At the moment, I’m preparing to become a teacher. I’ve never really seen myself doing anything else, and I like to think that’s because I’ve been blessed throughout my life with a truly wonderful assortment of teachers. For Teacher Appreciation Week, I thought I’d thank a few of those special people.
Mrs. Davis (kindergarten)… I’m so thankful for the frog-covered room and the singing and the constant kindness, even for the little girl who cried all the time. There could have been no one better to learn from during my first year of “real” school.
Ms. Smith (4th grade)… On my last day, Ms. Smith (who, I believe, is actually Mrs. Chattin) left a letter for me with my report card, encouraging me to grow and overcome my own perfectionist tendencies, to become my own person, and reminding me that others’ opinions don’t matter nearly as much as I think they do. I have not forgotten the care in that letter. I can only hope that one day I might encourage a student in the same way.
Mrs. Wrather (7th-8th grade science)… It is entirely likely that, despite a plethora of good science teachers, Mrs. Wrather is the only one to have ever managed to convince me that I like science. Her excitement in carefully explaining the simpler aspects of physical science have stuck with me throughout my educational journey– so much so that I continue to shock people when I reveal that I prefer chemistry to biology.
Mrs. Knight (8th grade language arts)… Despite the fact that I certainly did not stand out in her classroom (I mostly stuck to myself in the back row during middle school), Mrs. Knight continues to remember little old me. She was even kind enough to allow me to observe her classroom a few weeks ago, helping me with my decision to go into education.
Mr. Nance (9th-11th grade English)… Universally adored, Mr. Nance still makes every student feel welcome in his classroom. I was lucky enough to sit in his class for three years, and I sincerely regret not appreciating his brilliance while his student. It continues to amaze me that he is able to instill a love for literature in what seems like each and every one of his students. His passion drives his class and inspires me to someday become even half the teacher he is.
Ms. Smith, Ms. Warner and Mr. Jessup, Ms. DeBoer (the music teachers)… Even though I’m no longer playing horn, I continue to carry with me the lessons learned throughout my years studying music. I cannot begin to thank these people enough. Their confidence in me– from Ms. Smith pulling me aside and reminding me that I can succeed to Ms. DeBoer’s graceful understanding when I made the decision to I leave the department at MTSU– has blessed my life in more ways than they can ever know.
Sarah Warren… Sarah has never been my teacher, but I proudly call her my pseudo-sibling. Sarah has inspired me more than simply as a teacher, but I am thankful to have Sarah the Teacher in my life in addition to Sarah my Sister, Sarah the Mother, Sarah the Wife, Sarah the Disciple.
There have been countless others, about every one of whom I could say a kind word. (Well, most of them, anyway.) If I could speak to every teacher I’ve had over the past twenty years, I would thank each of them for inspiring me along the way. I hope that one day I am able to bless even one student in the same way that these special people have blessed me.