Daily Prompt: Teacher’s Pet

old picture of me going to school in my first car

Old picture of me going to school in my first car; I was not happy about my mom taking the picture.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Teacher’s Pet.”

Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?’

I was blessed with several great teachers and I am afraid to start naming them because I would hate to leave someone out.  What I have come to discover is that the good teachers shared many of the same qualities, as did the not so good.

The teachers who made the biggest impact in my life exhibited a calm strength.  They were able to control their classes and discipline students, making for a pleasant atmosphere for a rule follower like myself.  Most of the men and women who fall into the “good” category, made learning fun. There were some who lacked the skills or sense of humor for making it fun, but still taught well and exuded a contagious passion about their subject matter.

Most importantly, you knew these teachers cared about you.  Yes, they were concerned about your grades, attendance and behavior, but they also cared about their students.  I have seen teachers go to great lengths and expend personal dollars to help needy students.

These teachers always went the extra mile.   One, who I won’t name, played games with his students during lunch.  I wasn’t into that sort of thing, but thought it was over and above the call of duty.  I’m sure he enjoyed it as much as they did, but many teachers would have (understandably) found something else to do with their time.  These teachers formed life-long relationships with some of their students.  They showed up at events and games and activities without being compensated. They cared what happened in the long-term and sincerely wanted to make a difference, so they did! I had a teacher, who my children also had, who prays over photos of his students and always inquires about my girls and their lives and mine as well.

Before I continue, may I say that I have great respect for anyone who teaches; it’s a tough job with less than adequate compensation.  In the times we are living in, many children aren’t taught respect and many parents make their jobs more difficult by siding with their children, no matter the situation.  I couldn’t do it.

I honestly don’t remember having a “bad” teacher, but I did have some I will call “mediocre”.  These teachers made me feel like they hated to arrive, detested the time spent with us and couldn’t wait for the last bell to ring.  They often seemed ill-prepared, dis-interested and seemingly oblivious to who we really were, other than a name on a list.

I remember deciding that some people just shouldn’t teach.  I’m extremely grateful for the mostly positive experiences I had in school and will always remember many teachers with fondness.

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