Every educator should take an hour and do this #thankateacher #satchat
This is going to be a little sappy…just sayin’.
A couple of weeks ago someone I worked with challenged me to do something (I’m a sucker for a good challenge…seriously. A while ago someone challenged me to send them something powerful everyday for like thirty days and I did it…dang it).
The concept is simple.
Think back to an educator that had an impact on your life.
Got them in your mind?
Now thank them.
Now, in my case it’s an entire family of educators that I’d like to thank. I’ll go in chronological order of my experiences with this family of educators.
It all started in second grade (even though I knew this family all my life as my parents were teachers in our town and they all were friends). Mrs. Foster was my second grade teacher. She had a love for the outdoors and everything that nature brought to the world. I can still picture her reading aloud to us. Her read alouds were the best! She had a special cadence to her reading that was hypnotizing…I’ve never been able to replicate it but I keep working on it. Mrs. Foster made everyone feel welcome and a part of the class family…everyone. Then later in my elementary career something incredible happened for me…I got to have Mrs. Foster in fourth grade again!!!! It was the best gift ever!
Thank you Mrs. Foster
Throughout my elementary experience I was a part of a program that was called ECHO. I forget what it stood for but the idea was that there were all these after school groups that you could join. Mr. Foster ran the outdoor adventure group. I signed up every single year that I could. The idea was that you try different things each round but I didn’t have any interest in that. I wanted to be with this guy…learn from him, hear him talk about nature in a way that I’d never experienced. I have many great stories about this guy and my experiences with this group. One time he told me a story about the Wendigo…I won’t lie, that might have had an influence on me. But a better story that I’ll never forget was during one of our weekend camping adventures. We were staying at his camp for the weekend and through a series of activities and adventures Mr. Foster found a trait to recognize each one of us for and he made a big deal out of it. Mine had something to do with solving an ancient riddle-like puzzle (where you have ropes between you and a partner that you have to untangle without taking off). For another kid in our group it was bravery and it’s stuck in my mind for a while. We were hiking back to camp from a high mountain area and it was getting dark…real dark. Mr. Foster said that he’d left his pack up at the peak and this kid, a kid that had a lot of challenges, quickly said, “I’ll go get it” and without hesitation started up in the dark to get it. Mr. Foster quickly stopped him and we all were in awe of how brave he was.
When I graduated high school Mr. Foster gave me two plaques with poems from Robert Frost on them. I still have them. They remind me of that time and I’ll never quite forget it.
Thank you Mr. Foster
I can’t remember which member of this family came next for certain, but I’ll stick with this order in my head. Mr. French was my high school science teacher (Earth Science and many other areas). I remember a great deal about Mr. French’s classes…including the Zebra Mussel project that he “encouraged me” to do (yes, yes…look at that hair). I remember how he never talked down to us…he talked to us like scientists and naturalists and I remember appreciating that. But my memory of choice isn’t actually from class. I remember visiting Mr. French’s house once and he had this incredible telescope. He took what must have been over an hour and told me everything there was to know about the night sky that night. It stuck with me…still remember it.
Thank you Mr. French
Last but not least is Mrs. French. She was one of my high school science teachers as well, but she was much more than that. She was a mentor is so many ways. I remember that she was one of those teachers that could joke with you…but at the same time you knew you were there to learn. Interesting fact I was thrown in a snow bank by a football player during her class one day…just sayin’. I sometimes had trouble with the minute concepts in science. Looking back on it I understand my learning profile so much better, but regardless Mrs. French had a way of explaining things in a way that I understood. It worked. She also had a giant snake in an aquarium that I had to sit next to…she said it helped me focus. Mrs. French is now a lead learner in my old school system. She’s wicked smart and someone I genuinely look up to in so many ways.