Before the school year finished, we asked members to share the “best thing to happen this year.” Throughout the summer, we will be sharing some of the great responses to lift you up, encourage you or just to make you smile.
The best thing that happened this year actually happened during eighth-grade graduation. The valedictorian stated in her speech “a wise person once told me…” and that quote was from me! The other thing also happened directly after graduation. A dad came directly toward me and hugged me. He said “thank you…thank you…he wouldn’t have made it without you!” Let’s just say it was a very emotional night but I love my little rural school and would not change a thing! Lisa Hall, Avilla R-13
The best thing that happened to me this year was at the Senior Breakfast that we hold at my elementary school for the graduating seniors. One of my former art students stood up in front of everyone and read a beautiful letter about a teacher who has had a positive impact on her and how this teacher helped her find her direction in life. She was talking about me! Not only did she write me such a wonderful letter, she had also brought me a basket filled with art supplies and a plaque that she had painted for me. I was crying happy tears all day! It was such a wonderful feeling knowing that I had made a positive impact on one of my student’s lives! It was a reminder of why I became a teacher and even though there may be hard days sometimes, it is totally worth it. Michelle Howard, Northwest R-1
I have a special needs student that graduated last year and moved out of state and stays in contact with me via social media. He just bought his first new car. As a personal finance teacher, I think that is a great accomplishment and I think super amazing for this little guy!!!! Jamie Israel, Maysville R-1 High School
In my eighth–grade English class, we were reading “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Many students struggle with the language and trip over the words as they’re reading. A student who struggles with reading (and unmedicated ADHD) volunteered to read Helena’s part in one scene. Her part is written in iambic pentameter and follows a rhyme scheme and rhythm. None of my other students, regardless of reading level, picked up on the cadence of Helena’s words until this student started reading. He noticed the rhythm and rhyme right away, and he started reading it like it was a rap, adding in his own beat and giving the lines life, showing appreciation for well-written rhymes. He read Helena’s part this way for the whole scene, and when he was finished, the whole class applauded him. I look back on this and I still love this moment most of all. This young man, who has struggled with reading for years and whose behavior has made school even less attainable than his reading deficits, fell in love with Shakespeare. He found his identity and culture in Shakespeare’s words and made the experience real-world for the whole class. Michelle Jones, Columbia 93 Public Schools