Tell us about a moment where you felt you really made a difference

Kim DunnellWithout making a difference to students, the purpose of teaching to me is limited. I have always felt the need to really go the extra mile when teaching and building a strong rapport with pupils in order to offer an impact within their lives.  During my second placement, I have had the opportunity to work closely with students to really make a difference. One student within a GCSE resit class I had really lacked confidence speaking in front of others, especially with anything that she may not understand. I arranged a one-to-one appointment with this student as part as a pastoral role I had, which allowed me to build a stronger teacher-pupil relationship, getting to know her goals and aspirations and discuss progress. In the lessons, I constantly praised her efforts to work. Following from then, over a period of lessons, the student started to gain confidence, and actively participated in class. 

The true effect of the impact came to light on the last day of my placement, when I received a gift and a card from the student saying ‘Thank you for the knowledge and insight you have given me. Although you are leaving your teachings will stay’. This was probably the most gratifying statement I have ever read. This moment hit me as a teacher, and I know this is a moment that I will take into my teaching career for the rest of my life. Sometimes it might not seem evident that you are making a difference, but this has taught me that every small interaction you have with a student is the essence of a bigger picture. 

Knowing that I have impacted many young people’s lives during my placement is a reward in itself. Throughout my experience so far, I could pinpoint more than one moment that I felt I had changed the mindset of a student, or acted as a positive influence. My whole experience with young people is truly rewarding when witnessing the change or hearing individuals say this. 

By Kim Dunnell

Find Kim on Twitter as @kimdmaths


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