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Just a Thought — Thank a teacher PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, February 01, 2014 9:00 PM

I consider myself a lifelong student. I love to learn. I know it sounds geeky…but I’m okay with being a lifelong geek, too.

I have had so many wonderful teachers over the years that it’s hard to pick a favorite. So I’ll go with who comes to mind first when I think of the impact they had on me.

 

Mr. Ginter was my fifth- grade teacher. I wasn’t very old then but he honestly awakened my soul in a way that’s still hard to put into words. He taught me so much about life, etiquette and poise. We had a “Top Banana” award; we had to know what was going on in the news to win. We also had the “Neat Cleat” award ­— he hung a cleat on the chalkboard (yes, we had those in my day) and each week whoever had the best handwriting won. He is hilarious. On “Obsolete Filmstrip Day,” he would show us old, cheesy filmstrips and we took turns reading each slide. It is embedded in my memory as one of the most hysterically fun activities I’ve ever experienced. He taught me that laughter is important, as I have always been such a serious student. As my cross-country coach from 7-12th grade, he taught me so much that it would take volumes of books to describe.

 

My biggest high school influence was Mr. Grindrod. He was known for being a tough English teacher and kids prayed they didn’t get him. He lived up to his reputation as being demanding. He also prepared me for college in a big way that I’d like to thank him for every day if I could. We had to have the legendary “10-pocket folder” in his class, which we jammed full of informational handouts. I still have mine. We wrote. And wrote. And wrote. And wrote. And wrote some more. I learned so much from him that I used in taking my college courses and subsequently teaching college courses. The “keyhole essay” format he taught us is one I still use. He laid the foundation for my writing.

Laura George was my favorite college professor, and I had her for several literature classes. Once I had her the first time, I signed up for every class of hers I could take. She is, in a word, brilliant. She has a way of being able to speak eloquently and brightly without being patronizing or condescending. She’s on your level. Besides all the literary knowledge I gleaned from her courses, she taught me that it’s okay to be who you are. She really broadened my horizons because she is not judgmental or prejudiced in any way. She is caring, accepting and open.

Just reflecting upon these few great people who I’ve had the chance to meet and learn from has me thinking of other teachers who I’d like to thank…for one, my mom. She taught for many years, and even though she was never my teacher, I learned a lot from watching her. So thank you, Mom.

Believe it or not, teachers don’t hear compliments too often. Even if it’s out of the blue, look up a past teacher or two or 10 and tell them how great they were. I remember every compliment I got as an instructor, because like I said, it doesn’t happen on a daily basis. Our educators go through so much; unless you do their job, you have no idea. Hearing a compliment could make their day in a big way. I probably sound like a geek again. I don’t care. To every educator out there: thank you. You need to hear it constantly.

Thank a teacher today.

Last Updated on Friday, January 31, 2014 9:22 PM
 

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