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How Has a Teacher Impacted Your Child's Learning?

on Mon, 05/05/2014 - 10:10

When my son was a preschooler, I learned he didn’t join in with the group during singing or movement time when I dropped off a forgotten lunch box. He sat and watched while all the other children sang and danced.

Why wasn’t he doing what the other kids were doing? Concerned, I asked his teacher about it.  She shared, “Maybe he’ll join in when he’s more comfortable.”  Then she described how he played in the block area and outdoors with intensely and seriousness, organizing complex working groups of spaceship builders and space travelers.  She said, “I would really like to see him has an adult. I think he’ll be pretty interesting.”   She invited me to come back and observe that part of the day if I wanted to.

I did go back and visit and I can still remember the sound of his voice as he called out his ideas to his classmates, “We’re building the spaceship!” “Now we’re ready to take off! ”  His friends seemed inspired by his energy and enthused about their play. 

I vaguely recall that he eventually did join in singing and dancing with the group.  But I have no specific memory of that.   What I do remember is the spaceship he built, the way he called out to his friends, and his teacher saying, “I’d really like to see him as an adult.  I think he’ll be pretty interesting.”

She highlighted what to pay attention to.  She showed that she valued his learning style and that I should too.  She focused not on what he wasn’t doing but on what he was doing.

She helped me understand him as a learner.

How has your child's teacher impacted your child's learning? Share with us below.


Although I am now a mother of two, my thoughts of how a teacher can impact a child is quite memorable. I was orphaned at a young age, and lived from house to house as an emancipated minor. I always received good grades, but there was one time in particular where I received an excellent report card.  And my only reaction was to cry because I had nobody to share this with.  My biology teacher noticed!  He then went on to follow me closely, making sure I always did my homework in his office, which was a safe place to get my studies done.  He introduced me to the school social worker to facilitate my personal needs at home.  He was soon offered a position at another school that he longed for for years, and denied the position until I graduated.  He wisely knew that I couldn't bare to be abandoned again.  When I graduated, he had me become part of his family.  He gave me away at my wedding.  This biology teacher became my father. Sharing with me his own family, he gave me a mother and two brothers. I am alive today because of a teacher.  I am now a speech language pathologist.  I have just created an app which will be launching soon called Junganew: A Herd of Sounds.  I treat my clients with the compassion and love that was given to me.  And my hope is to pay it forward to as many children as I can reach via my app.  This fabulous teacher taught me to be the best teacher I can be.  I am forever grateful!      

I am  a retired art teacher, altho I continue teaching at my school in a volunteer capacity.  Many years ago, one of my third graders asked me how to mix " skin" color. It was a perfect teaching moment. I stood all of the kids around my demo table and we each put a hand in the center. I explained that skin color is determined by the amount of melanin in our skin. Then I asked the children to find two identical  hand colors,  which they could not do.  Then I showed, with tempera paint, how all the different colors  of our hands are made with the same colors in different amounts. As they mixed paint to match their own skin color, one of the little girls made the descovery that "we are all made of the same stuff, just different amounts", which was exactly what I wanted them to understand.  Recent studies suggest that some children of color  feel that lighter skin or lighter hair is more beautiful. I believe that this little lesson is one way of debunking that notion.

I like the comment of  the retired art teacher about" mixing colors"! She showed compassion and understand to the third graders question. Early childhood development is the foundation of Early childhood eductaion, and that teacher seem to understand that.