May 5, 2020
Thank You, Teachers!
During U.S. Teacher Appreciation Week, I’m here to wholeheartedly thank teachers for their dedication, skills, and caring as well as to highlight a few books that feature teachers or the educational setting that have touched my heart.
Who was your most memorable teacher?
Mine is a college math teacher. When I returned to school as an adult to finish my degree and obtain my masters and teacher certification, one class I dreaded registering for was math. I developed a terrible math phobia in high school. I didn’t care about math like I cared about literature and grammar and diagramming and French…anything with words. As I started caring less and less about math, it became more difficult for me. Even though I finished my first two years of college right after high school, I avoided taking math classes. When I returned to higher education as a midlife adult to finish my undergrad coursework and obtain a teaching credential, I was faced with my old nemesis: the math hurdle. Of course, my prior grades and placement tests in math revealed that I had many gaps to fill and so I was required to take remedial math to build my skills. I was petrified. Not only did I have a math phobia, but now I had to take college-level math! Yikes! However, what I lack in math skills I make up for in perseverance and determination. So on the first day of college math class, I forced myself to sit in the front row. The teacher, knowing that the reason all of us were in the class was because we lacked foundational skills, informed us of the following: You CAN and WILL be successful if you follow these rules: 1. take detailed notes on every lesson even if you don’t understand it, 2. do your math homework every night and refer to the notes, and then do the homework over again without the notes, 3. before every test, redo all the homework and do the extra set of problems in the back of the book, and 4. be an active participant in class (sit close to the front, take notes, and ask questions). This sounded doable to me and I decided to TRUST the teacher and follow her guidelines for success. I loved her teaching style and the safe affect she created in the classroom. She explained everything in clear steps and didn’t assume we knew anything, plus she used different colored markers for each step (which really helped me as a visual learner). I did my part, too, and worked for hours every night on my math homework like it was my job! I ended up earning an A in the class and my self-confidence skyrocketed! As I often told my fifth-grade students when I was teaching, “Nothings makes you feel smarter than understanding math!” Although I loved the entire fifth-grade curriculum, I always enjoyed teaching math because I KNEW how those struggling students felt, and I was determined to model my teaching after my favorite teacher as I created a safe environment for learning. Go figure that math is one of my favorite subjects to teach (well….not beyond fifth grade!) One of the BEST notes I ever received from a student said, “Thank you for being my teacher this year….now I’m not afraid of math anymore!” I melted into a puddle!
Thank you to ALL teachers who are proving safe learning environments and structuring opportunities for success for all students. You are celebrated, valued, and revered!
Do you have a favorite teacher story?
Have you thanked a teacher this week?
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Teachers and/or Education Related Stories
(the titles are linked to my reviews or to Amazon)