A recent episode of the new podcast Stories Teachers Share featured a former student reading from his middle-school journal, recalling how a teacher provided companionship and support at a time it was sorely needed. It’s an honest and poignant account of how a teacher made a real difference to the course of their pupil’s life, retold a decade and a half after the entry was written. What really makes the episode is that the teacher himself is on the line, listening to the recording and ready to reconnect with his former student. It makes for a very touching listen. So few teachers get to hear about the impact they’ve had on those they’ve taught, and it’s thrilling to hear it happen in real time.
Launched in January of this year, Stories Teachers Share is produced by MindShift and KQED and explores teachers’ experiences across America. The series was created by MindShift staff members Ki Sung and Katrina Schwartz and is inspired by the creativity, dedication and integrity of the educators they’ve met while working for the website.
Sung and Schwartz clearly have a lot of respect for teachers and know it’s not an easy job. As they explain: “There’s nothing so rewarding as watching a student “get it,” and kids are funny, sweet and thoughtful too. But teaching can also be lonely and isolating. It takes a lot of mental fortitude to continue being upbeat about math or reading, history or science, when some students come to school stressed or tired and others just don’t seem to want to listen.”
The series is seven episodes in so far, and although the producers are having a break from making the podcast for now, here’s to hoping it returns soon with more honest and compassionate classroom stories.
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