ... that she was inspired to be of great help to others by being a staff in the hospital . She informed me that she was my former student during her college days and i was able to help her during  their gymnastics rehearsal  for their grp competition and they won. She said , It's now her  turn to give back a reward in her own little way . I said God bless and keep up the good work. The same words I said during their rehearsal 17 yrs ago....I was single then and now my son is already 15 yrs old. A priceless reward I received from my former student which I don't expect to happen in an expected place .