With all of the hubub over public employee unions, our education system and whether teachers are overpaid or underpaid something important has been lost. So here is my question to ponder for today:
Who were your favorite classroom teachers over the years and why? I’d love to hear! I can think of several.
The first one I can think of is Mrs. H. She was determined to teach us good study habits. I detested her. She told us we couldn’t pass Spelling if we didn’t complete our workbooks. 2 of my classmates and I called her bluff. Yep. She failed us in Spelling (and threw in a D in reading to boot). She wrote in the teacher’s comments sections something like “if you can’t spell, you can’t read”. After that if a teacher said something, I did it. So she did me a huge favor.
My favorites in elementary school? No contest! Mr. S. and Sister R. Oh my gosh! They were like Sir in To Sir With Love. A week doesn’t go by to this day without me thinking of them. They taught us to think and reason, to believe and to try. There aren’t even words to fully describe the impact they had on my life…..
High school? English teachers: Mrs. S. (made me fall in love with English literature—i wanted to BE her), Mr. C. (taught us all about symbolism)…and then there was Mr. W. (Algebra II—predicted I’d use math always—and now i am a math tutor)….and Mr. —political science seminar teacher and freshman football coach. Oh my—can you picture that? He prodded and pushed us into becoming complete thinkers and stop parroting.
Each of these teachers made me fall in love with learning and life in very special ways. I really do not think that I could have become the person I became without these WONDERFUL, FABULOUS teachers. Their classrooms were a haven from peer pressure and loneliness. Their belief in me and other students created heaven on earth.
I have always tried to pay that gift forward to others. My teachers never gave up on me and never let me just “call it in”. They kept upping the bar and setting new goals for each of us. Mr. P., my U.S. History teacher always had me go to the library to prepare a research paper on each unit rather than sit in class. I just came the first day of the unit and received the assignment and the last day of the unit to hand in my paper and take the test. He knew I hungered for deeper knowledge and let me grab it with all the gusto. How special is that?
So, when I hear the song “To Sir With Love” I do always cry. Every time it brings back beautiful memories and makes me miss dear Mr. S., and reminds me that I have been given a special gift—wonderful teachers.
I know that our parents are our teachers, Jesus is our teacher and all of the saints, too…..but today I am fondly remembering my very special teachers….and wishing I could sit over a lengthy meal with each of them to tell them just how much they impacted my life….and let them know that some rewards in this life go WAY beyond material….Great will be their reward in heaven!
I had a number of other special teachers in college as well—Sr. Miriam Patrick Cooney chair of the Math Department especially comes to mind right now; but there were several others.
Truly, I can only think of a handful of teachers in my entire academic career that WEREN’T perfect for me. As I have said, I am so blessed. So the credit really doesn’t go to me for being a perennial optimist, does it?
I hope you will tell me about your teachers!