Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blessed to Know Her

This week out of the blue a former student of mine contacted me. She said she had been looking for me for years. She is one that I have thought about often and one that made me want to be a better teacher. Here is her story:

KB (for privacy reasons) stood out in my fourth grade class. Tall, dark haired, very shy, and a year older than everyone else KB struggled with school. She should have been in fifth grade but the year before in the middle of her original fourth grade year she was sent back to third grade and told by another teacher that she was stupid. This part angered me greatly. KB was a D and F student. This was not because she wasn't capable but because no one seemed to want to see her potential. We worked together to bring up her grades, technically she did the work and I had the fun job of praising her which came easy to such a sweet child. By the end of the year she was making D's and C's.

The following year I had the pleasure of teaching her fifth grade class. Excited with the possibilities of getting to teach her again I couldn't wait to see the results of her hard work mixed with encouragement. Before the year was out she was making B's and C's. Her doing, not mine.

In sixth grade she moved onto middle school. I was worried that her self esteem would fail her but instead she showed up in my room with an elite group of A & B students to share about middle school. I was beaming with pride.

This year she is a junior in high school, a Principal's honor roll student, taking honor's classes, and is a part of the A+ program. When she emailed me to let me know this and I was speechless.

When she found me she wrote to me the following:

I have been trying to find you forever and I am glad I did. I want to thank you for everything you did for me. I sure do miss you, You were/are the only teacher that meant so much to me. You really cared about us and you helped me in my dyslexia, shyness, and learning. You always had a hug and a smile for each of us. As you can see my spelling is getting better and my lexile reading score is the highest in my class. I think a lot of this is because of you.

This is a success story, her success, not mine. The system started to fail her at a young age and all I did was offer words of encouragement. I am the one that is blessed to know her.

1 comment:

  1. We both know... it only takes one to change a child's life... whether for the positive... or the negative.