Sunday, July 09, 2006

Teachers Can Change Lives

All through school, I loved it. It never mattered whether I had a teacher I thought was great, mediocre, or just a bad teacher. Learning was in the blood! But, it is not always that way with some students. Some have learning disabilities, or just don't give a care about anything, even getting an education to make life easier.

I remember this one young boy with whom I graduated. He was in his third year of being a senior. I suppose he never thought he would make it through senior English in order to graduate. But, we had this teacher who came to his rescue in our senior year.She was new, and she loved teaching students, not just the subject. She said she would not have a failing student, and she didn't. Thanks to her, this young man excelled in English, and even literature! And, he graduated! But, what if he had not had that particular teacher to come to his rescue? Where would he be today?

Bill Wineke from Wisconsin writes about teachers who made a difference in his life, and his nephew's life. I think we often forget to give teachers credit for what they do in our lives. I remember this one teacher I loved, but some of the boys did not like her. They made life unbearable for her, when they were in her class. And, they quickly got sent to the principal's office. After all, they were just trying to get out of class. Sometimes it is these kind of students that make teachers wish they had never become a teacher in the first place.

I think the one teacher who made a difference in my life was my very first grade teacher. She made learning exciting. I loved to read, and she gave all those who loved to read and wanted to read the ability to read more. Back then, we had the Dick and Jane books. And, to a first grader, it was exciting to read about little children. I have no idea what first graders read today, but it's not the Dick and Jane series, I'm sure.

I do have one grandson who will be a fourth grader this next year, and somewhere along the way, someone has instilled in him the want to read. He is a straight A student. And, his brother, who will be a sixth grader also loves to read, and can tell you almost to the detail everything he reads. It is so encouraging to see these kids who love to read.

I also remember the principal that was over the school where I went my first 9 years. He was very strict, and also a little bit scarey. Of course, that was a young person's take of him; and, looking back, he wasn't scarey at all. He just had a big hand in the discipline of unruly kids! I wasn't unruly, but loved to talk. I remember our 5th grade teacher sending me and my best friend to him for talking. We thought, "we are going to get the dreaded paddle". But, it was the scare attached, since he only took us to his office, talked to us, and made us clean up his office. But, nevertheless, it stopped our unnecessary talking! Later, he became our teacher, and the fear left us.

Too often, teachers aren't told how much they are appreciated. And, after their death, we remember how much they meant to us. And, we have teachers that never fail to tell us how much they loved having us in class. One teacher in point was my business class teacher, Mrs. Glaze. When I see her even now, after all these years, she tells me that I was her best typing student 'that couldn't pass her last speed drill'. And, she is right. I was so nervous, and she gave me every period that day to pass that speed drill. The pressure was on, but I still came out with an A- in that class!! She was really a sweet teacher, as well.

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TheBizofKnowledge said...

I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your post today. It brought back so many memories of my own favorite teachers from over the years. And you're right about expressing gratitude before these teachers pass on. There's a thank you note to a particular teacher of mine that I've been trying to write for over a year now, and I think your post will finally give me the motivation to get it done. Thanks again!

Barbara said...

You are very welcome. There is one teacher I loved, and she lived near us. In fact, I have made custom drapes for her home. She was my Home Ec teacher. We were gone on vacation one year, and she passed away unexpectedly, and was buried before I got home. I've often wished I could have told her how much she meant to me. Perhaps she does know.

Carol said...

I only know the whereabouts of one of my old high school teachers. He's been on my mind of late. This has prompted me to go ahead and drop him a line.


Barbara said...

Good idea, Carol. Too often, I mean to do something, and let it go until it's too late. :(