Monday, May 3, 2010

All About MEme: Teacher Tribute

I spent more than half my life in school ... as a student.
And another 10 years as a classroom teacher.

It only seems fitting that I make some effort to celebrate
Teacher Appreciation Week (May 3 - 7).

What better way to celebrate than assigning some homework?

Take a little stroll down memory lane ...
all the way back to the hollowed halls ...
of your school years - the days of raising your hand, 
taking tests, and making the grade ;)

Tell us about the teacher(s) who made a difference in your life.

Make it a list or a story - your choice!

As a teacher myself, I have mad love for this noblest of professions.  I know how hard teachers work - the extra hours, the concern for students, the dealings with parents, ... it is not an easy job.  I have been so fortunate to have many fantastic teachers ...

The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called "truth."  ~Dan Rather

Kindergarten - Mrs. P - I have a very vivid memory of you tracing my profile for an art project.  I'm pretty sure my mom still has that black paper / chalk outline tucked in a box somewhere.  I also remember that you wore a wig; I saw the tag and asked my mom about it.  
1st Grade - Mrs. F - You didn't make me feel ashamed when I had an accident ... sitting right in my desk ... just after the entire class had returned from a bathroom break.  I didn't go during that break because Jenny S. never went, which meant she was always first in line on the walk back.  I so desperately wanted to be first!  What did it get me?  Wet pants and some embarrassment ... so not worth it!  Lesson learned.
2nd Grade - Mrs. B - You told the best stories!  Didn't even need a book to read from; you just wove this fantastic tales right from your own imagination, and told them with a whole cast of voices.
3rd Grade - Mrs. Mc - Oh, the devastation of failing.  Those darn times tables provided my first experience with that getting a "D" on a paper.  I was crushed.  I cried - a lot.  You took me to the hall, and with such caring and kindness, made me own my mistake ... which somehow made it better.  I also remember your fiery - always just a little disheveled - red hair.
4th Grade - Mrs. S - You were the epitome of calmness.  I knew I could come to you with any problem - large or small (Who am I kidding?  They were all small in 4th grade!) - and you would listen and understand and help me find a solution.
5th Grade - Ms. B - We called you Mrs. Battleship behind your back.  I always wondered if you knew that?  You were a first-class grouch.  You prided yourself on making students feel lousy.  You inspired me to be the kind of teacher you were not.  And, let me tell you, I was an awesome 5th grade teacher!
6th Grade - Mrs. L - I really, really wanted YOU to be my mom.  No offense to my own mom, but I just adored Mrs. L.  You had a contagious smile and a love for science!  This was one of my best years in school.

Up to this point, I went to school at a small Catholic School.  My parents made the decision to transfer my brother and I to public school, and I was not happy about it.

7th Grade - Mr. C - You were my first experience with a male teacher ... and you were cute.  I was so confused!  This was also the first year that math became interesting.  I remember the time I had an awful case of the hiccups during class (probably had something to do with sitting in the front room so near a cute male teacher) and you - playfully - slammed your hand on the desk and said, "Stop hiccuping!"  I was mortified but then you filled the room with your great laugh and the whole class joined in.
8th Grade - Mr. A - Another male teacher; this one not good-looking, but unbelievable GOOD at teaching science.  I learned so much.  I was challenged.  I looked forward to his class everyday.

From middle school onto high school ... where I met my husband ... and worried more about my friends than my teachers ...

HS - Mrs. A - I took three years of you Spanish class.  But I learned so much more than another language from you.  You had such high expectations for your students, which earned you the reputation of being a really tough  teacher.  I worked really hard for your class and  respected you for holding us to your standards ... but most importantly, for helping us to achieve our potential.  You made time for every student and you built a community of learners in your classroom.  If I had to choose just one - please don't make me - the prestigious award of all-time favorite teacher would go to you, Mrs. A.  (which strikes me as kind of funny because my husband did not like this teacher - at all!)



passionofthemom said...

Will do!! There are SOO many...=)

Anonymous said...


Bethany said...

Oh my, I miss teaching. =(

BJ_Mama said...

k, I just came to link up....and some bloggy angel did it for to read your post now :)

BJ_Mama said...

I'm sad that I never had a cute teacher :(
Yeah, if me and Randizzle wrote about our HS teachers....we would probably have OPPOSITE opinions on all of them! HAHAHAHA

Raising Z said...

What a great tribute. Isn't it funny the stuff we remember? Mrs. B should be proud to know that it was she who helped you become the wonderful teacher you are. She might not like the reasons why but she should be proud :)

Terry said...

Just stopped by from 2010 Year Of Miracles...I wanted to play your Me-Me, but I have a horrible memory and all I could say was I loved my 1st grade teacher!! Mrs. W.....Yep, can't really write a blog post about that :) I'll be back for the next Me-Me!
Now following :)

Emmett Joseph said...

I loved Mrs. A--such good memories! The canned food drive, the field trip, the commercial we made on "how to flirt" :)

Chi-town momma said...

Do you think there is a link between our distinct memories of our teachers and the fact that we are teachers? Did we know way back then that we were going to become teachers?
I can only hope that I am one of the teachers my former kids will write blog posts about!

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