Let's be honest. Kids aren't going to remember what we teach them. Not the content at least and not most of it any way.
Think of how little we remember as adults of our school days? How many of high school lessons come to mind? If you're like me, not many. Over the years, over the lessons, the lectures, the seminars, the books--ideas atop of ideas--it's impossible to sift through the layers of learning. Yet, I bet there are at least 10 days you remember.
My memorable lessons of high school:
- When my 9th Grade English teacher caught me watching the snow fall and just said "pretty, huh."
- My typing teacher assessing my practice: "There is no pattern to your errors."
- Parallel parking in driver's ed, successfully, after a night of practicing in the driveway.
- My French teacher singing "Edelweiss" a cappella (in French) and teaching us to do so, too.
- Running so close to the side of the track that I knocked the stopwatch out of my coach's hand, and his not getting angry.
- The compliment "You have a natural sense of rhythm and movement" from my senior English teacher after I presented a dance interpretation (my first and only one) at a drama club assembly.
- The day the principal approved of our starting a student newspaper, after his hesitancy and hedging.
- My journalism teacher's allowing me to decide whether to print a damning editorial against an administrator at the risk of her job because "it was all true." (And trusting me not to.)
- When my graphic arts teacher suggested I should put my first woodcut in a show.
- All of the modern novels my 10th Grade English teacher had me read and that would change my life.
Likewise, your students might not remember Fermat's last theorem, the Battle of Hastings, or the subjunctive tense. But they'll remember you.
Image credit: "Love, Teach, Imagine." By Denise Carbonell. 9 Dec. 2007. Flickr.