Why one should thank students

This is beautifully put, I think. An old Chinese teacher explained to Richard Gerver why he taught in such a calm, cheerful way. The answer was:

“Every day, I stand in front of these young people, their faces full of expectation and hope, their energy radiating across the stale air of this room, and as I look across at them, I think to myself, somewhere in this room could be the person who finds the cure for cancer, the solution to world peace, could be the person who writes the next great symphony that moves mankind. There could be a future leader, doctor, nurse, teacher, Olympic champion. I don’s know, but what I do know is that they are out there and it is my job to identify and nurture that talent, not just for their own benefit but for possible the benefit of others. Is there any greater responsibility or opportunity than that? I am blessed, that is why I thank them.”

I’ve put this up on a wall in my classroom with a space where students can let me know how I can become a better teacher. The first suggestion was “Give us more chocolate”. The second was “Give us an outline of the whole year first rather than bit by bit please”. Which is a great idea, and one I’m guilty of not doing enough of.