Teachers leave huge impressions

Aug. 18, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

The superintendent of the Rutherford County Schools said something Friday morning during a new teacher breakfast meeting that I'd heard another educator say.

"Treat students in your classrooms the same way you'd want your very own child to be treated. Don't say something to a student you wouldn't say to a child if a parent was standing beside the student." 

To the teachers in my immediate family — Tracie, Laura, Scott and Kristen — I know what kind of people you are and I know the talents you all possess as teachers in the field of education.

I know what kind of children you are rearing. I know how you want them to be treated at school, spoken to, encouraged and appreciated.  

I know you want them to feel safe and secure in their school environments while learning what they need to know in the 21st century.

I feel confident, that's the way you will teach your students as the 2013-14 school year is upon you.

I remember the day as a first grader when a classmate embarrassed me in front of the entire class. I'd had a minor accident in the restroom that day and to this every day, 55 years later, I remember it. I remember the teacher's reaction. 

If I could have I would have vanished right before their eyes.

My mama and I had a long talk that night on our front porch about how I had to continue going to school. Quitting in the first grade was not an option.

It was in the fourth grade that I accidently bumped into a school staff member who was standing behind the classroom door. I was walking inside, unaware she was behind me.

Scared to death, I'm sure I didn't apologize. So I was called out in front of the entire class by my teacher for the mistake I'd made.

I believe in being reprimanded for ill behavior, but to be called out in front of everyone by a teacher was not good.

I never forgot that incident, the teacher or the staff member.

I was so humiliated in front of my classmates, I didn't want to go back to school that day either.

Now to turn the tables.

An 11th grade teacher comes to my mind when I think about school days and the impressions we receive from teachers.

Sitting in a geometry class one day, my teacher walked away from his chair, moved to front of his desk and took a seat on the edge.

He told us we weren't studying math that day. He wanted to talk to us about life, about how we were feeling, what we were doing and planning to do. He wanted to know our goals.

I will never forgot that day, although I can't remember everything we talked about, I'll remember how much my teacher cared.

Not only was he an awesome teacher to a student who didn't "get math," but he was a man who cared about his students and their futures.

A  physical science teacher taught me how she cared for her students deeply and our futures were important to her. She cared about our grades. It made a difference to her.

From those school days until now, I remember the teachers who had a lasting impression on my life.

Some good. Some not so good. 

Although I never felt called to the teaching profession, there were times when I wanted to be as good a person as they were regardless of the profession.

Tomorrow our teachers return to Rutherford County Schools to continue preparing for their students. 

Later this week other students will return to Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy. Lake Lure students have already begun.

I personally know teachers who've spent endless hours, days and weeks in preparing for next Monday, Aug. 26 when their students arrive.

If there's anything I'd want to know about the teachers in my family — it's that they care. They treat their students the way they want my precious great-nieces and nephews to be treated.

They stand up for the underdog and love the students others find so difficult.

And I'm confident today, Scott, Kristen, Tracie and Laura, that's what you are about.

God bless you teachers for answering such a high calling on your life.

Wherever you're teaching, thanks. 

     

The superintendent of the Rutherford County Schools said something Friday morning during a new teacher breakfast meeting that I'd heard another educator say.

"Treat students in your classrooms the same way you'd want your very own child to be treated. Don't say something to a student you wouldn't say to a child if a parent was standing beside the student." 

To the teachers in my immediate family — Tracie, Laura, Scott and Kristen — I know what kind of people you are and I know the talents you all possess as teachers in the field of education.

I know what kind of children you are rearing. I know how you want them to be treated at school, spoken to, encouraged and appreciated.  

I know you want them to feel safe and secure in their school environments while learning what they need to know in the 21st century.

I feel confident, that's the way you will teach your students as the 2013-14 school year is upon you.

I remember the day as a first grader when a classmate embarrassed me in front of the entire class. I'd had a minor accident in the restroom that day and to this every day, 55 years later, I remember it. I remember the teacher's reaction. 

If I could have I would have vanished right before their eyes.

My mama and I had a long talk that night on our front porch about how I had to continue going to school. Quitting in the first grade was not an option.

It was in the fourth grade that I accidently bumped into a school staff member who was standing behind the classroom door. I was walking inside, unaware she was behind me.

Scared to death, I'm sure I didn't apologize. So I was called out in front of the entire class by my teacher for the mistake I'd made.

I believe in being reprimanded for ill behavior, but to be called out in front of everyone by a teacher was not good.

I never forgot that incident, the teacher or the staff member.

I was so humiliated in front of my classmates, I didn't want to go back to school that day either.

Now to turn the tables.

An 11th grade teacher comes to my mind when I think about school days and the impressions we receive from teachers.

Sitting in a geometry class one day, my teacher walked away from his chair, moved to front of his desk and took a seat on the edge.

He told us we weren't studying math that day. He wanted to talk to us about life, about how we were feeling, what we were doing and planning to do. He wanted to know our goals.

I will never forgot that day, although I can't remember everything we talked about, I'll remember how much my teacher cared.

Not only was he an awesome teacher to a student who didn't "get math," but he was a man who cared about his students and their futures.

A  physical science teacher taught me how she cared for her students deeply and our futures were important to her. She cared about our grades. It made a difference to her.

From those school days until now, I remember the teachers who had a lasting impression on my life.

Some good. Some not so good. 

Although I never felt called to the teaching profession, there were times when I wanted to be as good a person as they were regardless of the profession.

Tomorrow our teachers return to Rutherford County Schools to continue preparing for their students. 

Later this week other students will return to Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy. Lake Lure students have already begun.

I personally know teachers who've spent endless hours, days and weeks in preparing for next Monday, Aug. 26 when their students arrive.

If there's anything I'd want to know about the teachers in my family — it's that they care. They treat their students the way they want my precious great-nieces and nephews to be treated.

They stand up for the underdog and love the students others find so difficult.

And I'm confident today, Scott, Kristen, Tracie and Laura, that's what you are about.

God bless you teachers for answering such a high calling on your life.

Wherever you're teaching, thanks.