As many of you might know, I am taking the next step in my teaching career at a new school district this year. I started a couple of weeks ago and have been busy ever since. I will admit that my new position has left me stressed a bit, wondering how I am going to keep 100 teachers in three buildings happy. Today, after a great meeting with an elementary teacher on how she could integrate some new tech tools into her curriculum, I was headed back to my office in the high school.
As I was walking down the hallway I noticed a student walking down a hallway that intersected my hallway. The student walked past, and a second later reappeared. It caught me off guard as the student was quite a ways from me. The student approached me, never breaking eye contact and said, "Hello, my name is 'Emily.' Welcome to Aurora Public Schools!" while firmly shaking my hand. After an exchange of pleasantries, I proceeded to my office thinking about the positive impression this student just left on me. It was such a reaffirming experience for me, not mentioning the fact that it just solidified my decision to join the APS community.
As I was walking back to my office I thought about the many conversations we have with students on a daily basis throughout the school year. Sometimes we joke around with kids, sometimes we are serious. It really made me think of the impressions that I have made on my students. Was I positive? Did I always say the right thing? It's amazing to think that something you say to a student at school could be the only positive thing that they hear during their day. It's sad, but true.
We as educators have the ability to leave a lasting impression in the minds of our students by the simple things that we say to them. Likewise, as I learned today, these young students leave a lasting impression on us. An adult (probably more than one) in this young student's life has taught and encouraged her to be respectful, confident, friendly, courageous, and kind. As adults who have the opportunity to interact with young people daily, I urge each of you to go out of your way tomorrow to interact with that "one" student...leave an impression!
Have a great school year!