I love a good teacher story and try to pass them along because it’s time for teachers to take charge of the negativity in our profession. Sharing good stories does more than make teachers feel good; these stories attract the best and brightest to consider a vocation as an educator. While stories of testing cheating scandals and failing schools make headlines, heartwarming stories most often go untold. Here’s the real story: educators make a difference! The even better news is you don’t have to be a teacher to make a difference in the next generation! So I plan on doing my part by sharing good stories of next-gen difference makers and those who influence them.
When I heard this story from my friend Carrie Hulsey, I was compelled to share it because it shows how powerful our influence can be. Here’s Carrie’s story:
“I started teaching 1st grade in 1994, and my first job was in a private school called Clarksville Academy. The lower school was so cute because the kindergarten classrooms and first-grade classrooms were held in two old white homes adjacent to one another. We all had fireplaces in our classrooms. It was a quaint setup for my first job. Well….I only taught there 1 year then we moved due to my husband’s job in the military. I left out of there never thinking what would occur over 20 years later. There was barely email on my first teaching job and of course no social media like Facebook. But this year in May of 2016, I had a young girl contact me saying, ‘Mrs. Hulsey, you probably don’t remember me, but I was in your first-grade class at Clarksville Academy over 20 years ago. My name is Anna. Most of the students still are around, but we have all graduated college and are working. Several of us were talking and wanted to know if you would meet us in Chattanooga, Tennessee next Saturday and have lunch with all of us?’ I was so taken back and could not recall but a few of the children’s names from our classroom. I had gotten married, had 2 children, moved 8 times and had 4 different teaching jobs since then…so I gave myself a free pass!
“I also was in awe because I myself could not recall my first-grade teacher and was shocked that they not only could remember my name but wanted to meet me three hours away to eat lunch.
“I, of course, agreed to meet them, and it was so wonderful to listen to what they remembered me teaching them as well as what they loved about me. I am now retired but want to leave all you awesome educators out there with one little bit: ‘Don’t ever underestimate the impression you make with children.’ They said I was a blessing in each of their lives, but I shared with them that day that they far out blessed me.”
Now it’s your turn. Encourage a teacher who has made a difference in your life. Be intentional about investing in the life of a young person. Finally, share a positive story and make the world a better place.