I’m sitting at parent-teacher conferences. The parent of a student who was not in my Algebra 1 class first quarter but is this quarter comes in.
“I’m so excited to meet you! I can’t believe how much his attitude about Algebra has changed since he’s been in your class! He keeps telling me about how many good examples you give, and how you answer all the questions he asks, and that it makes sense. I just can’t believe the change”
I am, at this point, trying not to cry, because complimenting my teaching is the best way to get an overly emotional reaction out of me. But I’m also thinking, “I can’t believe that student says all those things about me!”
Because this student is not one that really stands out to me most days. He sits in the back, he does his work, sometimes answers questions during whole class stuff. Very rarely asks me questions while he’s working or asks for help. Doesn’t appear to me that he loves math class.
But he’s telling his mom about it at home. So what I’m doing is clearly making an impact on him. I just don’t see it day to day.
So just a reminder to all of us that while it may not seem like we’re having that much of an effect on students…they might be going home and telling their parents, or they might realize it after they leave your class. Your impact is felt.