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Teachers to Remember

School is back in session, and with it that dedicated corps of people we call teachers. Of all the people who influence children, teachers stand in a class by themselves (pun intended).

No doubt, you recall a favorite teacher who molded your life. My sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Lucia Etchison, possibly influenced mine the most, although I doubt she realized it. Standing tall and ramrod straight, Mrs. Etchison tolerated no nonsense from us, yet somehow motivated us to achieve our full potential. She lit a fire under me with encouragement to pursue my dream of writing. May her tribe increase.

Can you recall the name of your first-grade teacher? Mine was Mrs. Hughes. But it was the teacher of the OTHER first grade across the hall, whom I dreaded to see. The reason? My teacher made me apologize to her.

It all started when my little first grade self, with all the childlike powers of observation, had humorously commented that the other first grade teacher looked like a witch. She really did! But, I didn’t know then that we weren’t supposed to voice every thought that crossed our minds. Someone reported it to my teacher, and alas, she made me stand before that tall, homely woman and stammer an apology. It went something like this: (Sniffles) “I’m sorry I said you look like a witch.” (More sniffles.) Diplomacy wasn’t one of my strong points, obviously.

Then there was my fifth-grade teacher. Built like a linebacker for a major football team, this woman’s frame would fill the doorway. And when she threatened to paddle me (again, for an infraction of the tongue), I eyed her biceps and quaked like a leaf in October. Fortunately, she didn’t have to follow through on her threat. Fear serves as a great motivator.

I have a lot of respect for today’s teachers. They are our kids’ substitute parents for several hours a day. If you think it’s a job dealing with your own child’s emotional roller coaster, try doing it with a class of twenty or more, while at the same time trying to get them excited about subject matter.

Yes, most teachers deserve a lot of respect. Why not send a note of appreciation to an educator today?

How about you? Do you have any words of appreciation for a teacher in your past or present?

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