Today I am thankful for the teachers I’ve had that have inspired me to do something I love.
Everyone has had that one teacher that inspires them to try something or that got you to where you are today. I have had multiple teachers like that.
My first grade teacher is one of the main reasons that I am currently going to school for Elementary Education. A few years ago, I ran into her at a craft fair. She came up from behind me and put her hand on my shoulder and said “I remember you, how could I forget?.” This totally shocked me. She has had hundreds of students. Yet, somehow she remembered me. I didn’t go and visit, after first grade, from what I recall. I still go through everything in my mind to try and figure out what stood out to her. I remembered her prior to this encounter but this cemented the idea that she was a great teacher. That was one of the moments where I knew I should be a teacher.
In high school I had this teacher for only a year, but still had interaction with him through clubs. He always volunteers his time, takes the time to get to know his students, would do anything for his students and still plays a huge role in his family life. I took his AP Psychology class. I loved this class and how real it was. One rule he had was that anything personal that was shared in the classroom, stays in the classroom. He made his classroom an environment that everyone felt comfortable in, and intern made everyone comfortable with each other. This teacher knew a lot about his students, the good and the bad, but he still accepted each and every person for who they were. He would genuinely compliment everyone and found something he though was unique about each of us. He really helped me to always find the positive in the world and in myself.
I had another teacher all throughout high school. She is who inspired me to pursue art. I may be going for Elementary Education, but I still plan to pursue art in some way (even if that turns into being an art teacher, but I haven’t quite figured that out yet). She put so much into her work. She used her own paychecks to buy supplies that my school wouldn’t because of the allotted budget, she would push to get whatever we needed to get approved through the school, she would take us on trips and when we did go on trips she would even treat us to dinner. Her room was almost like a refuge for some students. She was so understanding if someone was having a bad day, and she would let people come in her room even during a class as long as they weren’t disruptive. One thing that made me as art-oriented and as creative as I am today is that if someone wanted to try something new that wasn’t related to the current topic of study, she would let them express themselves as long as they payed attention to the lessons. This really helped me to work out problems I had or to learn more about myself through experimentation in art. She is one of the most genuinely kind hearted and hard working people I have ever met. Even though I may not be an art teacher in the future, she still makes me want to be as good as a teacher as she was.
Currently in college I have two teachers that I see beginning to have a similar effect on me. One is a teacher for one of my major-based classes and the other is my art teacher.
I absolutely love my education teacher. Before class starts he has his headphones in listening and singing to the music (which just so you know, I can hear the music playing from his headphones and I sit in the back row). He always cracks jokes and is so passionate about what he’s talking about. You can tell that he loved being an elementary teacher, in addition to the other things he has accomplished in his life. Plus, when we hand in papers he grades them on the grammar not on content. He believes your teaching philosophies are yours and he has no right to judge them. I think that is a huge thing coming from a teacher, he lets you have your own beliefs based on all the options he gives us. I find that important to learning.
My art teacher on the other hand, I wasn’t a fan of at first. He always wanted us to create our pieces his way. The next day he’d want you to experiment, but don’t stray to far from the directions. It was so hard to figure out what he wanted. However, now I remember that at the beginning of the year he said “I am not a teacher, I am a professional in my field who is showing you how I do things. That is why I was hired.” When I remembered this, I saw everything in a whole new light. Because he is not a certified teacher, he spits out any information he can on the topic to try to give us ideas and help to improve our skills. This is sometimes lost within all the different tips and tricks. Lately, I have been creating pieces that I am proud of and never would have created if he hadn’t “forced” me to try it his way.
These two college professors have very different philosophies. One is to each his own, and the other is to do it his way or the highway. Neither is bad, you just have to see why something is presented in that way. I will definitely have to remember this in the future when meeting people, student observing and anything other situation where I’m not sure where a person is coming from.
I am thankful for these teachers and everything they have done (these are to name a few). Whether they meant to or not, they impacted me. Whether it is art related, teaching related or a random idea, they changed the course of how I think and what I’d like to accomplish in my life. I am so thankful for that.
What are you thankful for?