Was it a voice, a face, a specific encouragement or something else that came to mind when you read the question? We all had teachers that rivaled the bad teachers in the movies and the vast majority are grouped together in the nether reaches of our minds as average. However, you have those one or two that spent the extra moments to help through a learning plateau, allowed a makeup exam to increase your grade by just enough or took the time to really listen. My daughter remembers a specific encouraging comment from one of her teachers that instilled confidence for her career path. My standout teacher was Mrs. Patsy Huff, who graduated with me through my early years of kindergarten, 1st and 3rd grades. Mrs. Huff was instrumental in helping me through my struggle to read and it was a blessing to experience her investment over several years. A friend teaches in a local High School and we were discussing his daily experience juggling the ten troublesome students, the administrative politics and the joy of teaching the other 140 students. He expends great effort to use innovative learning methods and really wants students to master the subject matter through engaging instruction much like Mrs. Huff cared for me all those years ago. Cultural and technological advances demand teachers remain vigilant at the societal front lines with their fingers discerning the pulse of these young lives, while we rightfully demand a better product upon graduation. Yes, teachers get a summer vacation, but in exchange they dedicate long hours, disrespect in the classroom, investment of personal capital and a commitment to educating the next generation in a difficult system that is experiencing major disruption.
What was the impact of your teachers? What are the specifics of how these particular teachers influenced you? Were there unique methods employed for you? How have you tried to replicate this care to those in your life? How has your respect of impression of them changed over the years? How have you expressed gratitude to them since you left the classroom?