There's an old cliche "to teach is to touch a life 4 ever" . I know this is true!
Not because I feel that I have had the honor of making that kind of impact but because that kind of teacher made an impact on my son's life.
Trent was one of those students that had a good heart but wouldn't always let other's see this. Life at school was a struggle and he was often misunderstood. He definitely wasn't an angel and when he got in trouble which was often (every other day) he usually deserved the punishment. He often refused to do his work. Reading and writing were a struggle. He had a low self esteem which lead to being overly defensive amongst peers or teachers.
Teachers were determined to be the one to make the difference and would often throw their hands up in frustration when they couldn't seem to "crack the code".
All except one teacher in middle school. She wasn't trying to "crack the code" instead appreciated his strengths and understood that he needed to feel that someone was in his corner. Her name is Mrs. Cordier and she teaches art. She expected him to complete assignments but let him express his interests through art. He sketched, painted, sculpted and crafted everything into snowmobiles, four wheelers, tractors, semis, and pickups. Most importantly she got to know him as a not just a student but a boy that had a lot of talents, just not talents that could be appreciated in a classroom. Mrs. Cordier could empathize with Trent's academic and emotional struggles. She realized that the only way to make an impact on a student's learning is to create a safe environment.
Unfortunately my son passed away before he graduated from high school but Mrs. Cordier's impact on his life was truly 4 ever and I will always be grateful for that and for not making me feel like an inferior parent.
Trent's art pieces that he created are some of our most valuable treasures that we have today that remind us of the good times with him.
Trent learned a lot in his art class during his middle school years but I think I learned more than he did.