Tribute to Teachers
School is nearly out for the summer and at the conclusion of my second year of teaching, I have an even deeper appreciation for teachers.
Growing up in rural Oklahoma I was one of the weird kids–one who actually liked school. School was a refuge, a place I could soak up knowledge like thirsty ground, a place of sanctuary where teachers appreciated my love of learning. I didn’t like school for the social interaction (didn’t have any) or because I wasn’t picked on (back then smart girls got picked on a lot). I liked school because I had access to books and teachers who cared
So this blog is dedicated to some of those educators who took the time to encourage, inspire, and ignite my imagination:
Mrs. Bailey (1st grade) — you taught me life isn’t fair and I have to be responsible for myself
Mrs. Matheson (4th grade) — you provided so many interesting field trips and showed me there was a larger world out there
Mrs. Martin (5th grade science) — you introduced me to the exciting world of science and began a lifelong passion for all things scientific
My 6th grade English teacher — although I can’t recall your name, I do recall those wonderful Fridays when you read to us and took us exploring in so many new worlds
Mr. Gardner (8th grade science) — who issued a challenge I never backed down from
Mrs. Duke (High School English) — You taught me a writer’s duty is to write and are directly responsible for every book I’ve written. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Mrs. Moore (High School English) — You provided the impetus to study journalism through our mimeographed high school paper. Thanks for helping me realize my dream of being a newspaper editor.
Mr. Jameson (high school assistant principal) — You believed in me and gave me opportunities to advance. You taught me to love and understand that history is more than just names and places and dates on the pages of a book.
Mrs. Grant — thank you for all the hours in the library, making me feel at home, and teaching me the mechanics of books; as well as fueling my love for all things written.
Mr. Lovelace (college journalism professor) — you refined my ethics as a journalist and helped me believe in myself as a writer
Dr. Rader (college professor) — You introduced me to so many different cultures and showed me Africa is a continent, not a country.
Mrs. Cressup, Mrs. Maynard, and Mrs. Penifold. Thank you for your patience in teaching me to read music, sing and play the piano and organ. Your gifts did not make a world famous musician, but they did give me the skills to train others in faraway places. There is one young man who is a music leader in Ecuador whose early training in music came as a direct result of the things you taught me. Your gifts inspired him to study music at the university. Thank you for the gift that keeps on giving.
Finally, Coilla Smith, my AVID colleague, who taught me that being a teacher is more than just imparting knowledge. Your passion, enthusiasm, and compassion taught me more about teaching than any college degree could.