Connections – Episode 19

Jodie had recently read an article that discussed how much better students do when they have a teacher more than one time. While the research applied to the elementary grades, she wondered if the same thing didn’t apply to college as well. As she thought about this, she found a memory that had a possible answer.

You were there at the beginning of my college career through until the end, and beyond. I remember sitting in your freshman class and hearing the messages that you had shared with hundreds of other students. You were incredibly proud of the fact that you had taught every student in our college. Who else could say that? You also made a point to get to know your students. I still vividly remember passing you at the tennis courts and being amazed that you recognized me and greeted me. No other professor knew his freshman students that well when they had so many.

I took a detour to another major and eventually realized it was a wrong turn. I walked out of a final and the first person I contacted was you. I knew you would be able to help me, and you quickly set my mind at ease as I finished packing up my apartment and moved away for my first internship. Things got crazy that year, but you were able to set a clear path to keep me on track to still graduate on time.

I continued to take classes from you throughout the rest of my time in college. Of course I took all the required classes, but I also signed up for many of your electives. I still have many of the notebooks you gave us as reference materials. You taught us the things we needed to know, all while injecting your own sense of humor. That made for some great classroom memories.

I also remember how proud you were of the achievements of your graduates. You cared about your students, always. I can’t stop thinking about the day that you broke the news to our class that one of our classmates had died in a freak accident over the weekend. The way it affected you was heartbreaking, but it reaffirmed how invested you were in all of us.

You were also loved by parents. My parents absolutely loved the updates they would get from you. No other professor did that kind of thing. And the things you included in our capstone class were special. The practical, real life issues of managing our future were praised more than any of the engineering principles you shared with us.

The time finally came for me to graduate. You knew that I was engaged to another former student of yours, and you told me to pick out a design and you would make a stained glass piece for us as a wedding gift. We were moving to Ohio so I asked for something to remind me of home. You made a stunning rhododendron for us. I keep it in the window of our guest room, and can see it every morning. You were a man with so many gifts and I am so honored to have been able to have you as my advisor, professor, and friend. I can only hope you taught me well enough that I can help to continue your legacy in both the workforce and the world.

Samantha – Class of 2011

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.