Today we are taking time to reflect on the teachers that have impacted our lives. Here are some stories that really stood out!
I loved school, especially when I was very young. I grew up in England and in the late 1950’s we learned by repetition. We were singled out to come to the front of the class each day to repeat the “times tables” 2×2 is 4, 4×4 is 16… that sort of thing! I was terrified of getting things wrong so I really worked hard to remember what we were being taught.
One teacher – Mrs. Gay – she was our teacher in the last year at “infant school”, I guess I was around seven years old, made such a big impression on me. She was tough, she had to be to keep a classroom of rambunctious kids under control and she really got to know each of us. The last day of the school year she called a few of us to the front of the class, I was included. She praised us for working hard while telling the others that
If they wanted to make anything of themselves they should work hard for what they wanted. Then she turned to us and told each of us what she hoped for us. She hoped I would become a teacher. I have never forgotten that.
She taught me that hard work pays off and that is probably one of the most important lessons I have ever learned. I did not become a teacher, I became an entrepreneur and that lesson of hard work certainly paid off. Thank you, Mrs. Gay.
I was lucky to count on devoted teachers who helped me develop something that it wasn’t so simple at first: “critical thinking.” This came very handy when I chose Journalism as my major, but it also had a great value in other aspects of life. The teachers that I remember the most are those who taught me Spanish, or Language as it was called when I was in school. I learned from a very strict Spanish-language teacher that perseverance makes a big difference in the long run. Somehow, even though she intimidated me, she made me love the challenge of writing. I haven’t been able to master the art, but there’s certainly the desire for it.
My last semester of college me and a few friends took an acting class for fun – not expecting to get more out of it than a few laughs and an easy-A. Little did I know that this class would entirely change my life. My acting teacher, Carl, was one of the most hilarious, intelligent and thought-provoking people I’ve ever met, and encouraged the class to push the bounds of our individual personalities while embracing ourselves and getting to know the unique differences of our peers. He taught us to be fearless, confident in who we are, and to learn how to laugh at the things that didn’t work out how we’d planned. He was an inspiration to many and broke down the barriers of everyday social norms – uniting a very diverse class in which we all became great friends. Carl sadly passed away a few weeks after our class ended, but his legacy, lessons, and spirit live strongly in those lucky enough to have known him and been taught by him.
During high school, I was lucky enough to have Dr. Calkins as a teacher for two years. Dr. Calkins taught various environmental science classes which were extremely hands on. From the first day of class, he taught us that the best way to learn was through doing and experiencing. His class was unlike any other; we would spend hours boating through Biscayne Bay to catch live critters, went snorkeling and dove through mangroves. His outlook on teaching has forever taught me that every moment is a lesson. He constantly taught the importance of being present in the moment because you never know what you could miss out on.