Every year our students have the opportunity to Thank their teachers.. This year it snuck up on me and sadly.. I forgot to have my daughter do something for her teachers! But I realized that even after being out of school over 10 years, that I need to thank those who made SUCH a big impact on my life. So here goes…
In 2nd Grade, I had an amazing Teacher- Her name was Ms. Willis and she was the most amazing, kind woman. 2nd grade was a hard transition year for me in my life, and this women would deal with my tantrums, my antics and even my attitude (Yes it started young) I know my mom remembers well, and so do I , a time I refused to get on the bus. I have no recollection of why.. and mom if you know don’t remind me.. But My mom walked up to the school to find my Loving teacher sitting patiently on the Bench while I hide underneath. This teacher taught me a love for imagination, reading and the difference between reality and fantasy ( though I think the lesson was learned later in life). As well as a love for my mom. She also taught me that in the end it never was that bad and that somehow I would make it through!
In 6th grade, I had another transition year in my life. I had just moved to California and I went from Riches to Rags in no time (not really but to an 11 year old, it seemed that way) The kids out here were mean and cruel and I truly hated school. But I had a teacher who was understanding, Mrs. Hopper. She taught me how to be accepted and how to accept myself. Her patience and support helped me make it through 6th grade and I continued to love her for many years (especially since she lived near me and I would go by her house a lot! My friend lived right next door!) She is always in my memories and I loved the impact she made on me!
There is a teacher who meant a lot, though now after all this time, sadly I have forgotten her name.. But I feel she deserves mentioning on this post. She was the special education teacher at our middle school, as well as the drama teacher for my 6th grade class. She taught me a love for theatre, but also supported me when I wanted to help her in her class. When I was in 8th grade, She created a teachers aide position for me. I truly was inspired by her and developed a love for those who could not do things for themselves. She taught me to love everyone, even those who were different. She taught me to stand up to the bullies (Sadly not for myself, but for those who could not do it for themselves) and she gave me a fantastic gift. She created a program during 8th grade Graduation that allowed those who had spent 3 years working with and being “friends” with her students, to share that special moment and “walk” to receive our diplomas with a Special Ed student. I still remember the boy I walked with and truly still feel the joy from 3 years worth of “GOOD WORK”. At one point I thought I would take after her and become a special Education teacher. too bad she did not also teach me patience!!!
In 8th grade, I had the most amazing Science teacher! Mr. Rodgers. I hated Science and was dreading the year ahead.. But Mr. Rodgers was a teacher who engaged and who taught me a love for science! He was very good looking so I think my mini crush on him helped me to pay attention more. However, He taught me a Love and Hate relationship with earthquakes and made me want to find out more! He also had some of the BEST Experiments ever!!! Amazingly he is still at the Middle School I attended and 20 Years later I truly hope that my daughter gets a chance to be in his class (in fact if he is still there in 1 1/2 years I may be requesting for her to be in his class! Poor him! )
In 9th grade I went through another transition- School was boring and sucked for me, I can truly say I HATED IT! – so My mom put me into Independent studies. My Dear Teacher, Mrs. Hockwalt was the first teacher I got in the program, and her loving kindness showed me that I could do anything I dreamed. She inspired me to do better and made me turn my life around. In fact when my daughter first started school I debated putting her into the program because Mrs. Hockwalt taught the kindergartners. I was very sadden to hear when I went to visit though that she would be retiring and would not be continuing the year my daughter would start. But she recommended that I place my daughter in traditional school to begin with to give her a chance to socialize and I appreciate her for that!
There is one more teacher to mention, My Mom. Through everything my Mom taught me.. Maybe not in a classroom way, but My mom became a Big part of My education in 9th grade ( She was there before, but it became bigger than anything in 9th Grade) My mom hounded me and challenged me to do better. For those who do not know about Independent studies it is not all that easy of a program, your on your own for most of it, and you have to get an A or B to pass each section. My mom pushed me and it was not acceptable in our house for me to get below an A. I also had to do the work and had to do some many “Credit’s” each week. With her help I was able to Graduate High School at the age of 16. 2 years before I should have. Thats not the only reason she deserves accolades. During the 2 years I was in Independent Studies I got the pleasure to “work” with my mom. My mom owned her own store and in order to make sure I was doing what I should I went with my mom everyday to work. Trust me there were fights, and days I had to sit in the car because I was so horrid. (believe it or not) But My mom taught me responsibility, She taught me professionalism, she taught me sales and she taught me accounting. By the time we closed the doors of that life adventure, It became our business, and I truly LOVED every second of it. If I could I would go back to those days.. because I truly loved all I learned!
To those in school, sometimes it is the hardest teachers that leave the impacts, the ones that you think hate you because they are “Mean”. Had I not had the Pressure, the love and the caring that I did have, I may not be where i am today.. I am far from where I want to be, but being taught to dream, to work hard and to succeed has helped me to get where I am. Thanks to these Teachers, I can’t wait to see where my next 10 years takes me..
And that being said.. For all the teachers who have to deal with the “MINI” me.. I thank you.. You truly are making an impact on that child’s life (Though the teacher that introduced Manga and Anime to my child, I may not be soooo thankful) 🙂
Lot’s of Love and Thank you’s go out to each and every Teacher out there.. Thank you for choosing the life that you live!!!