I discovered PostSecret about two years ago. It’s a blog that began as a community art project by a gentleman by the name of Frank Warren and has blossomed into a world-wide phenomenon. People create a postcard with their secret and mail it to Frank. Each week, he posts several of the secrets he received on his blog.
This secret made me more sad than any I’ve read:
I feel sad for this teacher. He or she is looking only at the surface and not the substance of their students’ letter. So what if it was loaded with grammatical and punctuation mistakes? At least one of their students took the time to say thank you!
It reminds me of the parent of a poor soul my special education colleagues and I worked with last year. The parent insisted the child make nothing but A’s and when the child fell short, we all (student & staff) paid hell for it.
If I could say anything to this teacher, it would be this:
Accept the thanks. You may be the only teacher this student ever has the courage to say this to. If you can’t look past the surface errors into the heart of the message, you’ve missed one of the most important reasons for becoming an educator. You made a positive difference in another person’s life. Rejoice in this!