17 Amazing Teachers Share Their Proudest Moments On The Job.
It can be difficult navigating one's relationships with a teacher. Ultimately, one hopes that the teacher in the classroom cares for the well-bring and future of each student their tasked with teaching.
Here are some moments where teachers were truly proud of their impact on their students.
For more of these responses, check out the source at the end of this article!
1/17. I was doing a stint at a local high school (Special Ed). One of the young men in my resource class could not read above a 4th grade level. His only motivation was passing the reading portion of the exam to become a fire fighter. Beyond that, he could care less about reading and he let me know that on a regular basis. No matter what I did, I could no get through to him and I felt like a failure.
A couple of years later I was walking in the park. It was an especially hot day and I was dressed in the skimpiest of tee shirts and shorts. I passed a bunch of young men who started hooting and hollering when they saw me. But then, as I passed by, one of these young men told the guys to shut up. "Hey, that's my teach, " he said. "She's cool." I smiled and said "Hello," and kept going. I hadn't gone far when he came running up to me. "Hey, teach, hold up," he said. "I wanted to thank you. You taught me how to read. I passed the exam and my dream came true. I am now a fireman. And I love it. You're the best."
2/17. In early days of my teaching, when I was going through learning experience as to how to teach, a student came to me at the end of the class and said, you have changed my way of thinking. I asked him how and he responded that previously, I used to throw away the remaining water in the glass after drinking, but since I took your class of ethics, instead of throwing away that remaining water (after drinking) in the glass on the ground, I throw it (remaining water) in the roots of the trees.
3/17. I worked as a tutor while I studied at U of Iowa. One of my students was having a horrible time with math and I discovered that her fundamental understanding of math was non-existent. So, I helped her essentially go over high school math and then algebra etc. When she was accepted into nursing program (her lifelong dream), she came to see me, gave me a big hug and said "My parents helped me craft my dream, you made it come true." As a 20-year old, I was blown over that someone would compare me with their parents... I strutted like a proud peacock for at least a whole week.
4/17. Sometimes it takes years to feel pride in what you are doing as a teacher. Seven years after I taught my first 7th grade English class, one of my most troublesome students (who dropped out of school to have a baby) contacted me to let me know she had gone back to school to earn her GED. She thanked me for believing in her and for praising the poetry she'd written that year with me. Now, that made me proud!
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5/17. I work as an asst. professor in a private university. It's a very posh university, with kids from all walks of life. The majority of the students are from the creamy layer. So when I ask a class of 40 students, "how many are interested in photography?", I counted 6 hands.
I got an opportunity to teaching photography to students in a rural, region of Tamilnadu (India). A class of 60 people, who have never touched a camera before. I asked them the same question, "how many were interested in photography ? "
I counted 60 hands. I mean 60.
We were discussing photography for a few hours and then, it was time for lunch break and the students refused to go to lunch saying that, they have this opportunity, for only a single day and they don't want to miss any part of it. I was awestruck.
What made me happy was, in the beginning of the class I had taught them a few different ways to wrap the camera around the arm. At the end of the class when they were taking photos of certificate distribution, I saw something similar to this.
A student who has never touched a DSLR camera before, wrapping the camera around his hand, while taking a photo.
That is when I knew I had made a change.
6/17. Over the years the proudest moments for me as a teacher have been when a young man or woman have stood before me and thanked me for a lesson that deeply affected their life. However more often then not they cannot recall the particular lesson that I taught but are deeply grateful for the way I made them feel.
For many of our students need someone to believe in them. Someone who is going to love them. Someone who is going to make them feel like they matter. Someone who is going to be demanding of them for no other reason then the unshakable belief that in every child is diamond waiting to be revealed. Their young minds don't usually recognize what we teachers have invested in them...years later they do...and when they come back and acknowledge us for making a difference to their lives...those become the proudest moments in a teachers life.
7/17. Seeing the person you are teaching and that's working really hard be successful is priceless.
Also, receiving a sincere "thank you" from a person who at first didn't much care about studying and now is very excited and thriving, is also priceless.
8/17. When a student who has been struggling in a subject, and who seemed to lack the mental wherewithall to grasp it, finally , through sheer perseverance and determination, masters it.
I have an algebra tutoree right now who came to me in October, totally lost. She not only lacked the basic skills needed to process algebra, she seemed to be unable to process math concepts in a normal manner. She could not comprehend or remember the most basic concepts...and I really do mean "basic" when I say that. Her other grades were excellent, but it really looked like she might have a learning disability when it came to math.
She struggled, and I struggled to help her, and there seemed to be so little hope for improvement that at times i wondered how she could keep going like she did. She never gave up. Even when she was so tired from school she could barely read the problems, she still tried her hardest to do them.
For five months I tried to find ways to communicate concepts so she could grasp them. We drilled stuff for hours that other kids would remember after the first try. She was depressed over how little good it did, but she never, ever gave up.
Five months later, she's finally getting it. She looks at a formula and can figure out what needs to be done. She got B's on a few tests, and while she's still struggling to keep up--it takes her a long time to grasp new concepts--it's clear that she's cleared whatever mental hurdle that was making math incomprehensible.
Last week she was doing homework and I asked if she needed help. She waved the offer off and said casually, "No thanks, I"m good." Her last test was an A. I'm so proud of her I could cry.
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9/17. My proudest moments were when a student who initially had little confidence they could complete a class, finished with good grades and I could see in their eyes the new level of energy and confidence they developed. My gratification was directly proportional to how far they advanced in terms of how empowered a student seemed to become when they realized they really could learn to use a PC program or code a diagnosis or be an effective medical assistant.
10/17. What makes a teacher proudest? Here are three things that have filled my heart as a teacher: when you see your students become lovers of learning, when you see your former students living life and enjoying it, and when you see yourself in your students and your students in yourself as champions of spreading social justice in a discombobulated society.
11/17. I gave some classes at University. I had a student, during the first lesson, I thought that she would not be able to cope, she had a lot of difficulties to understand all the tricky aspects of the ancient language I was teaching, and to remember the vocabulary.
Well, she took every single piece of advice I gave her, and she worked very hard, and I have never been as proud than the day I corrected the final (and most important) exam, and she had pretty good marks. I was very very proud of her, of all the work she had done.
And I was even prouder when I saw, the year after, that she had taken the next (and much harder) level, and she was doing well in it.
12/17. I had a student walk into my room after school (half day) before Christmas break. He was "bored." How he could be bored on the first day of vacation was beyond me. He finally had freedom, and we had only finished school 20 minutes before.
So I asked him what he wanted to be as an adult and he said "Lawyer."
My father was a lawyer, studying in his patrolcar while he worked for the police department, and his journey through law school, to his first office in an empty building to his eventual success, ten years into his career, stuck with me always. I felt qualified to help him. I knew how much work it took to succeed in that field.
So I told him, get the phone book, and call every law firm near you and ask to work for free there. They will say no, your job is to try, their job is to say no. Eventually, you'll find someone who doesn't say no.
He left, I forgot about it. Kids usually ignore what you teach. But when I got back from Winter break, he'd already started interning at a law firm, the 21st one he called.
The firm later played a key role in his adult life too, so somehow I did a great thing teaching him to work the phone, and not be afraid to hear "NO".
I consider that my biggest teacher victory. I taught him courage.
13/17. Whenever a student at the end of the year has thanked me for teaching them, I feel proud. It's not because of something I have done--I am proud because they have learned and made progress.
Some who have thanked me are students who are stronger than others, some are academically weaker, some are students who started the course not knowing how to learn, and some are those who think they don't care about learning. But they have all grown over the course of the year and made (in may cases, huge) strides. I am proud because it feels good to have helped them.
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14/17. A lecturer of mine once told me that she is never prouder than when one of her students surpasses her ability, as that is when she know she has done something right.
However I come from what I call a teaching family (my dad is a head teacher, mum a teacher, and brother a deputy head) and they would all say that nothing beats a genuine, sincere, 'thank you' at the end of term.
15/17. When I hear that any of my former students is doing well, and well respected or well liked by his/her colleagues.
When I left to start a new role as a trainer in corporate settings, Facebook was just starting to take flight and I didn't add too many of my former students, the ones who at the time were starting their university education.
Some of them added me later, and it was a weird, wonderful feeling to see them as proper adults, in that they were going out, dating seriously, starting their career, sharing the woes of professional lives, getting promoted, getting engaged... It was really rewarding to see them well adjusted, happy and you know, living their lives.
It might sound strange but I feel proud having a little contribution in the development of each of these young people.
16/17. I remember an incident, some 5 years back, my family was in hospital to pay visit to a close friend who got in a serious accident. All of a sudden, a doctor whom even my Dad failed to recognize, came and bowed down to my him, and he told him, "remember you used to teach me", and he was the chief surgeon of the hospital.
He called all his colleagues and introduced my Dad to everyone of them. He was that grateful of his teacher, my Dad had tears in his eyes. That day, I understood, teacher is known from his students, and the success of their students defines them.
17/17. To me, there are three moments when I felt proud while teaching:
1. When a student did much better than expected.
2. When a student who had been 'written' off as someone who would not make it, succeeds better than expected because he and I had faith that he would make it.
3. My proudest moments were when some of my students became better than me, while still teaching them. That was the time where I would brag about them all the time. There were times where I would put them in charge of certain functions, because I trusted that the would do a better job than me.
The last two moments have been stuck in my memory until today, more than twenty years since I left teaching.
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