Either one of these, (and many more contexts) have happened to you, dear reader, to be sure. It happened to me yesterday. A very cherished, very bright and wonderful young woman (who was my student two years ago) told me of her plans to study philosophy and the unspoken compliment was that the Philosophy for Teens course that she took with me was the reason for her decision. As I studied her face and demeanour, it occurred to me that she wanted me to feel not only proud of her but of myself for having been the mentor on her path. But I didn't feel that at all.
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When I think of the teachers who 'left their mark' on me, I see the same process and patterning. Their passion was contagious because it was authentic. Their questioning (that's the heart of philosophy) modelled good thinking and that's what did it for me because I found that in myself.
So my friends, do we really leave a mark or are we instrumental in helping our students connect to themselves? What do you think? I'd love to engage with you so leave a comment!