A teacher named Matt Eicheldinger shared a heartwarming story on Instagram about using sticky notes to connect with a non-verbal child and how it impacted both of their lives.
Teachers are continuously challenged to employ their utmost creativity when working with children. One day, they may focus on engaging introverted students who tend to be reserved in class discussions, while on another day, their attention might be directed toward supporting academically struggling children. Irrespective of the circumstances, teachers consistently generate a plethora of exciting ideas, though the outcomes may vary, with some proving successful while others may not. Similarly, a teacher Matt Eicheldinger shared a heart-warming story on Instagram about how he used sticky notes with a non-verbal child and how it impacted his life.
"Hello, my name is Matt and I'm a teacher. Today, I want to talk to you about a sticky note," he begins the video he posted on the platform. "Years ago, I had this kid who wouldn't speak, and when I say wouldn't speak, I mean, not at all, not one word and I never felt so ill-equipped as a teacher like I had no tools for this situation."
Initially, Eicheldinger thought there was no way of connecting with this child and started using sticky notes. "I just drew a cartoon and wrote a little note on a sticky note and put it on their desk every day," says the teacher. He kept doing that for the rest of the year. Eicheldinger recalls, "We had parent meetings and counselor meetings and psychologist meetings and we tried talking to the kids, just the kid didn't speak all year."
Two years later, he received an envelope in the mail. "I open up and what's inside is a single sticky note and on it said, 'I saved all your sticky notes. Thank you. You helped me more than you know,'" shares Eicheldinger, who is almost in tears. Eicheldinger recalls, "We had parent meetings and counselor meetings and psychologist meetings and we tried talking to the kids, just the kid didn't speak all year."
The teacher concludes, "That's what's kind of hard about teaching. You never get to know your impact most of the time. You never get to know, but I guarantee you that whatever you are doing, even the small things like a sticky note, they probably have made a huge difference."
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The video went viral, gaining about 2.2 million views. It is captioned, "Never underestimate your impact, even the small things to do." Many were emotional after reading about how the teacher impacted the child's life. @deloresrains2019 commented, "There’s always that one teacher who changes your life and you always remember. These students are so lucky to have you!" @netherland_girl wrote, "Well Matt, thanks for fogging up my eyeballs and making it difficult to read."
@i_come_with_baggage expressed, "That’s an awesome story. He probably looked forward to getting those sticky notes. They meant so much he kept them. But I’m most happy he told you that they meant a lot and that he kept them so that you did get to see that you make an impact on people's lives." @noraquarius said, "Matt, you have the most important job in the world. Obviously, you take it seriously and you care about your students. Thank you so much for reminding us how impactful teachers are on our children. We appreciate you more than you know."
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