WB students were asked one simple question,
“How has a West Bridgewater teacher made a difference in your life? “
This video was created to show on the first day of school. “Every single one of you can make a positive difference in the life of a child,” said Superintendent Patty Oakley as she addressed the crowd of teachers. “It’s making that personal connection with the kid that you teach, and that’s what makes a teacher effective,” said Oakley.
She assured teachers that content and instruction come only after a student feels valued and understood by the teacher.
“It’s understanding why a student may be a little off on a given day, or taking time to help that student go a little further that day… every person wants to feel special and that you matter to someone,” said Oakley.
She shared the Starfish Story, of a woman walking along a shore one morning and hurling beached starfish, one by one, back into the sea. When a passerby insists that there are thousands of starfish on the sand—so how could it possibly make a difference, the woman smiles and shrugs, saying, “It made a difference to that one!”
Dr. Oakley likened the day-to-day challenges of a teacher to the woman returning starfish to the ocean. “What you do matters,” said Oakley, “and you are the most important thing in their lives and education right now.”
“We remember our best and we remember our worst teachers… so when kids talk about teachers, which category do you want to be remembered in?”
“You don’t always hear it, but you might hear it years later,” said Oakley, how something you did or said made a difference to a student.”
She shared a fabulous video coordinated by TV Production teacher Scott Cray and led by Abby Bedard Myah Lee and and Megan Adams who interviewed preschoolers through adults about West Bridgewater teachers who made a difference.