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Overcoming Adversity

stephen-bioAs teachers, how often do we stop to think about how much of an impact we could potentially make in the life of one of our students. Even if that student doesn’t ever thank us or even show marked improvement in their academic skills or behavior or whatever, we still may be helping him. Our job is often thankless. Our job is often life-changing. We will not know this side of heaven the number of lives we have changed.

I was recently contacted by a reader who shared an amazing story with me. This deaf man, Stephen J. Hopson, was changed by three simple words from his fifth grade teacher. The story, and the accompanying video, truly made me smile. I know that my high expectations upset my students sometimes, but when they get it, they are often noticeably happy. Some students come to us with advantages that others don’t have. Some come with disadvantages. We can be the pivot point in their lives. We can be the catalyst of a completely new outlook.

How can I learn more?
Go read his story
Go watch his video
Subscribe to his blog

For what it’s worth, he also asked me questions about my article on 25 WordPress Plugins Every Blog Should Have. If you run a blog that uses software, you really ought to check them out!


Joel Wagner
Joel Wagner (<strong><a href="">@sywtt</a></strong>) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. <strong><a href="">So You Want To Teach?</a></strong> is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

2 thoughts on “Overcoming Adversity

  1. Thank you for sharing my fifth grade teacher’s story with your readers. I hope they enjoy reading it and get a glimpse inside the powerful ripple effect she had on me eons ago!

  2. I was blown away by your story. I’m flattered that you contacted me and shared it with me. I hope my readers will be impacted by it as well.

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