doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

You Never Know…

…where your sphere of influence extends or for how long.  It’s one of the things that we hang our hats on as teachers.  It keeps you going during the good times and the bad times in the teaching profession.  You know that you have an impact from day to day but the true test shines through years later.

I received an email from my former superintendent (a Peturson) who was at a meeting where someone congratulated him on his son’s work on the Rubber Side Down movie.  Apparently, she had attended the screening at the Capitol Theatre and enjoyed and was impressed with the work.  My former boss indicated that Andy was actually my son and that he had nothing to do

Image by Old Shoe Woman via Flickr

with his skills.

But he did.

It was his plan to take our board down the Communications Technology path and offer this opportunity to kids.  It was his desire that this take off and so he bought the equipment and my job was to help teachers with it.  It was at that point that I turned the learning over to The Boy who attacked it with enthusiasm and taught me.

After the email message, I started thinking about memorable moments from my own education.  I do recall exciting projects and activities in mathematics, science, and computer science.  Interestingly, it was the activity itself that I recall immediately.  It was only after hard deliberation that I could think of the teacher’s name and the names of classmates that I worked with.

In all my memory, I only recall one English activity and it wasn’t a good one.  We had to write a short story and I wrote one about vampires.  I don’t recall the details of the story but only the red marks that the teacher put on the top, when it was returned to me, accusing me of stealing the work of someone else.  I still remember how upset I was because I’m not the best of writers and I thought that I had done a pretty good job on that piece.

In education, we provide all kinds of chances for students to work together, collaborate, and show what they know.  We make memories, good and bad, and our influence extends far beyond the end of the course.

To the teachers that read this blog, what kind of lasting memory will you make today?

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One response to “You Never Know…”

  1. As a retired English teacher it is a humbling thought to think about the power one wields with the red pen. The Golden Rule for marking, of course, is to begin with a positive comment or word of encouragement and then make several focused constructive comments. I hope I did not pop the balloon of too many students as they developed their writing skills and used their creativity.


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