As I prepare to enter my first year teaching, I have spent a great deal of time thinking about my own teachers. It is interesting to reflect on your own teachers as an adult. And a bit surreal. I would love to sit and have a cup of coffee with many of them! And who knows? Maybe I will!
In my earlier posts, I didn’t spend a great deal of time talking about why I chose to pursue a career in education. However, I will say that when I examined my own life to see who and what made the most impact, teachers were at the top of my list. Not only would I not have accomplished many of my dreams without the support and encouragement of my teachers, I would not have even known what my dreams were.
So, this post is my way of saying thank you. Thank you for shaping and changing my life. Thank you for exposing me to ideas and opportunities that I may not have otherwise explored.
First, I am thankful for all of the substantive knowledge you taught. Thank you for teaching me how to write. Obviously, it is a skill that I continued to develop throughout my education and career as a lawyer. I love being able to express myself through writing. Thank you for teaching me math and science that help me understand my world better. Thank you for teaching me to play the saxophone. I now have an appreciation for art and music. Thank you for preparing me for all the tests along the way. And thank you for helping me gain the knowledge to have intelligent conversations at most dinner parties. Thank you for giving me the knowledge I need to interact with and be a part of the world around me.
But my teachers not only taught me substantive information, they taught me about the kind of person I want to be. Some of my teachers had lives that I envied. I wanted to be the kind of person that he or she was. I wanted that knowledge. I wanted that sense of humor. I wanted that (at least perceived!) carefree spirit. I wanted that maturity. I wanted that level of compassion and understanding. I wanted to care about people as much as that teacher cared about people.
My teachers also taught me a lot of intangible things. For example, I ate in my first nice restaurant with a teacher. I stayed in my first hotel room on a field trip led by a teacher. I visited my first big city on a field trip with a teacher. A teacher taught me that if I was not ten minutes early, I was late (a rule which I later learned did not apply to dinner parties). Teachers taught me to juggle and balance my extracurricular activities. Teachers taught me how to solve real-world problems.
All of these experiences, combined with others, made me who I am today. Without your impact, I would have missed out on many opportunities and so much that I treasure in my life. I recognize and appreciate all of the hard work that went into that. And I thank you.