Sunday, July 24, 2011

Making a Difference

I was a teacher for 38 years.  During that time, I taught or interacted with thousands of young people.  As hard as I tried, I was never quite sure if what I was doing was making any kind of difference.  Fortunately for me, I was able to see many of my former students latter on and a few would tell me how I had made a difference in their life.  Usually they would quote something I said (something I didn't even remember) or some action I had taken that helped them greatly.  It was great knowing that my  life work was really worth it.

Last night, I was attending my wife's 40th class reunion, which just happen to be my first year of teaching at the same school (I didn't meet my wife until after she graduated from college -- I know what you're thinking).  A man approached me and said "you don't know me, but you save my kids life and I just wanted to say thanks."  It turns I screened his son for learning disabilities and in the process I noted that his son might have ADDHD (Attention Deficit Disorder, Hyperactivity  Disorder).  I had a doctor friend that specialized in treating ADDHD students and I convince the father to have his son checked out.  As they say the rest is history.  Because of my screening and the doctors help, this young man graduated on time.  He now is married, has a great job and three teenage children.  The father still remembers the date of his son's first doctor appointment. I hardly remembered the event at all.  Just another day of doing my job.

Needless to say, I was very flattered by the man and thankful for his feedback.  I am sure he was giving me way too much credit.  But, it did make me feel good.  When I am King, I am going to encourage everyone to take time to thank one teacher that really made a difference -- it will help validate the efforts of so many good teachers.

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