Monday, December 7, 2009

Thank-yous after three years

Perhaps one really does have to leave to get people to actually say “thank you”. Certainly I've received more thanks than usual at the end of this year.

My fellow maths and science teachers signed a card for me, and pooled contributions to get me a gift of a couple of games: Tantrix and Rush Hour. The former I'm enjoying already; the latter I plan to use in my classroom. Both are about building logical and spatial reasoning skills.

I also received many thank-you cards from students. I thought I'd share a few of their nice comments. They have honoured me greatly with their kind words.

In first term this year I taught Maths B in year 11, but then the classes were reorganised and I switched to teaching Maths A instead. There were a few students in that Maths B class who I continued to help with their maths in after-school tutoring—and many other times when they asked! It seems some of them still think of me as their maths teacher:

I was a private maths tutor to one student since the end of last year. In our tutoring sessions, as well as working on maths, we discussed many topics including dealing with stress, time management, careers and life after school, … and we prayed together.

When I was studying to be a teacher, I was warned that I wouldn't see some of the best fruits of my work for years. Here's (part of) a lovely letter from one student who I first taught two years ago, and then again this year:

But I will finish with a short note written for me at the end of the last day of school. Rushed, unprompted, but so meaningful to me:

On practicum during my studies, my mentors and lecturers were always commenting on my apparent passion for my subject. I really wanted them to be commenting on my love for my students. But it's very hard to build up that kind of relationship in the context of a four-week prac. Now, three years into my teaching, and with God's constant help and guidance, it seems I'm finally getting somewhere.

Thank you, Father, for an amazing three years. Thank you for all that you've taught me about being a good teacher. Thank you for the lovely encouraging words from my students. Thank you for allowing me to be such a big part of their lives, and for encouraging and growing their passion for and enjoyment of learning through me.

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