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Students that have taught teachers a life lesson

March 20, 2014
James F Byrnes Freshman Academy



It’s not uncommon to hear of students who can recall a teacher from the past who has influenced their outlook on more than just academics. But when a teacher can recall a student who taught them something in return, something that made the countless hours and classic red pen marks worthwhile, those are the rare, nearly unheard of stories.

Virginia Ingram, math teacher at Byrnes Freshman Academy (BFA), said about her past and present students, “They often help me to see things from their perspective and keep me up to date on new trends.”

Some teachers have even been able to apply a more general lesson to their present classrooms simply due to experience. Robert Fowler, physical science teacher at BFA, said, “They’ve taught me a lot of stuff; mostly if you care about them and show it, then they will be willing to learn and excel in the classroom.”

Sue Shuping, English teacher at BFA, also responded with, “to practice patience and acceptance.” when speaking of what she has learned from her pupils.

Sergeant Sparkman, AFJROTC instructor at BFA, reminisced about a few particular past pupils who stood out, “I remember coming into class once. and I was trying to get the students to talk and converse amongst each other, to get them to understand each other better. And so I asked the class, I said, ‘What would you buy with $1 million?’  Most of them said something like ‘cars’ or ‘a big mansion’ and a few said they would donate some to charity.”

He went on, “I got to this one girl kind of towards the back, and she was usually real quiet and sweet, but she says ‘If I had $1million I would buy a tombstone for my mom.’ Of course everyone got real quiet, and you could tell they were thinking over their answers, realizing how materialistic most of them were….”

Another heartwarming story was from Kyle Baron, world geography teacher at BFA. “One of my students last year was the first person in his family to graduate from high school and I still keep in touch with him.”

Why do teachers sometimes stay in contact with graduated students?  Eric Taus, world geography teacher at BFA, said, “To see them grow. To see what they become. Teachers have a bond with students, like our children.”


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