Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week

It's National Teacher Appreciation Week. And today, Tuesday, is the day folks are supposed to use social media to give a shout out to teachers. The best shout out I can give this year is to my father.

He taught high school social studies for over 30 years for the same school. Many of my fondest childhood memories involve him in that role

  • I remember drinking soda in a bottle from the vending machines in the basement of the school's original building.
  • I remember walking through the underground tunnel between the school and the annex building behind it.
  • I remember spending teacher work days with him in his classroom.
  • I remember the New Year's Eve parties my parents would have at our house. Most of the guests were teachers. I loved those people.
  • I remember a summer school class he was teaching when a student came up, hugged Dad, and then picked him up off the floor. Dad laughed.
  • Another time in that same summer class, all the students threw paper wads at him in the middle of class. He laughed (and they cleaned up).
  • As a kid, I got to play cribbage in the teacher's lounge with Dad and other teachers.
  • I loved going to the school dances with him on Friday nights when I was 5 or 6.
  • He sang in a quartet with the band, choir, and orchestra directors in the annual variety show. They called themselves the Golden Oldies. They would do two songs - one snappy one like Greased Lightening and then they would bring a female student up on stage and serenade her. It was the highlight of the show every year.
  • I remember that anywhere we went, he would run into current or former students (or even his "hall people" - students he knew from joking with them in the hall between classes). They would shout to him from across the mall or stop to shake his hand and tell him what they were up to.
One redeeming thing about the week between Dad's death and his funeral were the messages from his students on the funeral home website and at the visitation. So many said he was their favorite teacher - that he made learning fun. And several said they went into teaching because of Dad. I was - and continue to be - proud to be his daughter. And I count myself among those students now. In many ways, I teach now because of him.


Honor a teacher this week.... And maybe a few other times a year, too!

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