The following made-up letters are an exercise to help us reflect on the influence we can have on students.
Dear Math Teacher,
Remember me? I was in your Math 12 class 10 years ago. Now I am working as a computer engineer. I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciated the way you encouraged me in Math that year. I still remember the day when four of us girls came to your room after school to talk about what we want to do in life. You told us that we can achieve our dreams, if we set our mind and worked hard at it. You challenged us to write the Euclid Math Test. It gave me the confidence and courage to tackle new problems, and do well on the provincial exams. That helped me get into UBC and into engineering school. Now I have graduated from UBC and got my first job in telecommunications doing hardware design. I just wanted to say THANK YOU.
Forever Grateful Student
Dear Math Teacher,
I just don't get. I never got it when you were teaching me math back in grade 11 (must have been ten years ago), and I still don't get it. You always doted on your favourite students, but left the rest of us behind. Failing your course just made me shut-down in Math. Even though I eventually graduated from high school, I wish I can understand math better and be better in arithmetic (ok, I know that's elementary school stuff) because working here in the warehouse at Walmart really isn't fun. You went through your problems in class so quickly and I just couldn't follow, and you didn't notice that I was struggling. Now when I see others doing math or computers or business getting great jobs, I am angry. Angry and disappointed that I did not have the chance or opportunity to go down that path. I wish I could do it again. But now I am busy earning a living, and so I can't.
I'm not blaming you, I'm just letting you know how life is for a failure Math student.