School is getting ready to start. Not only here but even across the pond according to some of my blog buddies. Summer with its freedom from discipline and restriction it brings for youngsters, is fading away. For a lot of parents, the freedom from keeping their kids entertained every day is on the horizon. Ahhh.
I don't know about you but as happy as I was to see Summer and the joys of living in a bathing suit and playing all day, I was just as happy to return to school in the Fall. The new clothes, seeing old friends and making new ones was quite heady for me. But I also loved to learn. The learning fire that started burning for me in the first grade is still with me today. That is one reason I love my computer. What an amazing learning tool!!
Occasionally there were those that were in the wrong profession who made learning such a chore. There were teachers that only wanted to be your friend or buddy. To be liked was paramount and popularity trumped knowledge. I do remember them, but not in a good way.
Then there were those who could put the most eager minds right to sleep. The monotone speakers, those who merely read to us and explained nothing, the completely unimaginative. I often wondered why they became teachers. Sadly, some of them successfully ruined some young minds and turned them off from the joys of learning.
I was lucky most of the time. I really had some dandies along the way and am very grateful. But I do have an all time favorite--Mr. Lucas from the 8th grade.
In the 8th grade, I attended a four room school house in a small, rural community. Each room contained two grades of about 7 to 10 kids per grade with one teacher for both grades. While the 8th grade was being taught, the 7th grade studied and visa versa. Sounds confusing but was actually quite functional.
Mr. Lucas was also the school principal so if you screwed up, he was right in front of you. None of this being sent to the principals office. We were all ready there.
He always made each subject interesting. Not necessarily fun but he really knew how to teach, regardless of the subject. When he taught, you understood. He often would not take questions while he was teaching.
He would say as a hand went up, "Wait till I finish and if you still have questions, I will be happy to answer them."
The first time I heard that rule, I thought "how arrogant."
However, he was so thorough and interesting, his lessons were so complete, that all questions were completely answered by the time he finished. If anyone still had a question, which was seldom, he would patiently take however long as was necessary till they understood.
Each year in Ohio, all 8th grade children took state wide academic tests. There were only 7 of us in his class that year and 4 of us placed in the top one percent of the state on that test. We weren't all that smart, he was just that good.
I really regret that I never told that man what a marvelous teacher I thought he was. Pretty sure it is too late for me now. He was about 30 years older than I which would put him over 100 today. Don't wait too long like I did.
Do you have a teacher in you life that was a true favorite??
Maybe yours was the fun one that made you laugh and enjoy school. Maybe it was one who made you feel special and cared for. Maybe it was the strict one who made you learn. Maybe it was the one who could even make math simple and interesting. Or maybe it was the unique teacher like Mr. Lucas who held a combination of all those traits and that you still remember fondly today.
Is it too late for you to tell them? If not, I bet they would love to hear it.