During the past few months I have seen and heard from a few of my former students. It was nice to know that I had a positive influence on some of the hundreds that I taught. They say I still look the same. (I think they may be exaggerating, but it’s nice to hear) Of course, the twenty and thirty year olds have to remind me who they are and when I taught them. After that, I think they are surprised that I have specific memories of them.
I was contacted by a young lady I taught in the eighth grade nearly twenty-five years ago. She told me that I was a terrific teacher who encouraged her to never give up on her artwork. What an awesome compliment! She wrote, illustrated and self-published a children’s book about learning to overcome negativity to become the person she dreamed of being. The book is Eat Cake by Angie Heard Piper, and it is available at The Book Rack in Prairieville, Louisiana.
As a teacher, one does not always see instant positive results; it often takes years before a student develops into the success we hope for. After thirty-plus years in the classroom, I am finally realizing that my hard work and high expectations are finally paying off. The dividend is hearing, “You really made a difference in my life.”
Note: I recently had the opportunity to see Angie. She is a lovely young woman, married and the mother of two, and is still pursuing her goals of becoming an artist and author.