First of all, I have to get this out of the way…
I have had some horrid teachers. Teachers who were verbally and emotionally abusive. These teachers, I feel, kept me down and made it harder for me to succeed academically. I will not mention their names, but I think we have all met teachers whom we felt shouldn’t even teach.
Now that that’s out of the way, I want to thank some of the best teachers I have known:
Ms. Tamayo and Mrs. Durham.
These teachers were there for me emotionally, in and out of class. They helped with simple things, that meant a lot to me.
Perhaps the most important teacher in my academic success. Dare I say, the single contributor of it.
In order to understand this statement, you should know that I was not your average student. Other than in science and P.E., I couldn’t get an A to save my life. In fact, I struggled to get D’s in most my classes and, even with all my efforts, I couldn’t even get a D- in a single math assignment.
Obviously, math was my weakness. Oh, and guess what subject those two abusive teachers I spoke about taught? You guessed it! Math.
So, I had failed math, yet again, my 9th grade year. With the believe that I was stupid and incapable of learning if it wasn’t science, I found myself in summer school. It was here that I met him. At the end of the first class, and without any real hope, I spoke to him. I explained how I just didn’t understand a thing. I expected for him to do as all my other math teachers had done in the past; at best, try to explain it again, then give up on me when I said, “I still don’t get it.”
He was different. No matter how many times I said that, he was determined to actually teach me and he did so patiently. He tried every angle he could think of, asked me questions to figure me out. Eventually, he found the key to my understanding and my learning, in general.
It took minutes. That’s all. I was amazed. I didn’t just, all of a sudden, get the problem we were attempting to solve, I got math…and I learned how I understood. From then on, my academic life changed so much. I was getting A’s and B’s, and not just in math. I rarely needed to ask a teacher anything, and I was even helping my peers with their work. By my last year of high school, I was a straight A student and graduated with honors. I truly owe this teacher my brains.
I’m going to pause here for a bit, to acknowledge some of the good teachers my children have or have had.
Mr. Dufour and Mr. Watson.
These guys have made me feel like they care about my children’s success. Perhaps, it is a point in their lives they don’t understand the value of a good and caring teacher, but I’m sure that, one day, they will. Thank you for caring.
Back to my teachers, I have one more teacher that I want to talk about. This teacher has saved my life, literally.
Fast forward to my college years, at a low point in my life. So low, in fact, I was ready to give up on life. He helped me out of it. He continued to be there for me, offering advice and helping wherever he could. He helped me grow, as a person, and taught me the importance of me.
To this day, his wisdom helps me be better, smarter, wiser, and it helps to find my way back whenever I feel lost. I would love nothing more than to give him all the credit he deserves. Unfortunately, I do not have permission to use his name. So, let’s just call him Mr. Superhero.
I wish I could thank all these teachers in person. No matter where you are, you have made a difference…Thank you!
And, to all the great teachers out there: Someone owes you the World. You are loved and appreciated. Keep up the good work.
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!!
Here’s a little student humor.