This post was inspired by a recent visitor, Emily , whose blogs at Essential E. Emily is a teacher, thus reminding me of my teachers, leading to this post, ect, ect, ect.
I have teacher friends that sometimes despair and think it is a thankless job. They, (or she. Specifically the she that lives in Thunder Bay and teaches Biology/Math/whatever else they have her teaching this week), think that the children don't appreciate what their teachers do.
Not true. Through-out my studies I have been inspired by some of the greatest people I've ever come across. I'm not just talking about likability... because I can get along with pretty much anyone... these are people that have had a profound influence on the person that I've become, and am still becoming.
To begin at the beginning...
Mrs Lutes - Grade 3. This was the beginning of my musical background. She gave us recorders and allowed me to spend recess inside practicing. She inspired my love of creative writing with one specific comment which I still remember to this day.. "Your writing is very descriptive and a joy to read, I hope you keep at it!" She could have just put the big red checkmark on it, (well and maybe a sticker... I love stickers!), and been done with it... but she didn't. She took the time to write that small piece of encouragement, and even though I didn't pursue writing as a career, (you have to have good grammar for that), she inspired me to try harder and develop my writing "voice" per say, (which sounds alot like my regular voice, only much quieter and lower pitched!!). I remember the sound of her voice and her smile. Although, last time I saw her she was alot shorter than I remember...
Ms. Slater - Grade 7. This was the year I became an academic (lol, if you can call it that). Ms. Slater put the desks in groups of 4 and numbered each group. Every week she would deal a deck of cards and the number on your card was the group that you sat in for that week. This is how I met Heather. Heather was one of those people who was good at everything she did, and also a good person. Because I'm competitive by nature, (so is Heather, though she'll never admit it! lol). I began to study harder to keep up with her, (no easy feat!). We were inseperable for years after that and still keep in touch.
Ms Slater also taught me how to cross country ski on her lunch breaks. She also encouraged me to try out for the soccer team - a big deal because I wasn't the most athletic girl in school. I made the team and played fabulous defense!
Everyday we wrote a journal where I would make up fantastic stories about things that never happened... not sure why... I think I considered my own life boring and so had to make one up. I still have the journals... quality entertainment that is! She would read our entries everyday and always write something back, or ask questions to answer the next day, encouraging your strengths and sympathizing with your dificulties. Of all the teachers I had, she was the one with which I was the closest.
Mr Grant - I'll remember him forever for teaching me how to sing. He taught our whole town to sing together in the centennial celebration. He also doubled as the french teacher in our very small community. He also happens to be the father of Joe Grant from Three Days Grace, (adam Gontier's (from the same band), dad was my french teacher in grade 4... weird).
Mr Simmonds - High school music teacher - carted us around the entire country for four years and definitely changed the course of my life. I had no drive and no goals. It was Heather who convinced me to go try out for band, (her older sister was a member), I went with her and the rest is history. I developed a deep love for all things musical and got to see the country. We travelled from Prince Edward Island on the east coast - to Vancouver Island on the west coast, and most places in between. Because we spent so much time away from home and school, he and his wife Isabel became almost like surrogate parents. So thank you for giving so much of your free time to us. We remember and appreciate it.
Also, that year I broke my arm and couldn't hold my clairinet... he handed me a flute and stuck me in the flute section beside Corinne, who became, and still is, the best friend I will ever have... and is probably horrified by my grammar in this post. She's been correcting it in her head all along, I promise you! The thing that drives her the most kind of crazy is when I use 'you're' when I should be using "your". Strangly enough, she is the voice inside my head when I'm editing my own writing.
On and on a separate note - I would like to apologize to my grade 9 English teacher - Mrs Phillips - whom I successfully convinced that I was seeing people that weren't there, specifically my imaginary friend named Melvin... if you ever read this - I am, nor have I ever been, able to see people that are not there... but don't you think that would be a great skill to have?