April 1, 2011

Ch. 787 - The List: Teachers


That's what first pops into my head, thanks to my Boeing-/Rockwell Collins-employed father. Love you, dad - and, since I know you'll probably read this during a lunch break one day... I hope you're having a great day and that the rest of your afternoon goes well!




I could say an awful lot about teachers.
Talk about the "good" ones I've had.
And, naturally, talk about the "not-so-good" teachers, too.
I could say that, on one hand, they may seem unnecessary.
Then mention how, on the other hand, they are invaluable.

I am unable to say who I consider my first "teacher" was.
Preschool? Nah, don't remember a thing!

Hm. Mrs. Owen.
I remember that Clay Warden brought grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. And that I counted to more than 100 when I was only supposed to show that I could count to 100. And that we looked for evidence of leprechauns in a special room on St. Pat's Day. And that I was an excellent reader. And that there was another Natalie in my class, whose birthday was also on May 10. But she had brown hair and blue eyes, so she wasn't cool enough to be in the "Brown Hair, Brown Eyes Club" with me, my mom, and my grandmother. But do I remember anything about Mrs. Owen? No. Apparently she was from Great Britain and spoke with an accent. You would think I'd remember this, but nope!

First grade.
Mrs. Foster.
She made Christmas ornaments for us. I still have mine. She was really nice. Everybody wanted to have Mrs. Foster as a teacher. In first grade there was a kid in my class named Matthew Ramey. Such a cute kid. Sweet boy. But he was sick... a lot. He unfortunately had developed a brain tumor. That was really rough on me, and I'm sure on a lot of my peers. Mrs. Foster handled the situation with patience and compassion, trying to answer our innocent, tough questions the best she could. I wasn't the best of friends with Matthew, but sometimes I still think about him.

Second grade.
Mrs. Turner.
Don't remember anything about second grade, or Mrs. Turner - except that nobody wanted to have her as a teacher because they thought she was mean and strict. That wasn't the case, she was simply firm and knew how to get kids to behave. Props to her, really. Oh, wait! Her room was super colorful. Double props.

Third grade.
Mrs. Everett.
Portable year, stuck in a trailer outside. I liked to play the game 'LIFE' during indoor recess when it was raining. A drawing of mine was selected to be posted on a billboard to advertise for an arts festival. Long division became my worst enemy. But again, I don't remember much about Mrs. Everett herself.

Fourth grade, first half.
Mrs. Green.
All the girls in my class seemed to have become boy-crazy over the summer. That's all I remember. Then over Thanksgiving week, my family moved to Iowa. That's when things seemed to change, memory-wise. I seem to be able to remember a lot more starting when we moved.

Fourth grade, second half.
Ms. Wendt.
If it hadn't been for her, I probably would have tried to talk my mom into homeschooling me the next year. Scarred for life, lemme tell ya... I exaggerate, of course, but seriously... Now, while most of the kids were jerks and totally sucked [I'm pretty eloquent, eh?], Ms. Wendt made up for the fact and then some. She was pretty and sweet and caring, and put on classical music while we worked. She wanted each student to rise to their potential and recognize their abilities and gifts. She was simply great.

I'm not going to continue. That would take seemingly forever and a day.
But suffice it to say that it's interesting to think about your past teachers and see what you remember about them [good or bad]. I can't say that I've ever had a truly "BAD" teacher. Some I was never too crazy about. And others, well... others, I still can't determine whether they actually knew what they were doing or talking about most of the time. But I know that I at least learned one thing from each. And to me, if I learn even just one thing, I think people succeed as teachers in one way or another.

I think it's great that 'all kinds' of people are teachers. Because people are so different! And they learn in 'all kinds' of different ways! People aren't stopped from being teachers. If you want to teach, and you take all the necessary preparations and steps in order to become a teacher... you can teach. Unlike Air Force pilots, you don't have to have perfect eyesight. Unlike doctors, you don't have to go to school for a gazillion years and do your 'residency' at an educational institution. Student teaching doesn't count... Granted, there may be some restrictions. I mean, you can't float through college with only one general education science requirement and expect to be hired as the new AP chemistry teacher in a high school. Well okay, you could expect that... but that means you should also expect to be disappointed when it doesn't happen. But in all honesty, I feel that if you set goals for yourself, work hard, and truly have a passion for that which you desire to do... and actually receive the training and instruction needed for what you're working toward... there's no reason that you won't eventually be successful. Especially in the work of teaching. If you care at all about education and people and helping others... whether that looks like being a Sunday school teacher, a preschool teacher, or a college professor... teaching could surely be the way to go for you. People are so impacted by their teachers. Man alive! Without teachers, where would we be? It's a hard profession, a difficult thing to do. I feel that it's oftentimes thankless, taken for granted, and way too low-paying...

Kind of like parenting, eh?

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