January 24 – thank u to the thank u students

184/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. This post is for every student that I have taught who has told me that my teaching has had an effect on them – whether telling me orally or putting it on a note, card or email or just thinking about it – I greatly appreciate you and the passion you ignite in me for teaching. From the day I started, it’s all been because of the students in my classes that has kept me going. From my first day of practicum at Charles Tupper teaching Marketing and Accounting and Data Processing, I still remember the kids from my Marketing class who at the end of my 13 week practicum, got together and presented me with a gold pen and pencil set. I was in shock and didn’t know how to react but my practicum teacher said that this was the mark of a teacher who had made a connection. I knew from that moment on that putting my heart and soul into what I love was being recognized by the ones that were directly affected by what I did for a living. Early in my career, my wife created a keepsake binder to accumulate the various thank you cards and notes students had given me usually at the end of a semester. Initially, I didn’t see what the point of it was as I thought I wasn’t going to reread them but the binder has been one of the best gifts that I have received. I know my students must have thought long and hard to write the cards and notes and I greatly appreciate it – I mean, teenagers have so much more to do with their time but to sit down and write a letter of gratitude, that definitely moves me. In fact, whenever I get a little down about teaching (which is rare), I just randomly grab a card out of the binder and re-read why I do what I do. It’s really not about the subject matter but much more about the students who are in my classes that makes teaching such a wonderful job. For every student who to do this day still respects my teaching and what I taught them and who felt I made a difference, I thank you as that’s all I need to reach my goal of Self-Actualization. You have done just as much for me as I have done for you. In your honour, I take out that binder and reminisce once more.

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