I have read the posts of many teachers thanking those they have learned from. I myself have written posts about this as well. Thanking colleagues for information and ideas, thanking students for their views and their insight and thanking the families for, well, just about anything. In addition to this I have spoken to many colleagues who, like myself, believe that the biggest compliment in an educator’s career is given when a former student comes back and says that you made a difference or helped. As I have previously written I am lucky to had this happen once or twice already. Does this mean that my work is done? NO, not by any means.
An event that occured recently started me thinking. It started me thinking about and reflecting upon the fact that I have thanked those who have assisted and influenced my learning in the last five years, but I do not recall thanking those that influenced, assisted and well, molded my formal years of education.
I know that like many of my students, I have gone back and personally thanked my teachers, but that has depended on being able to track down those teachers. This is the event that caused my thinking. Last week I was in a meeting with outside division participants. One of the participants looked extremely familiar, but I could not put a name to the face. About a third of the way through the meeting, the individual, Mr. McPherson, remembered where we had crossed paths. Oddly enough Mr. McPherson was my elementary Principal. It had been roughly 26 years since we had seen each other. Needless to say whenever we had a break we caught up on the events that had occurred since, and why I had chosen to become a teacher. While going through all of my reasons for becoming a teacher I realized there was a central theme and I thought I should share it with everyone.
Mrs. Kashmar – my grade two teacher at Caernarvon Elementary. From what I remember, she really emphasized that I get my printing and hand writing correct. I am sure it is her I should thank for the fact that, to this date, I still have better writing than most of my friends.
Mr. Badger – my grade five teacher, also at Caernarvon Elementary. He is the teacher I should thank for planting the seed of wanting to learn as much about science as I have.
Mr Clark – Middle years Social Studies teacher. He not only brought forth a passion for history and understanding, but also (now this may found funny) reminded me of Santa. This was not only in his appearance, but in his kindness, joyfulness and caring. I will always remember Mr. Clark for his willingness to play along in my jesting about him being Santa.
Mr. Klak – Middle years Math teacher who, thankfully, did something I thought could never be done. Mr. Klak made Math fun.
Now for the trip down memory lane in High School, which I attended at Ross Sheppard Composite High School.
Mr. (Coach) Kauchman – was one of the most unique math teachers I knew, and learning from him was an entirely new experience. Still think of those Pilot Sunglasses.
Mr. Paulitsch – was not only my football coach, but also one of my physical education teachers. Mr. Paulitsch was also a Social Studies teacher, however I was not fortunate to be in any of his classes. Mr. Paulitsch brought a passion to his teaching, a great belief in relationships and a wonderful level of humour.
Mrs. Campbell – famous for the different hats that she wore at school, but more importantly, known for her love of Social Studies and for being one of those teachers that loved building relationships.
Mr. Caskanett – by far he was the most eccentric and extraordinary English teacher I had. Making class both unpredictable and exciting.
There are many many more teachers that I could list from my past that made a difference, influenced me and most of all, through our relationships, showed that they cared. My only regret is that for some of them, it has taken me this long to come out and say thank you. A simple thank you for making the difference, understanding how I learned, for keeping me responsible and accountable and for being my teacher – Thank You.