09 September 2014

Today is day 9 of the blogging challenge and the prompt was:

Write about one of your biggest accomplishments in your teaching that no one knows about (or may not care).

I believe that every good, invested teacher will have many accomplishments over the course of their career that it will be difficult to look back and choose just one as their biggest.  I feel as if I have come so far in my teaching- integrating (and mostly, accepting) technology, planning and running highly successful student trips to Italy and having colleagues come to ME for help and actually using my ideas!  At this point in my career, while I believe I have come vey far from my first rocky years, if I had to choose one accomplishment, it would be knowing that I have instilled in my students a love for the language, culture and beauty that make up Italy.  So many of my students have done study abroad programs in college to Italy and a few have even graduated college with a major in Italian! 

I'd like to share a story about a former student of mine who contacted me this past May inviting me to her graduation at Stony Brook University.  This is her e-mail to me:

"Ciao, come stai? Sono una studentessa previa di te. Ho fatto la laurea dal liceo di Comsewogue in 2005. Mi ricordi? Penso che saresti molto fiero sapere che adesso ricerverei la mia diploma dall`universita` di Stony Brook con un maggiore in italiano!

It's Amanda *****! I wanted to write to you because I knew that you'd be so proud of me. I just wanted to thank you for being a such good teacher and inspiring me to keep learning the language of my heritage. I don't know if you'd heard, but I was in a horrible car accident back in 2008 and had a traumatic brain injury. I've been recovering through the years, and it's been extremely challenging. But I'm happy to say that I'm come through with just a few small remaining problems, which I also hope to overcome. 
I have done very well in school, and I'm receiving top grades in my classes. 
Of course, I want to thank you so much, because your instruction started me on this course. I'll be graduating on May 23rd. If you're not busy that day at 1:30, I'd love it if you could come and see me graduate in the foreign language convocation ceremony in the Wang Center at SBU. 
 
Take care,
Amanda
 
When I received this email, I was immediately so proud of her and was so happy to have been an inspiration. I have always heard back from former students through email, Facebook or Twitter and I know that I have gained their respect and have had a positive impact on them but I wasn't prepared for Amanda's message. 

Just the other day, I received this Tweet from a student who graduated last year:

******                       Sep 4
None of my professors are like so basically college kinda sucks mi manchi
 
 
The letter from Amanda and emails and tweets like this are the reason I know I'm doing what I was meant to do.  They give me the motivation to keep going and keep getting better.  They are my greatest accomplishments.

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