Growing up, I always admired my teachers. I was surrounded by education from a young age, as my stepmom went through part of her education and began teaching when I was in my formative years. She taught drama as one of her subjects, but I think it made one of the biggest impacts on me. I have always loved escaping life through theater, not as a way of avoiding life, but to remind myself of the good things in life. Education has brought so much good into my life, this all happened because of my teachers.
It was Ms. Parrish, my 3rd grade teacher at Rex Elementary who constantly encouraged me and helped me memorize my multiplication facts which I still use today (especially when I tutor math). She also taught me that life could be hard, but that I could persevere through it.
It was Mr. Kirkes, who I frustrated to no end in 6th grade at Freeman Middle School, but he hardly ever let it show. This man wrote me up nearly forty times and I was definitely labeled a bad kid then, yet he was still unusually kind. I hate I raised his blood pressure so much.
It was Mr. Engels, who was probably my most gifted teacher who wore a crazy nose and recited Cyrano De Bergeac, which is now known better for the movie Roxanne, starring Steve Martin. Mr. Engels would creatively teach language arts and is probably the first person in secondary school to help me enjoy language arts.
It was Mr. Zemanick who helped me after school so many times to raise my grade in his math class. I mean this guy literally had the patience of Job with me. I found out later he became a school counselor which is so fitting.
So from this student who no one even thought would finish college, I have a Master’s degree in Education from Elon University and daily try to live up to these titans (and others). I never wake up regretting becoming a teacher. I never wonder how could my life have more purpose or mission. I get up every day and look forward to what “Chad” is in my classroom that will defy odds and make this world a better place.
Remember to appreciate teachers this week. Have your child write out a nice card, send them $5 to a coffee place, donate to Donorschoose or just shoot them an email. We live and breathe on this stuff. We love the kids and our job, but sometimes it gets hard. We need more funding, we need better pay, but to be honest most of us will be there because we have decided it is the only life we can live with.