Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Week 2015

It is Teacher Appreciation Week, so I decided to feature my absolute favorite teacher of all time, 1st grade through college.

Meet Mrs. Straughn. I met her in 5th grade. She was old then, but she still had it. I actually had a parent stop by after Orientation one year, say to me, that they looked forward to their twins being in my class next year, as they had so enjoyed their son being in my classroom. They were extolling my virtues, but there is a but....The dad then said, "Oh, that will be your last year, maybe you won't be still giving it your all." Really?! I was so stinking mad, that I swore under my breath that I wouldn't have them in my class. The next week, I got the science coach job to finish out my career. I finished strong!

Uh oh... back to the point of Mrs. Straughn. She might have been in her waning years, but I never knew it. She was so inspiring. I remember how she dressed, how she was so poised, how she worked so hard to motivate us. She gave points for participation. The more questions you answered after reading your science and history, the more praise and points you received. She employed music to teach history. Mrs. Straughn had one strike against her as she was an Alabama graduate, but she told stories of going to college in a very rural area where honestly most would never see a college. She made you want to go to college. Stories of her family and her grandkids made me know I wanted more.

Once we took a field trip to her home. She had the most amazing gardens, but her prized flower to grow was the daylily. She had rows upon rows in all colors. She lived right on main street in Repton, Alabama, so everyone saw her daylilies. 

I could go on and on about her, but she really made a difference in my view of the world and what I wanted to do in life. I never had a teacher I loved more. 

Other favorites are...

  • Mrs. Wharton who taught me 9th and 11th grade English and 10th grade world history.
  • Mrs. Cotton who taught me home economics every year of high school. 
  • Mr. Rushing who taught me 6th and 8th grade English who praised me constantly for my cursive handwriting. 
Teachers have a very important role in life. I believe we need those that push us hard coupled with those that use praise generously. It really takes both, but above all to be professional and do what is best for the students who come through their classrooms.

To all those who pushed and praised, I am grateful for you.

"I touch the future. I teach." ---Christa McAuliffe

1 comment:

  1. As a former teacher myself, this really touched my heart. I think all of us can rattle off a list of good and bad teachers who touched our lives in some way. My fifth grade teacher was also the one I loved the most, but she married and changed her last name, so I can't find her. I actually picked up the phone a few years ago and called my first grade teacher and told her how much she meant to me. She remembered me and was so happy to have me call.

    Love this post, and I'm sure I would have loved your Mrs. Straughn too!


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