Thank a Teacher
I see my favourite high school teacher every so often across the room at a local restaurant. Every time I think how much she had meant to me as a teacher and what a difference she had made.
She’s one of the smartest person I’ve ever met. I remember wanting to be her when I grew up ~ to be that brilliant teacher with so much knowledge to share with her students. Her standards were high. She pushed us. You paid attention. You did the work. And you learned. She helped me dream bigger by her example and her expectations.
But I had never told her.
It has been a few… ahem… decades since I walked the halls of St. Vincent’s High School. Recently I saw her again at that restaurant, and I took a moment as she was leaving to say hello and to thank her. To tell her how she had made a difference in my life, and that today I too was a teacher in adult education. She told me that she was glad I had stopped to tell her, and we had a great conversation.
Being an effective teacher is both extremely challenging and fulfilling work. If you haven’t been there, it’s difficult to explain. You have to “on” all the time, saying the right thing and responding positively no matter what happens online or in the training room. You’re always looking for new ways to reach people, to help them understand.
But that person who has helped you ~ his or her title isn’t necessarily teacher. It’s that mentor who makes times for you when work gets stressful. Or maybe it was your baseball coach. Or the young guy down the street who taught you how to play street hockey. Or the woman who helped you learn to play the guitar.
Who is that teacher that stood out for you? Who helped you see what you could do by raising their expectations and believing in you? This week, thank that teacher.
PS The picture is of my friend Tara (who is also now a teacher) and me after our high school graduation ceremony