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The impact I witnessed: A teacher’s reflection

Photo provided by author

By Nandini Aggarwal (she/her), teacher, Surrey


Amidst the changing colours of autumn, I had the privilege of receiving a profoundly touching message from one of my students. It wasn’t just a thank you note; it was a poignant reminder of the profound influence a teacher can have on a young life.


In their heartfelt message, my student expressed deep gratitude for being seen as capable and important. It was a powerful acknowledgment that every smile, every word of encouragement, and every belief in their abilities had made a world of difference. But what truly touched my heart was not the appreciation directed at me, but the transformation I had witnessed in this student.


This transformation spoke volumes about the importance of understanding the back-grounds from which students come. In this case, the student’s background was unique, and they needed simple acts of belief and support, not grand gestures. It was a revelation of how little it takes to inspire and motivate a young person to believe in themselves. For instance, a small act of belief and support could be as simple as acknowledging their efforts or offering encouragement during challenging times.


In my role as a teacher, I take intentional steps to try to ensure all students feel genuinely embraced within our school community. I made a point to acknowledge this student’s contributions in class and offered reassurance when I saw them being challenged by certain subjects. I regularly emphasize my availability for support as I remind students that progress happens at your own pace.


My overarching goal as a teacher is to create an environment where all students feel truly valued, supported, and confident as they embark on their educational journeys. This experience with this particular student served as a reminder that a kind word, a smile, and unwavering belief can create a profound impact on the life of a student.


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