Sunday, January 5, 2014

This Is Why I Teach

Over the holiday break, I received a beautifully written thank you letter from a former third grade student. Emily was one of my original bloggers, and she is now an eighth grader. As a teacher, I do my best to motivate and engage each student, to introduce young learners to a variety of learning experiences, but you don't always know the impact you have had on a person.

Sharing our blog at the LACOE 21st Century Learning Symposium

I am grateful to Emily for this beautiful gift. Not only does this personal letter bring me great joy, but it also underscores the importance of integrating technology in the classroom at an early age. 

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Dear Mrs. Yollis,

I was completing a school documentary the other day for National History Day, and while looking at my complex software, I started thinking. I wondered about how I started loving computers and when I wanted to understand more in depth about these fascinating systems. Then I realized, my knowledge started in your third-grade classroom. Your classroom and blog started it all. Before your class, I couldn’t type well. I knew close to nothing about the internet and computers, but today, I can proudly say I am a computer film editor who started as a blogger and kept going. So this email to you is mainly to thank you. During the summer, I intern at the city's TV station and edit. If I didn’t know what the internet and computers were, how could I edit? Well it’s a good thing you taught me about computers! So, Thank you for being that start to my knowledge of the computer. Words cannot describe how appreciative I am of you. Thank you for everything you taught me in third grade that put me where I am now. I really appreciate everything you ever taught me in school and online.

Thanks and Happy Holidays,
Emily, Eighth-Grade Editor

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What is something you have learned from a teacher? How has that knowledge impacted your life?

Are you introducing your students to technology?

Write a personal letter to someone who has helped you learn! 

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  1. Dear Mrs Yollis,

    What a lovely letter from your former student! I can imagine you were delighted to receive it.

    I often wonder what my former students are up to and I hope that they remember just a little bit of the things I taught them. It seems like you made a big impact on Emily. What is especially nice is that she took the time to write and let you know.

    It certainly is important to integrate technology into the classroom from a young age and you have done a wonderful job doing just that.

    Do you ever get the chance to see former students who have moved on to other schools?

    Your friend in Australia,
    Mrs Morris

    1. @ Mrs. Morris,

      It really was a lovely letter to receive! One of those special gifts a student gives a teacher.

      We do try our best, but never really know the outcome of our efforts. I so appreciate Emily's thoughtfulness. I have a long history with Emily's family. I had Emily and her three other siblings over the course of my teaching! In fact, I think Emily's older brother was in my very first class! :-)

      I do get visits from former students from time to time. Those visits really fill me up! Here is a link to a post about some visits one year: Former Students Visit

      Thanks for a wonderful comment and give little Novalie a kiss from me!

      Mrs. Y♥llis

  2. Dear Mrs Yollis,
    What a delightful story, and a lovely letter to receive. A great way to start the New Year!
    I am quite lucky, as we live in a small town so I usually get to hear what my former students get up to, and also bump into them from time to time.
    Your letter provides yet another strand to Mrs Morris's 'Benefits of Blogging' on her Ed Tech blog - perhaps it should now include a link to your letter!
    Mrs Monaghan

    1. @ Mrs. Monaghan,

      Yes, it certainly was a lovely letter!

      That must be nice to have such a close community. Our suburb is fairly large, plus I live about a 30 minute drive from school. Consequently, the visits are not as frequent as I would like.

      Yes, there are so many benefits of blogging, as we well know!

      Mrs. Y♥llis

  3. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    It's letters such as Emily's that remind us we need only plant the seeds of learning and the curiosity to tend them to see them grow strong in the minds of our students. :)

    Ross Mannell

    1. @ Mr. Mannell,

      You are so right! We plant the seeds, but we rarely get to see exactly where the learning goes. I love these types of letters.

      You continue to plant the seeds of learning throughout the world! Lucky us!

      Mrs. Y♥llis


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