Jump back: let me kiss myself!

This is a post you might want to skip.  You know, if you can’t stand shameless self-promotion and pathetic displays of “You like me! You really like me!” and all.

We had our year-end celebration last week -(a few weeks early thanks to current-year funding cuts).  As part of this year’s celebration, we asked all students to write something about their teachers so we could share some of their comments at the party to honor each instructor.  So my co-MC and I went into each class, kicked the teacher out for a while and had the students do some writing.  The teachers didn’t know what we were doing, and it was fun to think of surprising them with the sweet things their students had to say.

Some of my favorite things:

An ESOL I student wrote — “She is a pretty teacher.  She is charismatic.  Always smell I love.”  That is, hands down, my favorite comment! … Even though Mopsy insists the student was trying to say “Always smiles.”

Students wrote about how their teachers work with them, how patient they are, how they’re always in a good mood.  They wrote about how nervous they were when they came into the school, and how their teachers made them feel welcome and comfortable (“I found a warm heart and a true sister”).  The students seemed to enjoy sharing about their teachers as much as I enjoyed reading what they had to say.

I had thought I’d skip this exercise with my students.  Not because I don’t care what they think of me, and not because I think I already know, but because it just seemed so vain somehow for me to be asking them to write about me.  But then I realized how unfair that would have been to my students, that they would have been so upset to see that everyone else had been given the chance to contribute to the ceremony except them, so I relented.  And, too, my co-MC (henceforth to be called Hipstomatic Man for all the excellent photos he’s been taking on his iPhone) insisted that I get my students to write, so I did.  I had them place everything in a big envelope and I sealed it up and handed it over to Hipstomatic Man and didn’t think about it.

Until the celebration, when he started reading some of the comments.  And then the next day when I got to read through the whole stack myself.  They are so wonderful … and, according to them, I am too!

So yes, I’m actually going to be so vain/rude/pathetic/self-serving/fill-in-the-blank as to post the things my students had to say.  Or bits and pieces, anyway.  That’s right, it’s time for the shameless self-promotion:

She walks into class and the first thing you see is her smile.  She makes you feel welcome each and every day.

Whenever the class goes wild, she always has a way to settle it down and keep things cool.

We all love and learned from Stacie.

She didn’t turn the class into just students and teachers.  She turned the class into a family.

When you open a dictionary and you search for the word “teacher,” a picture of Stacie should be there.  She is the definition of teacher.

She made me believe again and she gave me back my faith that I can do it!

Truly a great sensation to be around.

She’s cool, very laid back and easy-going.

Ok, I’ll stop.  I love a) the acknowledgement that sometimes our class really does go wild, and b) that I’m a great sensation!  I’m glad to know that I’m seen as handling the chaos when things get crazy in the room.  Sometimes I wonder about that.  As for the sensation part, I’ve always wondered what it would take to be a sensation, and here I’ve gone and done it without even trying.  (Now I wonder if I’m more like A Chorus Line or Tommy.)  Mostly, I love knowing that, even though I often feel that my job pulls me out of the classroom too often and makes it hard for me to do as much preparation as I’d like, my students still feel that they benefitted from being in the class with me.  People wrote so much and so wonderfully about the class and how much they enjoy being part of it.  There are all sorts of ways I need to improve as a teacher, but at least I’m doing a few things right.

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16 thoughts on “Jump back: let me kiss myself!

  1. You go girl! They need to share their feelings with you. They need to say thank you and you need to hear that. Teaching is tough and yes, thanks should be part of the deal.
    Here’s the comments I love:

    She didn’t turn the class into just students and teachers. She turned the class into a family.

    When you open a dictionary and you search for the word “teacher,” a picture of Stacie should be there. She is the definition of teacher.

    She made me believe again and she gave me back my faith that I can do it!

    Bravo Teacher!
    Bonnie

    Like

    1. Thanks, Bonnie. I love all of the comments, and I love that people wrote so much. Even students who never write, wrote comments, and the ones who always write, wrote page-long comments!

      Like

  2. aka Mopsy

    For the record — I am not tough! I’m so not tough that I’ll let you get away with shameless self promotion on your blog without a snarky comment. So there!

    PS – You always smell nice too.

    Like

      1. aka Mopsy

        Upon further reflection, I think I prefer tough Mopsy — even with the small ‘t’. It’s like my own personal ee cummings’ handle. Just sign me, tM…

        Like

  3. molly

    I like the part about the smile being the first thing they see. That is a very good thing to see first.
    Congratulations on thier praise and also on being able to hear it.

    Like

    1. Years ago we were planning to make a mosaic to fill the giant space on the landing in our entry stairwell. The artist we were working with was meeting with a bunch of students and me. He asked them what they thought they’d want to see if they were new to the program, just walking up those stairs for the first time … and one student said, “Stacie’s smiling face!”

      Happily, the mosaic is not a 10-foot high image of my face, but I always think of that and the fact that people always comment on how I’m always smiling. Clearly it makes an impression!

      Like

  4. I love it!!!!

    You earned those comments, so work ’em! Great to use in interview situations, too… you can say, ‘well, students have told me I’m…’

    LOVE the comment about smelling nice. That really IS a compliment! 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks, Holly! I hope I do always smell nice. The teacher who was the subject of that comment was a little embarrassed, but I have to say, I much prefer that comment to the opposite!

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  5. Aww, Stacie, this was so nice to read. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy that your students have such nice things to say about you. (It doesn’t surprise me, mind you, but it does make me happy.)

    I think you’re a sensation, too, and I’ve never even met you in person! (One of these days I hope I get to.)

    Like

  6. JanetIsserlis

    yay to go, stacie

    here’s a thing – would you consider posting (maybe an edited version, maybe not?) to the diversity NIFL list – to get people to think about the ways in which students can reflect on the teachers, and — by extension, teachers can also share their comments and insights into/about their students?

    of course, none of these positive comments about you are at all surprising. i’m glad you got to hear them directly!

    Like

    1. Hi, Janet– I think I’m actually on the diversity list (I just never have time to read it!). It’s a little after the fact now, but I’d definitely post something about this to this list if you think it would be helpful.

      Like

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