Most TEACHERS are TEACHERS because of a significant TEACHER they had in their academic careers! I had three of those significant TEACHERS, and I consider myself very lucky to have been placed in their classrooms and to have learned how to become the TEACHER I now am!
My junior year in high school was incredibly challenging. I had so much teenage angst, and I was living on a military post, thousands of miles away from what I had considered "home" and away from the family I loved. My home life was a daily struggle, and I escaped to school, truly believing that what I learned in my classrooms would open doors to me in my future.
But, before my school year started, I had been notified that one of my short stories had been published in a short story magazine. This led me to believe I was a talented author, and in absolutely NO need of instruction by any Language Arts or English TEACHER. Then came Mrs. Becker. She returned my first creative writing assignment with a big red B+ marked across the top right corner, and read ink splattered all over each of the 5 pages. I was appalled! How dare she? Did she know I was published? Yes, she did. But she didn't care... she knew I had more to learn, and she fought with me all year to make me a better writer. Thank you, Mrs. Becker!
Across the hall was Mr. Hurt's U.S. History classroom. He taught us by engaging us and demanding that we throw ourselves into history. He asked us to defend our opinions, and he encouraged us to stand up for our fellow man. He also pulled me from a fight as I stood to "defend" my best friend, sending the other girl to the office and me to class, and he led myself and a few of our classmates in defending a fellow student in his right to distribute flyers for his Sunday afternoon youth group. He gave me the courage and strength I needed to be who I knew I wanted to be. Thank you, Mr. Hurt!
And then there was my idol, my mentor, the person I still hope to one day become... Dr. Angene Wilson. Dr. Wilson was my academic adviser at the University of Kentucky, and she taught my methods class for becoming a Secondary Social Studies TEACHER! She had lived a life true to what she taught, and she set standards for each of her students that would push us toward the best that we had the potential to be. Her instruction made me the type of TEACHER I am today - one that encourages activity, refuses to accept apathy, and demands excellence. Thank you, Dr. Wilson!
On this National Teacher Day, I encourage you to thank those TEACHERS who have made a difference in your life. And for those of you who are TEACHERS, I wish for you, as I wish for myself, that we will some day have students placing our names on their Thank You List on National Teacher Day!
Want to do something with your students to commemorate National Teacher Day? Check out these great resources from the NEA!
Oh, and a SALE! Head on over to TpT today for the annual Teacher Appreciation Sale! Don't forget to use the coupon code and shop in my store for an added discount!