Simple gesture a teacher's delight
Earlier this year I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. I had surgery in May but I had several complications.
While I was in hospital, and much to my surprise, in walked a young woman, Amber Scott, from my school form class.
Teaching was a mid-life career change for me. Before teaching I had worked in investments.
I started teaching at Rangiora high school in 2005 and had the same form class from 2005 (Y10) through 2008 (Y13).
Amber presented me with a hand-made A2 sized get well card. The card was signed by her and the students in my form class from 2005-2008.
I was so proud of how they signed their names: "Honours Student in International Diplomacy"; "Honours in Psychology"; "Finance and Accounting - Otago University"; "PE Teacher"; "Bartender".
In their own ways, with their own talents, all of my students have turned out to be such wonderful young men and women. I am incredibly proud of the achievements of every last one of them.
I was so humbled by what my former students wrote on my card: "Thanks for the awesome memories"; "I thought you were nagging at me at high school and now realise you always had my best interests at heart"; "You are an incredible man"; "You did well and mean so much to us all."
I never realised that I had made such a positive difference to these men and women.
I have had their get-well card framed. It hangs centre stage in my living room and to me is the most valuable piece of artwork I have ever owned in my life. I will cherish it forever.
Watching stroppy teenagers turn into caring, productive, fine young men and women - that's why I teach. It's the best job in the world.
* Thomas Tripp is back teaching after his treatment
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