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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Teaching to Change Lives - Part 1

Think back your schooling years? Who are the teachers that you remember? When I think back, I remember Mr. Dow, who prayed before we played soccer. I remember Mrs. Williams kindness and patience. I remember Mr. Alvarado's smile everyday and reading the newspapers business section. I remember Mr. Roper a kind, Christian man who often did charity work outside of school. Ask me what I learned as far as the curriculum is concerned and I probably can't mention much. But why do I remember them? They changed my life. Their teaching changed my life in some way or other.
I believe that teaching is about changing lives. Of course, I care about Standards and Academics. But my teaching should be such that after the school year is over students' lives are changed. How so? Their viewpoint about education, about learning, about teachers, about success and about life changes.
This past year there was a phenomenon that happened in my class. The last day of school almost all of my students, with the exception of of few tough ones, cried. A few weeks before the school year was over WE were all dreading the end. Why? Many said it was because this was their best year. Many said it was a fun year. Many said they had learned a lot. All of them said they would miss our class. In later blogs I will post some of what they wrote to me. My only explanation for this phenomenon is that their life was changed. A sister of one of my students text messaged me the night her brother was watching the class movie I made. She said that he was not the same. I had changed his life. He was crying. Wow! It was very moving to hear this from a boy who the previous year had been in trouble almost everyday and had to stay after school. A boy who hardly read the previous year but read a lot in my class. A boy who became a leader in the class. A boy whose perspective about education changed. He has promised me he will do his best next year. His life was changed. This is why I teach. How does teaching change lives? Stay tuned. I have some ideas. This is only Part 1.
©eig. This post can also be found at http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog&pop=1&ping=1
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