Thank a Teacher

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week! In honor of all of you who shape and mold young minds, I started thinking back on all of the teachers and mentors I’ve had in my life. Everyone has stories that immediately come to mind when they think about their education, which just goes to show how powerful teachers are.

It all starts in preschool, right? That was the year of accidents. My teachers wiped up my busted nose after I tripped on my own two feet crossing uneven pavement on a field trip. They comforted us when Kelly slipped off the monkey bars and broke her arm. As it is for many kids, preschool was my first introduction into formal education, and they helped orient me to the world of learning that was still to come.

I loved my kindergarten teacher so much that I once called her, “Mom” and then died of embarrassment. Enough said.

I had a fifth grade teacher who taught us about the stock market. We even broke up into teams and “played,” buying and selling shares based on the actual daily market fluctuations. My fifth grade understanding of the stock market is still my current level of actual trading knowledge.

In high school I had a slew of incredible teachers–my US History teacher was just about the best teacher I’ve had period. His class was so incredibly difficult, and he never let up. All of his students rose to his challenges. He made us tough, dedicated learners.

In college, I think I’d simply list every professor I had. Every single writing and English professor I took a class with carved a new mind out of my original one. I’m forever different because of the teachers and people they are.

I never saw any of these people up close, really. It wasn’t until I married a teacher that I saw behind the scenes just how dedicated, generous, and passionate these people are about their work, schools, students. My husband is, of course, my favorite teacher of all, and seeing him with his students, knowing what he does at home to support their lives and education, gives me a deeper appreciation for the work of the teachers who shaped my life.

“Thank you” seems inadequate to say to all of these people who take on such important work and give so much, but here it is. A thank you from Grammatical Art to all educators. “What we learn becomes part of who we are.” –Kathy R. Jeffords