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Ovation: World Teachers’ Day.

10/05/2012

It takes a really special person to be a teacher.  To be successful, they have to be extremely passionate, kind, caring and patient.  Most are teachers because they seek the rewards of watching a child learn and grow, of making a difference in those young lives and of seeing the impact that they can have on the future of our world.  They certainly don’t do it for the money.

I have vivid memories of teachers from my childhood.  Not necessarily memories of class work, tests or assignments but of scraps of wisdom that they shared with me either one-on-one or with my class.  For example, Mrs. K., in advance of an eight-grade open house, insisted that we all learn how to shake hands when we were introduced to parents of other students.  She demanded that we not use a “dead fish handshake”.  I’ve heard her words repeated in my mind as I’ve shaken thousands of hands in my lifetime.

Some of my high school teachers had also taught both of my parents in their classrooms.  It was always interesting to hear their stories about the teachers that I saw every day.  It was a unique situation and somehow made our bond a little closer.

When Mr. F. gathered my science class to watch him donate blood, I remember sitting cross-legged on the floor beside the gurney where he lay and passing out as I saw his blood run through the little tube and into a bag.  (I hit my head on the floor and completely stole the focus of the event from him.)  I will never forget this teacher.

Teachers do so much more than make us learn the items in their syllabus or lesson plans.  They help us grow.  Whether we’re kindergartners learning the difference between hard and soft or we’re returning college students seeking a degree in a field of study that we’ve always dreamed, teachers help us learn about ourselves.

I earned a degree in education but I’ve never taught in a classroom.  I never really felt the calling.  And I thought that it would be unfair to students for them to be instructed and judged by someone who wasn’t passionate about their success and willing to make personal sacrifices in order for them to achieve it.

Today is World Teachers’ Day, a day set aside to highlight, acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of those in the teaching profession.  The focus of the celebration is garner support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers all around the world.

Teachers are like second parents.  They are the people who help us to become all that we can be.  Surely, they should be recognized every day for the contributions and sacrifices that they make all for the greater good.  But, at the very least, on this one day of the year we should all find the time to thank a teacher for their efforts to inspire our nation’s students to become the best adults that they can be and, possibly, teachers themselves.  I remember many many teachers, from elementary school through college and beyond, and each of them left a little bit of their knowledge with me.

Thank a teacher every day … thank them all today.

Was/is there a special teacher in your life?

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From → Ovations

8 Comments
  1. The best teacher I ever had in my life has taught me nearly every day: my Dad, who is a retired school teacher, though he continues to teach every day.

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  2. I’ve been fortunate to have had many wonderful, caring, enthusiastic teachers throughout my educational journey. Teachers have been getting a lot of negative publicity lately. It’s nice to see something positive.

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  3. Carrie permalink

    excellent ovation! Kudos to all the educators in our lives. I remember fondly many teachers of many subjects. But, like your “dead fish hand” story, I think my most memorable phrase I can recall easily is from my high school orchestra conductor. We were learning Barber’s Adagio for Strings and we kept attacking entrances (not appropriate for the sound/mood of the piece). He told us to approach our entrances with the “cold toilet seat effect”. It worked.

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  4. I was urged by a couple of people to become a teacher, but, like you, I didn’t feel the calling. I too have fond memories of a couple of teachers who *taught* beyond the curriculum. I have thanked both, my teachers, and those of my children who excelled, and attempted to guide a few who didn’t.

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  5. As a teacher, I salute you with this post! It is a job I love, and, most days, is very rewarding. I have had the gamut of different teachers – good, bad and ugly – and I try to be the best I can for my students. Hopefully, one day, they will write a sweet story about me. 😉

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