What Students Don’t Know

By: Erin Parker Last Updated: July 21, 2014

sparkforchange rotator2-newI am here to set the record straight once and for all. I am going to debunk a myth that too many people believe. You all must know the sacred truth that it is the students, NOT the teachers, who make the impact and have the biggest influence.

Say what? While I love the praise that teachers get for the difference they often make in students' lives, I in no way will ever impact students as much as they have impacted me. We teachers are the lucky ones. Sure we have some ever challenging students who make each day an adventure, but the good far FAR outweighs the bad. I am surrounded daily by young adults who amaze and inspire me with their creativity, intelligence, kindness, humor, determination, bravery, and maturity. I work with kids who, when outside the school walls, are faced with obstacles that I would never wish upon my worst enemy, yet those students come and give me their best each day. They work hard to ensure that their future will be different than their present. I have students who are exhausted due to working until 2 AM because they are helping their parents pay the bills. They have a determination that I dream of having.

I have students who I know will change the world. They see things in a different way. They have a love for others and a passion for making a difference that leaves me speechless.

secret-life-bees(on right) Project turned in for Mrs. Cooper's class after reading Secret Life of Bees

We have students who turn in work like this: a painting entitled "Color Blind" about equality that is mindbogglingly powerful. There is the fist symbolizing equality for African Americans, and the hands above are how one would say "equal" in sign language. Students do work like this, and teachers say that we make a difference? No way.

I have only taught for four years, but my life has been changed forever by all of my students. My students are my heroes. I am beyond blessed to work with such remarkable human beings. I refuse to wear the super hero cape. I give that back to all of the kids sitting in the desks in room J.12. Those are the real difference makers. I may not have the biggest bank account, but I know my heart is full of pride and admiration for all my students.

Go do good things,

EP