“You … inspired me to teach. It has been 15 enjoyable years thus far, teaching such subjects as professionalism, ethics, and clinical practice to dental students and residents. You also taught me to help those less advantaged in life. I have dedicated a significant portion of my practice to treating children with intellectual, neurodevelopmental, physical and social disabilities. These kids are often marginalized and over-looked in receiving the primary and specialty healthcare they deserve. “
“What a lovely letter. It is such an honor to be in a place of creating possibilities for students to recognize more of themselves, empowering their voices to speak up in support of truth seeking. I am amazed so often at the impact of the little things we do that are simply an expression of doing what is right. Nothing special, just the ordinary practice of being kind, of speaking out for justice, of sharing encouragement or offering understanding, celebrating courage or unique accomplishment – these simple ordinary acts can mean so much to someone when they happen to take place at just the right moment in just the right place. What a gift and privilege to be able to stand in that place over many years and keep up the care, keep conducting the Great Experiment in human learning and development. Thanks for sharing that marvelous expression of genuine gratitude and appreciation. It’s not why we do this work, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to get some acknowledgment every now and then that what we have done made a difference to someone.”
My hope is that every teacher and every educator can experience this kind of affirmation to know that what they do every day makes a difference and sometimes you might not know the results for years afterwards. But, know this; it’s all worth every moment you have the chance to interact with your students and colleagues. I had the blessings and benefits of 50 years of service and leadership. May you enjoy much the same!