Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Still Learning

Dear Spring 12 College Students,

I stand before you amazed, encouraged, inspired,  and proud.  Proud …hmm is that an odd word for a college instructor to use when referring to college students?  Do I have the right to be proud?  Do you care if I am proud of your work?  Should pride be something that even crosses my mind?  Isn’t my job to expose you to ideas and allow you to let those fester and grow within you and see what sticks as your career unfolds?  But I cannot think of a better or more appropriate word than Proud

I recall before this semester began and one of my past students that had been in this course told me about running into one of my new students.  That student was sharing that the writing of a book was causing them stress even before the class started.  I secretly chuckled to myself and yet I hoped I would convince, encourage, and inspire each of you to complete the task.

 Now I come to the PROUD moment.

All completed their story and all shared their thoughts…and I was able to sit down and be immersed in those stories and…

 I learned---

I should treasure the time I spend with my love ones---a dog, a dad, an uncle, grandparent, great-grandparent, best friend

I should pass on the stories told to me before from those dear to me

I should look to the mystery in life---I might be able to help a spirit

I should realize that when I struggle others have struggled before and I should look for the good in myself and others

I should remember those that enter my life especially the most innocent, children, may have secrets they hold that may hurt so bad that they can’t think of the studies set in front of them

I should remember a family doesn’t always pass along the best but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn to be better and yet love my family dearly

I need to remember anticipation is part of the excitement for children and also for things such as a storm

I must remember not to always think of myself but to others I might be able to help…my life will be richer

I must remember my past and allow it to connect with my present

I need to support the stinkers in my life and encourage them to enjoy and do the right things

I need to remember that not everyone sees things the same and the world would really be better with more color

I need to remember to share because usually things come back to those that do

I need to look at the world and realize that math is all around and even I can understand and appreciate the world of math

I must always remember my past and support those that are new to the year, school, etc and remember it is the climate I build that will make the difference for the students  that will enter my classroom

Yes, I am proud.  Each of you took the challenge.  Each of you have demonstrated you have the potential  to impact students with your written word…make sure to use your written word along with the words your students will hear from you and the feelings they will receive from your body language.

Thank you,
Your proud instructor


  1. Seney - this is wonderful. You remind me of a wonderful college instructor I had once upon a time. Brenda Power who now is the brain behind Choice Literacy was my teacher and she had the most fabulous way of making us feel successful. Another of my teachers asked me to write a non-fiction book in a graduate program. I left with my finished book and I was so proud. I guess I never thought about how all these proud students might have made her proud. I'm sure you will be remembered for many years, as the teacher who helped them believe in themselves.

  2. This was so empowering. I especially liked the lines about what someof the children in front of our teaching selves might be facing. That's so hard to do sometimes...but so worth it.

  3. Thank you for being proud and inspiring your students. As a mother of a senior, soon leaving for college, I have wondered if his professors while notice his endeavors, will compliment and yes, eventually be proud of him. I admire what you are sharing.

  4. That's an incredible list. Your students will look at you with renewed respect.

  5. This is wonderful! I never had a college teacher or professor share at the end of the semester about our time with him/her. What a great teacher you are, to share with your students.

  6. This is beautiful and powerful. I know from your next post that you actually shared the letter. To remember to learn from our students (no matter how old) and let them know that they and their work is worth being proud of is important in a life of a teacher (preschool to college.)