The lasting impact of teaching in Circle

I got this message recently, it’s from one of the students I had in my UWRF Class last semseter.  He gave me a new talking piece, made by his roomate an art major.  He has a class now with our UWRF Intern and Circle classmate:

Hey! Hows everything? Hope the new class is going as well as ours did… I will be coming for a sit in soon. This week is packed full of tests but next week looks better. John has had much to say about the new class even though we all know he’s not a “big” talker. I do believe that he’s opened up a great deal since last years class. We all left class with something. Again, the class was amazing! You can’t teach people the things you did in a “normal” classroom setting. I’m a believer of the circle process and would like to help out in circles outside of class if you need help.
The building of the circle didn’t die simply because we recieved our report cards. You wouldnt believe how much we see each other in our everyday lives. I hang out with John frequently.. if it wern’t for the class I would have never known him. Its nice to sit in our CJ classes now and have 8-10 people sitting around you that you’re comfortable with. The circle lives on!

I can’t think of anything more reinforcing.  The relationships between the students was obvious during our class time together.  I was really amazed at the level of sharing and storytelling the students selected for the last two classes.  The papers they wrote reflecting on the class were equally as moving.  I had the summer off (from teaching at UWRF).  When the next semester started, I saw one of my former students.  She saw me and immediately greeted me with enthusiasm, it was great, we had a warm embrace and she filled me in on her summer.  That really let me know that we had connected.  If you get the opportunity, try teaching in Circle, try Circle keeping for your family discussion.  There is a lasting impact even from just one Circle.