What really counts?Today was a very special day for my students and for me. We welcomed an English teacher from Brazil to our classroom. She is here in the USA to study the American education...

What really counts?Today was a very special day for my students and for me. We welcomed an English teacher from Brazil to our classroom. She is here in the USA to study the American education system. As I reflected upon our first day together, it occured to me that this was the first day in quite awhile I haven't been thinking about assessment, data, numbers, etc., yet it was also the first day in awhile that I felt my students were getting an experience that will impact their lives in a very profound way. Over the next three months, our friend from Brazil will be using her experience to help shape the future of Brazil's education system. We are so honored to have her at our school in our classroom. There is not an assessment out there that can measure the potential learning this experience will afford me, my students, and all involved, especially our guest teacher. Have you had an experience lately that has had a profound effect on you or your students?

Asked on by reiton

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

What really counts to me is allowing students to use literature to express themselves.  Yes, we usually have them do this through essays and sometimes even poetry, but I like to think outside the box a bit especially when it comes to Transcendentalism.  My assignment is a take on one from Dead Poets Society (the one where they kick the balls after yelling out a quote), but I put my own spin on it for the kids' sake.

In trying to get the students to understand the concept of "the oversoul" as well as the theme of "Self-Reliance," I have the students choose their absolute favorite quote (it can be one of their own, a famous one from literature, a song lyric, ... whatever).  Their job is simply to memorize that quote.  MY job is to take them to the bottom of large hill and challenge them to run up the hill one at a time and yell the quote out to the world.  What they don't know is that I blast inspirational music like the "Alleluia" chorus and the Superman theme in the background.  It has the potential of becoming a student's first and/or ultimate expression of self in high school (a place that often breeds conformity).

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I began coaching my school's Speech and Debate team this year.  It has been very hard, because there is so much to learn and I often felt like I was not doing my team justice because I don't have as much experience.  However as we went to more and more events, and as more and more kids (younger ones) began joining the team, I realized that learning for learning's sake can still be fun.  These kids taught me that there is more to be enjoyed in working hard and learning a lot than in worrying about test scores or even winning or losing.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

The profound experience is different for everyone, but sometimes that moment gets lost in the day-to-day grind. I would suspect, that you have, in your everyday instruction, a profound effect on your students. We all affect our students in profound ways, but we might not know it at the time. We just have to believe that we are making a difference.

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