Markers & Masking Tape

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There’s a strip of masking tape on my desk that’s old and peeling away, but I’ve kept it because of the fading message written in permanent ink. A former student aide wrote: “Best Teacher Ever!” She penned the message one day and never told me. I just sat down and noticed it. As the phrase slowly wears away, I wish I’d taken a picture.  Of course, I’m not the “Best Teacher Ever,” but I was even more surprised that the words were written by this particular student.

I have to confess that I had reservations about taking her on as an aide. She’d been in my class the year before and could be a handful—and by that I mean talkative and reticent. She didn’t always complete her schoolwork, and I signed her agenda so many times for skipping lunch detention that she had to be escorted to the cafeteria by an administrator for seven straight days. Even with doubts, I decided she could be my aide, and I’m glad I did. She completed every task, found more work to do when I had to focus on something else, and made me laugh with her sarcastic comments and eye rolling—I can’t help it; I’m really thirteen at heart. Over the year, she seemed to grow out of some of her self-consciousness and her grades slowly elevated in most of her classes.  While I celebrated her 8th grade promotion, in secret, I (selfishly) pouted that I wouldn’t get to see her everyday.

As a teacher, you might not have access to company jets, expensive spas and pricy restaurants, but I doubt a lot of powerful CEOs have days where they get a sincere message written on masking tape left on their desks.

Who was your “Best Teacher Ever”?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Markers & Masking Tape

  1. Gilberto Lobo

    DANA:
    ESTOY DE ACUERDO, LOS MENSAJES ESCRITOS Y LOS COMENTARIOS Y ACCIONES DE ALGUNOS DE NUESTROS ESTUDIANTES Y EL VER COMO CAMBIAN SON SATISFACCIONES INCREIBLES.
    YO TUVE LA FORTUNA DE TENER VARIOS MAESTROS QUE ME INSPIRARON, “EMPEZANDO POR MIS ADORABLES PADRES”.
    TUVE UN MAESTRO DE BIOLOGIA EN PREPARATORIA QUE ME ENSENO MUCHAS COSAS Y SOBRE TODO ME ENSENO A SER CURIOSO CON LAS COSAS QUE ME INTRIGABAN.

    COMO SIEMPRE DISFRUTO TUS HISTORIAS.
    CUIDATE Y SALUDOS A LOS TRES MOSQUETEROS
    GILBERTO

  2. El Sr. Lobo, nuestros padres siempre son nuestros primeros profesores, pero es tan maravilloso cuando se hacen nuestros mejores profesores también. Qué afortunado era para sus experiencias.

    • Pam Salvador

      Dana, I have never met you, but when your name came up, I wanted to see just what it was.I really enjoyed reading this story and think it is a nice message that alot of different people should read. Hope to meet you sometime. Take care

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