Christmas Cards & Leaving a Legacy

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." ~ Mark Twain

When Teachers Get Wonderful Christmas Cards from Students

In more than a decade teaching, only rarely have I gotten glimpses into the impact my teaching is having on my students. Sure, I see them master content and score well on tests. I see their faces light up with what I'm pretty sure is understanding and learning. But clear evidence of my impact feels elusive, oh so far-and-few-between.

You teach 220 middle-school students all year and hope you're guiding their young minds toward adulthood. You toss seeds of wisdom out into the air over their heads and hope it settles on the soft soil in their minds. And every once in a long while, you get reassurances that what you are doing is making a difference, that all your efforts to teach beyond the Common Core test-able knowledge is making headway, that you're passing on what's ever more important than the content.

So I thought I'd share some Christmas cards parents and students wrote me this year, and while these were written to me, I believe most of you teachers out there can take these positive words and know that they too apply to you, whether or not your students wrote them down in a card.

Mr. Stevens,
     You are the type of teacher who will continue to live on in students minds long after they've left your class. The way you encourage these kids to rely on their own minds and think outside of the box is a priceless gift. Londyn is a very young minded 12 yr. old (which we embrace) but we are thrilled to see her questioning, seeking out truth, and celebrating her individuality. We can't thank you enough for continuing to inspire, and teach with all your heart! Londyn is so fortunate to have you. Enjoy the holidays with your beautiful family.


Mr. Stephens,
     Thank you for being such a amazing teacher. The exitement to do your job makes my learning more fun. Thank you.




Mr. Stephens,
     Ryan sometimes shares your wisdom on life and so many times he has said, "It's exactly what you guys tell me!" As well as being a great English teacher, it's absolutely refreshing to know you are guiding our young ones in the right path! Thank you for your personal attention and guidance of Ryan. We hope you have a very merry Christmas! And of course a great new year!


 Dear Mr. Stephens,
     You are the best English/creative writing teacher ever! You're always pushing me to be more creative, have more gooder gramar, and bettr speling! (gotta love her jokes here) I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas! Your student...


Thank you for your teaching and guidance! Happy Holidays.

So with those few gems, I leave you all with my own words:

You are doing well. What you are doing matters. It is okay to teach more than the standards. Students are watching. You are making a difference in lives, more than you know and more than you'll likely ever hear. Teach on!

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