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Thursday, January 15, 2015

What makes teachers proud

I've been teaching for a very long time - since 1978. So you can guess many students have passed my way. Good ones and a few bad apples.

One of my former students now is in jail for murdering an old lady - a robbery gone bad. And that only for not even 20 Euro! Another one is a known drug dealer.

For most of my ex-students are man and women to be proud of. And curiously, it are the ones who used to get the most remarks that are now among the best!!!

About fifteen year ago, I was head teacher of 3 MT (Modern Languages). A class of 14-year-olds full of misschief. I had to have eyes on my back. I recall I went to that classroom before the lessons began, to check what they had done that day. Once they had put a push pin on my chair. Of course I knew who was responsible, so I just switched the pin from my chair to his... That was a laugh!

But that guy is now a well-respected biologist who has studied in England! And another one of that class writes for a national newspaper, while his cousin (who was also in one of my classes) is a playright and author.

Most of these ex-students are among my friends on Facebook. The requests all came from them, mind. So I can follow their exploits - watch all the marriages, births of children, ...

That is so satisfying. I don't have kids myself but I take pride in what my students do. Well, Amidou (a young guy from Senegal, whom I taught Dutch) once told me very sincerely that he considered me as 'The Mother of Okan' (Okan being the form of education especially specialised in teaching foreigners the language of the country.) In his culture mothers and grandmothers get a lot of respect because they are wise. That was a great compliment!

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