I read this quote yesterday, only now I cannot remember where I found it.
“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
It inspired me. It made me think of my different teachers. Mrs. Murray for 4th and 5th grade. Mrs. MacDougal for Kindergarten, Dr. Pruis was second grade. I think I could list them all. Well at least my elementary school teachers. I guess there were also a few high school teachers that really had an impact. One in particular my senior year. I was going through a really hard time with some family issues and had a hard time focusing on school. My english teacher knew that things were not easy and instead of having me write a report on the book we were reading in class, she had me write about what I was going through. I would give anything to be able to read the report I turned in. I have always been grateful for her intuition to know that what I was going through was more important than writing about Shakespeare. Just one example of how I was affected by this teacher.
I had professors in college that changed the direction of my life. I remember my junior year of college very clearly. It was the year I remember finding my voice. I wrote a paper for a Sociology class. Somehow the topic was on “voice.” Which I know sounds a bit random, but in the way I was raised, we were not really encouraged to speak up and be direct. Through the research I did for my paper, I went through a process and realized how I kept so much inside. I was done with doing that and began speaking up and taking a stand for myself, and well…the rest is history.
Lastly, I think of all my different art teachers. They taught me to look beyond a blue sky and a house with a white picket fence. Somehow art became a coping mechanism for me growing up. I was never amazing at it, but I was not horrible either. Art made me feel like I could make it through tough times. It inspired me about the possibilities in life. I could lose myself while throwing a pot on the wheel, and if I was truly mentally centered, I could make a decent, balanced, aligned piece worth showing someone else. I was proud of my work. Art made me feel whole.
Thank you for all the teachers out there that affected my life and experience. Do you remember the teachers that changed your life?
A great teacher can make a huge difference. I’ve had teachers who went along their everyday business, trying to finish their lesson plans in a timely manner, and who were nice and all that. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that a teacher doesn’t really shape your life. But I’ve also had great teachers. I remember one of my elementary school teachers and how great she was and how we all loved her. One of her friends organized a surprise where we all came to the wedding and stood as a kind of honor guard for her and her husband when they exited the church.
I also remember a bunch of my grad school professors positively – for the most part they were all great. They challenged me but also supported me, and after the end of semester our class would get together with our professor and we’d mingle in a less formal environment. It ended up being another great educational and personal exchange.
Thank you for your comment, Anjig. The great ones are the ones that challenged us and supported us!
As a current high school teacher, I often do now know the impact–hopefully postive–that I might have on students. Thanks for the reflection praising some of your former mentors and teachers!