這是一封 2 年前，R老師寫給校長的e-mail 。
I went to bed last night with a smile. Here is the story.
When I was ready to leave the house for Karen's home yesterday afternoon, I received a phone call. Jacob Villarrel was on the other side of the line asking me how I am doing. I was confused at first but when I realized he was my student in my first year teaching, I was so excited I wish I can shack his hands over the phone. We were on the phone for about 10 minutes before I told him I will be back between 6:00 to 6:30 PM. We exchanged our cell phone numbers then I went to help Vern boarding their windows.
I got back home around 6:45 PM, but didn't see Jacob outside my house. I called him and he told me he had come by 6:00 PM earlier and left. I asked him to come back for dinner. He replied he will come by in 30 minutes. I waited, waited, and waited in the house walking around. I went outside talking to Linda who was watering the flowerbed. I kept checking incoming traffic but no sight of Jacob. I came inside the house sitting around and said to myself "maybe he got busy."
Suddenly Linda dashed into the kitchen from outside and said "they are here.
Richard, they are here." I opened the front door and saw Jacob, Luis, and Saul. They were smiling, waving at me while walking toward me. That picture of them brought back part of my memory 6 years ago. Six years ago in a evening after students went home, I was typing a science test for 7th grade. The classroom was quiet and kind of creepy. Suddenly, knock, knock, knock. "What da.. Who would that be?" I mumbled. I opened the door and there were Jacob and Luis holding a basketball. They put up big smile on their face and asked me "Mr. Chen, would you like to play basketball with us?" It was just like yesterday.
I welcome them in the living room. Show them the game room / exercise room.
Luis can't wait to try out the Bowflex while picking on Jacob at the same time, just like when they were in OLG. They had grown and mature so much I had to switch gear from talking to kids to talking to young adults. Somehow they still keep their unique personality.
Luis had brought his video games and insisted to play one vs two against Jacob and Soul. It was fun to watch them play and listen to Luis talking big. After pizza and chicken wings had arrived from Domino's, we started eating while they shared their memory of OLG and high school experience.
They also shared with me their goals to go to college. I was very, very, very impressed by their ideas. I shared with them my experience in college and at work both in Formosa and OLG. We joked and laughed in our conversation. Before we knew it, it was 10:45 PM so I had Jacob called his ride and sent them home.
After hearing their success in high school, I started to remember I used to worry about them and worry for them because they didn't see the "big picture" I wanted them to see. Suddenly I realized I can't force them to see the "big picture" but Time will mature them and then they will see the big picture. I realized I need to be patient in teaching the content, not the maturity. I can't teach kids to mature but Time can. I felt peace flowed through my mind. I thank God for bringing me these kids to change my perspective. I went to bed with a smile.
最近聽到說 Soul （音： 紹，那天來家裡的其中一個學生）就讀 UT Austin Chemical Engineering 化工系 ，功課不錯呢 ，真為他高興！ 一來UT 化工系是很棒的學校和科系，再者 Soul 初中時並不是成績很前面的學生，而且父母都不懂英文，Soul 一定是自己很努力的孩子。聽到教過的學生有很正面，很成功的成就，真是一件令老師超級超級愉快的事。
我在e-mail存檔裡看到R 寄給我的這個e-mail備份，於是把它po上來，當做ㄧ個好記錄給自己保存起來 。
「把學生當掉比較簡單，比較難的是要把學生都教到會，那才是重要 。 」