Saturday, December 17, 2016

What's the most touching thing to say to a teacher?

What's the most touching thing to say to a teacher?

The question was, "What's the most touching thing to say to a teacher?" There were many fine answers, and all of them said more or less the same thing: thank your teacher for changing your life.

I agree that telling your teacher “thank you” can be touching, but in my 60+ years of teaching, it’s only the second most touching thing. So, what’s the most touching?

What touches me most is when a student teaches me something I did not know. That shows me that the student has become a contemporary, a grown-up person who will go on to teach others, part of the great chain of “paying forward.” When that happens, I know that I have succeeded in some small way of helping that student and the world in which we all live. That’s what touches me the deepest.

Moreover, in my career such learning has happened thousands of times. If I am a better teacher today, a better human being, I owe it all to my students. Thank you, students. Thank you.

See, Experiential Learning for more on how and why I learn from my students, so you, too, can be touched by what they teach you.

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