Or rather, maybe it’s they who leave their impact with us. (Or okay, we know it goes both ways.)
One in particular, was a girl who certainly didn’t start out that way. To say she wasn’t confident in her English ability would be an understatement; she was downright insecure. She was very shy and apparently did not have many friends.
I had made a habit of walking the room before the bell, greeting students; and early on, I complimented her as I did so. She was a fantastic artist.
Soon, she would come to my office just to say hello and show me her latest artwork. I am happy to say that throughout the year we developed a genuine friendship, as she would visit me after lunch almost daily, asking questions about the US or how to say a certain phrase she overheard somewhere.
Her homeroom teacher and others remarked to me on the incredible leap in her confidence with English, and in general. And I am so proud of her.
Finding the confidence to try to speak English is all I ever attempted to facilitate in any of my classes.
I also look forward to more of her art on my fridge.