The first full week of May is Teacher Appreciation Week, a time to celebrate the hard work and dedication of those folks who dare to be teachers. Those individuals who choose to spend their working lives in close proximity of children and young adults - teaching, coaching, nurturing, cajoling, supporting, guiding, loving. Yes, I said loving.
The good ones love their kids in proper teacher ways and show it in their own special ways – like spending their own money to buy clothes for that special one, giving hugs when appropriate, sharing snacks and treats for rewards, laughing and being silly, letting them see the human side, listening to their stories of home life or comforting the loss of a gold fish.
Unfortunately, teachers don’t often know if they really made the difference in the life of a student until years later. So for the short term they get feedback in smiles and hugs and thank you notes from parents and the occasional special gift.
I had some good ones. It’s strange what I remember. It’s all about connecting to kids.
· Mrs. Janes, fifth grade, who tolerated my desire to keep the classroom supplied in guppies.
· Miss Lyons, 7th grade, who did not get mad when I nudged her back in the crowded hallway, thinking she was a girl I liked.
· Miss Ford, creative writing, who prepared a lot of us for college and let us be funny at the same time.
· Mr. Weber, theater, who let me hang out in the wood shop.
· Mrs. Christian, chorus, who let me drive her station wagon with 2 other guys to set up the risers in advance of the choir.
· Ms. Huber, Alg.1 and Trig, got me through.
They were good. Serious about their work, but made it interesting.
This time of year I like to fondly remember also those eccentric one’s who make me smile when I think of them.
Mrs. Hardmore – My 1st grade teacher who, upon learning that a certain little boy was kissing the girls on the playground, admonished the class that from now on “the boys will kiss the boys and the girls will kiss the girls.” Probably the only time my father sided with me instead of the teacher.
Mr. Sutton – My 6th grade teacher who was also the principal of our small elementary school. Always with his thermos of coffee and a finger in his nose. Each year, someone put Ex-lax in the thermos. He probably knew.
Mrs. Fromhart, French, her room was so highly perfumed that we all smelled like girls after class.
So, tell me or someone you know about your favorites. We all have them and some funny stories as well.