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May 25, 2012

Several years ago a dear friend who is also a teacher not only shared a classroom project with me, but included me in her activity.

I received a letter from her that had a handmade button with a ribbon inside.

The letter said:

Hi Linda!

Enclosed is a “WHO I AM MAKES A DIFFERENCE” pin and was made by one of my students. I am giving it to you because you have made a difference in my life by always encouraging me and telling me what good traits I had as a teacher. You definitely made a difference in my life.

This started as a guidance project in my class. Students made 3 pins in Art not really knowing why they were making them. Last week I called each student up in front of my class and told them how they had made a difference not only in my life, but also to the whole class. Then I pinned one of their 3 pins on them and told them to give the other two to someone who had really made a difference in their lives. One of my students walked right up to me and said that I was “the best teacher she could ever hope to have, and would I please pass the third pin on to someone who had made a difference in my life.” So Linda, I am passing her third pin on to you.

Needless to say I was very touched to have a pin from both my friend and her student. None of us survive or thrive alone. We need support and encouragement, and we need to share that principle with our students.

This makes a perfect end of the year activity to share with each student the positive impact they have had on our lives as teachers. They have all taught us something or challenged us to learn something for ourselves.

I also suggest you take the opportunity to tell family, friends, or colleagues if they have made a difference in your life. This year will see principals and teachers who have been my mentors and unwavering supporters retire from the classroom, school, and university. These people have made a difference in my life and so have made a difference in the lives of all my students.

Thank you!

Below is my template for the “Difference” button.

Template for Who I Am Makes a Difference pin.

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