Simple gesture a teacher's delight

Last updated 13:14 19/09/2012
HEARTFELT: The students' card and their messages.

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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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