This is the time of year when we get notes from kids that surprise us and give us hope. I received one from the least likely source just yesterday which I will treasure. I have also received many from group members over the years. Just today I got one from a blog member that is really worth sharing, shared here with her permission:
Acquiring a language is not exactly easy and I’m guessing teaching a language isn’t either. Over the years of your teachings I have learned many things that can well equip me for the future, from history lessons to old folktales and more.
Your curriculum is one of the most demanding on campus, and not because of long nights studying and hard tests but because it requires every ounce of attention to mentally develop through the lessons. It is found with your teaching techniques, it creates an easy way to learn and makes the perception of learning a language change. It becomes less scary, less intimidating and overall less demanding. I have not yet nor think I will, be disappointed with your teachings or the process of acquiring a foreign language. Foreign Language is not necessarily my passion, and though learning it throughout school is great, I doubt future paths will encourage the pursuit of learning more. About a week ago it was teacher appreciation day and I wanted to pay my tribute towards a teacher that makes an impact on me every day. I chose to write to you because of the effect you have on my brother and how he has such passion and desire to learn this and various other languages. My brother and I have been almost inseparable since I was born, he’s been my best friend, my worst enemy, my everything in between and most of all my biggest role model. He just doesn’t realize it. My brother is sort of a version of a savant, someone who excels immensely in certain subjects. His main passions are music, language and history, in which he is extremely good at, but as for other subjects involving math or science he struggles in. Though through the years of your class his confidence has boosted and completely transformed him into the man he is, and one he is becoming every day. I am forever grateful for all the support you give him and all your guidance. You probably never knew this but if you have ever helped a kid more it is him with every period he shows up to. You see, he struggles throughout school and loses himself from time to time because he believes he is only ever what a report card grade says he is. And he loses that amazing spark he comes when he talks about your class or his dream of learning the language. I remember times that being there for him not only as a sister but as a friend meant handing him tissues late at night while he cries because he doesn’t think he is good enough for college, or having to be strong for the both of us because he doesn’t think he has a future, because a counselor told him he’d never make it and that summer school for math was becoming an annual tradition for him and a 2.0 was rather an IQ than GPA. He may not be the best in school but he is much more than a 4.0 GPA student. I wait for the day he realizes that statistics are just numbers on a paper and they do not restrict him from doing what he loves. Every day he talks about your class and I watch a light go on. A light that forgets about his GPA, his math grade, his summer school information letter, and he just focuses on how good he is at something and all the opportunities coming his way because of it. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart for teaching your class and getting students involved, because for kids like my brother the one thing they are good at could be their future and that one teacher that tells them they are capable could change their life more than one could think.
Thank you for always being an inspiration and a glimpse of hope for everyone. Foreign Language may not be my passion but it is because of you that the passion can thrive and conquer the world of learning. My brother is thrilled to have had your class and I as well in order to meet someone my best friend can look up to and admire as a guide.