Mentioned In Posts

On the battlefield, there is lots happening. Occasionally someone does something good that gets mentioned in reports filed. Sometimes its an actual commendation and a medal is issued. Other times it’s just “so-and-so did this”, you know, his/her job…

As a teacher, I’ve been mentioned a few times, even fired a couple of times, for doing my job. Rarely, it’s one of the students whom I encounter years later that gives some feedback. Usually, it’s, “You must have taught us something because we did well later…”. Students can’t often say one lesson at some point made all the difference. It’s the report on the war of education rather than particular battles. I usually tried to do my best and I retired when that became harder. I enjoyed teaching despite the ups and downs and it’s good that someone takes the time to let me know I made a difference.


“Hello Mr. Pogson,
 
You might not remember me my name is ******, I was one of your students back when you lived in ******. I took computer information and Pure Math 20 with you. Though I may not have realized it at the time our encounter would later wind up changing my life. I am currently in the process of teaching myself how to program with Python and C/C++ (using raspberry pi) and have begun to fall in love with mathematics, computer science/electronics, and open source software, namely Linux! I am an undergrad at the University of Alberta in my last year studying sociology/biology. This however is not the end goal, I hope to attend the U of M next Fall and seek to obtain an electrical engineering degree with an engineering physics focus and computer science minor. The only reason I am telling you all of this is because of a revelation I had thinking back to your classes in high school. The introduction to Linux and math at the time was indeed a bit of a shock, but it always left me with embers of curiosity, embers that are now beginning to emerge as a roaring flame. I wanted to say thank you for the introduction to this wonderful world of science, math, electronics, and computing. I hope to one day spark that same curiosity in some other young mind.
 
Keep up the good fight,
 
*******”


Well, thank you. It’s good to know I made a difference in your life, even if it was only to plant a few seeds. In gardening or farming, it’s the same. One invests planning/effort/time/money and hopes disaster doesn’t befall the project. I’ve met a few students who have made huge progress partly as a result of my teaching. Sadly, one died young after graduating college. Others acquired a love of mathematics/computing. Quoting Forrest Gump, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”. Only one thing’s sure. If you don’t try, you won’t succeed. Here’s to trying. 💡

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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2 Responses to Mentioned In Posts

  1. ram says:

    Congratulations! For every one student that is able to locate you and then goes through the effort to write you there are probably thousands that haven’t. I know there were only a few teachers that made the difference in my life (I have a Ph.D. in Engineering Science and have long been a director of several companies), but I have no idea where those teachers went off to or if they are even still alive. I do know this, I was not alone, as I am aware of, and still in touch with some of my old classmates.
    Again, congratulations 🙂

  2. DrLoser says:

    Quaantitatively speaking, Robert, one is practically indistinguishable from zero. Remind us again how many thousands of educators and students you “influenced?”

    Not, evidently, in this case by your fervent adherence to Pascal. By the way, how is that Net-Friendly port of GEBC getting along? It’s been a while.

    Thousands of students crippled for life, and all you have to offer up to us is a plaudit from this imbecile who is still piddling around with a Raspberry Pi?

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