Mocha With Linda has started her very own meme. This is how she describes it:
This new meme’s purpose is to have us take a look back and share about a specific time or event in our lives. It will be fun to see how similar – or different – our experiences have been!.
I am enjoying this meme a lot. Grab the button and the link and come play along. Linda’s theme this week is:
Tell us about the teachers from your school days. Who were your favorites? Why did you like them? How did they influence your life, your occupation, or another aspect? Have you ever gone back & seen or contacted a favorite teacher to express your appreciation? Do you still keep up with any of your teachers? Was Teacher Appreciation Day/Week celebrated when you were in school? (Just share about favorites this week; we’ll visit the not-so-stellar teacher memories another day!)
I am a teacher. My grandmother, the woman who raised me, was a teacher. I have no end of admiration for teachers and there have been some fabulous teachers in my life.
My second grade teacher, Mrs. Olsen was a wonderful woman full of fun. She taught me that learning could be fun and exciting and joyful. In the third grade we had a student teacher in our classroom, Miss Vickie. She taught me that a teacher who takes the time to get to know her students personally can change lives.
In 4th grade I met Mrs. Rasmussen. She was an important part of my life for years to come. At the end of my fourth grade year she hired Gram to be her nanny and our families are entwined to this day — not so much in that we see each other often because we don’t, but we all learned our morals and our values and our integrity from the same source, and we are ALL teachers.
I had Mrs. Peter’s for 5th grade. She and Mrs. Dreison, my third grade teacher, read aloud to us every day and taught me the joy and treasure of dramatic oral reading. Mr. Maines was my 6th grade teacher and he taught me many positive things, one of which was how to keep my cool when things go wrong. He was a wonderful negative example — Mr. Maine’s was a fainter!
In 7th and 8th grade my teacher concerns weren’t educational. Mr. Barnett and Mr. Terrace were young and handsome and all I remember about them is their smiles. Mr. Barnett broke out hearts by getting married mid-year. sigh
In high school I had several wonderful teachers. Most of the memorable ones had something to do with English or language. I was a star and at that point in my life, positive attention was crucial.
However the most profound impact any teacher has ever had on my life came from Masoud Kalada, a college math instructor. No matter how many times I asked the same question, no matter how frustrated I got, he never lost his patience or his cool. He told me, “I am the teacher. All of the pressure is on me. If you aren’t getting it, it is because I am doing something wrong.” That is something I carry with me in my teaching. If a child is truly trying to learn and he or she isn’t getting it, I am the one at fault. I am the teacher.
Every teacher I have ever had has shaped how I teach. Some by providing good examples, some by showing me exactly what to never do. But it is Masoud’s example that I hold in my heart every time I approach a student who is struggling to understand. The pressure is on me to teach. If I find the right approach, the student will learn.