I’ve always had an insane amount of respect for teachers. When I was in school, I was scared to death of them. Surely, a teacher could make or break the rest of my life with a failing grade
B! I’m kidding. Sort of.
But now? Now, I respect teachers for an entirely different reason. They are the only people on the planet that can manage (without being visibly insane) 24ish first graders for an entire.day. I’m kidding again. Sort of. Oh geez, I’m not saying I can’t manage a first grader. I’m saying I can’t manage 24
more than one.
But this isn’t just about respect. It’s about what the role of a teacher represents. It’s the time spent in preparation; the desire for every student that enters his/her classroom to achieve what he/she is capable of … and more; the care and concern for not only what goes on in the classroom but outside; and the ability to share their own imperfections relating to students in a real, and very personal way. And still, so much more.
I was reminded again tonight about the importance of a good teacher. A good teacher is someone you just never forget. Ever.
Connor’s school Christmas concert was this evening. The kids did an amazing job, singing and dancing their little elementary-aged faces off. Connor wore a Lions-themed Santa hat. It takes a brave soul to do such a thing, but he rocked it.
My niece was sitting next to me and she and I chatted about how we missed the annual tradition of singing ‘The 12 Days of Christmas.’ We stopped singing it the year Ms. R. (or Ms. Rademacher, as she is to the rest of the world) retired. She was my fourth grade teacher and Ms. R. was the queen of that song. The fourth graders would perform it, but often many people in the community would join in because they had also had Ms. R. as a teacher, or just because it was too darn fun to sit through. Did I mention she performed all of the motions to that song?
Shortly thereafter, one of our kindergarten teachers (Mrs. Crowe, another longtime teacher) announced that this would be the last concert for our principal, Mrs. Howard. I was so, so sad to hear that. You see, Mrs. Howard was my first-grade teacher and Connor thinks its wicked-awesome that his principal was my teacher
way back when we made mixed tapes and watched Punky Brewster on TV. And, I have so much admiration for her … as a teacher, as a principal, as a friend.
I looked over to Mrs. Howard and immediately spotted not only Ms. R., but also Mrs. Edgell (my third-grade teacher, who literally just encouraged me a week ago with some kind words). I pointed them out to Alyssa and we realized that the ’12 Days’ tradition would be renewed. Oh yes we did sing that song like we were in fourth grade again. And, I smiled the entire time.
So, thank you, to all of the Mrs. Howard’s, Mrs. Crowe’s, Ms. R.’s, and Mrs. Edgell’s in the world. You make each one of us better because you chose to be a teacher, both in the classroom and in life.