Thursday, May 21, 2020

Remembering and feeling nostalgic

Pulled out a folder from my filing cabinet this afternoon that contained documents and photos from my years teaching. I hadn't looked through it for a long time and it brought back many memories. There were evaluations based on principal's observations of my teaching, letters and cards from students and parents. All were positive. It is quite possible I simply didn't save things that weren't. But it was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon and left me feeling pretty good about myself. There was a packet from my final year teaching, 2005 (I retired from James Madison Memorial High School in Madison, Wisconsin), that I particularly enjoyed reading: the result of a survey of seniors asking them to nominate an "Influential Teacher." The cover note read "Traditionally, these ballots have been destroyed after being counted, but I thought it would be nice to share these with you; it is not too often that we get positive feedback!" They were anonymous.

An example:

Obviously that is the sort of thing a teacher hopes might be said. There were quite a few and if there were negative evaluations they weren't passed on to me. A few others that I particularly enjoyed reading:

  • I learned a lot and he influenced my ways of thinking and showed you can command respect not by harsh discipline but by example.
  • He encouraged open discussion in his class even though he held a minority and often unpopular view. Furthermore, his classes were lively and encouraged thinking about a variety of political issues.
  • He has such a vast knowledge of his subject that he shares with his students. I've never had a teacher who knows his subject so well. He shares his own opinions but listens to others as well.
  • He is an expert at what he teaches. He seems to know the answer to any question his students ask and always treats his students with respect and as if they are intellectual equals, not inferiors.
  • I entered American Politics class knowing little and caring little about politics. However, Mr Skaggs's enthusiasm and wide-knowledge base made me very interested in something I cared very little for in the past.
  • As the sole influential conservative in the building, he brings diversity to the classroom and says what others won't. His retirement will truly mark the end of an era. He's the most learned person I think I've ever met in respect to politics and history.
  • Cuz he was da straight shit, yo!
It's been a good afternoon!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.