After reading Louise’ s post (who was and continues to be one of my mentors for PAR ), I was thinking about who drives me the most…my students! I have had the pleasure of having some students take me for several reading classes in a row. Not only do these students drive me to give them my best, but I also learn so much from their own struggles, goals, and ambitions!
Here are a few…
Sadan: I had this student for RDG 071, 081, and 091. I have observed her grow each semester in her language and reading skills! I wrote a letter of recommendation for her to get her first job as a cashier at Ross. She was so excited! She had been interviewing for the past six months. I worked with her this past summer and several other students in an informal book club. She was very dedicated in developing her language skills…Her excitement drove me to spend my own time working with her and those other students.
Cynthia: I had Cynthia my first semester as full time faculty in the Fall of 2013. At the time she was a 50 year old veteran and widow coming back to school. For one of the assigned articles, the students had to write a response to someone who greatly impacted their life…she chose to write me a beautiful letter on how she was so nervous her first day, and felt too old and “dumb” to come back to school, but that I made her feel valued as a student by using her life experiences as examples and connections. I keep this letter pinned up in my office as a reminder on the impact we have as instructors. I had Cynthia for RDG 081 and RDG 091. I watched her struggle with so many issues, that I was challenged to make each class period worth her time and effort for being here.
Hamad: This student started in the same class as Cynthia…I also had Hamad for RDG 071, 081 and 091. Hamad was a college professor in his own country. Having him in my classroom has been such a great experience! Yes, he started in such a low level of reading, but recognizing his competence and degree from his own country drove me to make sure my lessons reflected that ability… He recently just became a citizen of this country and was so proud the day he came into class. I now have his son in my RDG 091 class.
I am sure all of us have students like this that make it worth our while to get up every day and do what we do! These are just a few of mine:)