Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The time when we learn from our students...

 Although I am on Facebook, I am not friends with anyone local or with any family members. My account, with the exception of a couple college friends, is purely professional or teaching related. Whether that is a good decision or bad one, it is mine.

Today a local news page came up in my feed. As I was reading about a fire at a local pizza place, I noticed a former student had commented on it. I admit I was curious about him, so I went to his page and quickly scanned some of his posts. One of them caught my eye because it was a letter addressed to "Teachers who have ever doubted me." 

Of course I had to read it. And it broke my heart.

He said teachers knew him as "the kid who always slept in class or the kid who never turned in homework, and 'the difficult kid who would flip burgers and live on welfare'." (Quoting one of his former teachers.)

He admitted that yes, he was a high school drop out but also a kid who was currently working hard at two jobs. 

His final message was this, "So what I say to you is give everyone a fair chance at life--we all learn different, live different, do different, BECAUSE WE ARE DIFFERENT!"

Signed, the kid who you didn't bother to know.

Ouch! That hurts.

Back in January of 2020, I saw this student and wrote about him in my notebook that night. I share that page below.

Although I am a teacher, some days I do the teaching...and some days I do the learning. 

Today was one of those days.

Note: Quinten's post was public, so I feel it is OK to share here. I shared this notebook page with him on his page. He commented back and told me it made him smile...and few other things that I will keep just between teacher and student!

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic


  1. Oh, Leigh Anne -- what a beautiful experience you've shared. I feel for him, and all the other kids who just don't fit into the boxes at school. I am so glad you connected with him.

  2. Leigh Anne, this was beautiful! I was just talking with some colleagues today about some students we worried about years ago when they were in our classes, and we still worry about them today.

  3. Leigh Anne - The Public Haunt is my blog...this is Kerry Chapman :)

  4. How beautiful, Leigh Anne. This is one of the many reasons that you are a wonderful gift to your students.

  5. This is an affirming story in so many ways. We can not always know how our attempts at connection are received, but I'm happy that you were able to re-connect with this hardworking young man.

  6. This almost brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this Leigh Anne. It reminds me to be mindful with the words I speak to my Scholars and to continue building relationships.

  7. As humans we are quick to judge. Usually we don’t know the whole story. You show kindness when writing the letter. Majority of people wouldn’t have taken the time.