Because I no longer have children in school, I did not realize it was Teacher Appreciation Week until I saw several posts on my Facebook newsfeed. But, no longer having children in school is no excuse for not saying Thank You. So…
Thank you Mr. Edinger, my 11th grade Chemistry teacher.
No one failed his class, not because of grade inflation or his class was easy (in fact, it was challenging), but because he did what was necessary to insure that each student received the support he or she needed to pass. His commitment and dedication continues to inspire me.
Thank you Rich Bell, college professor and senior thesis advisor.
You both nurtured and challenged my idealism and helped to link that idealism to learning in a way that has helped me to hold onto it over the years.
Thank you Mr. Procopio, my 6th grade Sunday School teacher.
You were the first teacher I remember who took my thoughts and ideas seriously and were willing to talk with us about them.
Thank you John David Burton and Ross Ludeman, mentors and colleagues and friends.
You saw something in me that, at the time, I did not see in myself.
And, then there were the teachers my children had.
Teachers who challenged their intellect and encouraged them to risk learning rather than just attending a class.
I know there are some teachers who should not be teaching.
I had some.
My children had some.
But there are some ministers who should not be in ministry.
There are some bankers who should not be in banking.
There are some elected officials who should not be holding the offices they do.
But, by and large, the teachers I had and know are dedicated and hard working. They care about children and youth and put in more time and energy than most people give them credit for.
So, to teachers one and all…
Whether in a classroom or on a sports field or in a synagogue, mosque or church…
And, adapting the message which my wife pinned to the bulletin board in our kitchen…
You touch the future. You teach.