Encouraging Exchange With A Student

When the going gets tough, sometimes the tough get just enough encouragement to keep going. The following email exchange took place recently.

I posted the following in response to a student’s submission of a reading journal:
I love that you attach the assignments as jpg images! May I have your permission to share them in the future? They are great evidence that there’s more than one way to do a thorough job using an electronic text! Also, I’d like to follow up on one of your responses about interacting with instructors. I hope I haven’t given any indication that I wouldn’t welcome contact with you outside of class or given the impression that I would think you “not smart enough”. If I have, please give me an opportunity to make amends. I believe every human being has the capacity for genius-sized intelligence and feel honored that learners allow me to accompany them on their journey to discover it.

Looking forward,

To which Student responded:

I’m so glad you love that I attach the journal assignments as jpg images! Yes, you have my permission to share them in the future. To be honest I wasn’t quite sure they would be acceptable. I read the class Syllabus and weekly assignments over and over. I did not see any restrictions on how to structure the weekly chapter journal exercises so I hoped they would be acceptable.

Regarding my responses about interacting with instructors. I think its great that you feel honored to accompany students on their journey to discover intelligence! It’s nice to hear an instructor still have the same passion to teach as though they just discovered passion. Afterall, this passion drove your heart and mind into your chosen career. You have not given me any impression that would think that I’m “not smart enough”. This thought stems from past instructors The only negative thoughts I’ve had about this class is that I feel my grade is not what I worked endless hours on. I’ve spent up to 8 hours straight on just one chapter assignment. I feel I work very hard and read the directions on each assignment carefully. Maybe I’m just not understanding clearly. I have learned I need a lot of work on my grammar, punctuations, etc. I am shy about approaching others I don’t know. Thank you for your encouraging email! I’m enjoying this class and the psychology behind everything we say or do and how it affects the way we interact with others!

Thank you,

Simple pleasures in the life of an educator make that life possible even if I know there is no magic bullet and we are not in this to “win” any war but because the battle for unleashing initiative and cultivating compassionate human intelligence must be waged.

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