I have seen signs occasionally that say, “If you can read this thank a teacher”. Teachers are very important people. They spend countless hours working on projects, papers, lessons, activities, and cajoling unwilling students to be motivated to learn something. The phone calls, e-mails, counseling sessions, and preparation that go into forming a student are a gift.
I had the opportunity to visit with my eighth grade science teacher this week. A lunch went quickly as we tried to get caught up. I have many fond memories of her class. I remember science being fun and something I could understand. I have always struggled with math, and as science advanced the math concepts were often something which caused me to not understand the theories. But, with a firm grasp of the materials and a passion for learning, I found out that I could learn science. I remember experiments on electricity and discussions about space.
Mainly what stands out for me though is this woman helped me to adjust to a new area, a new culture. It was one that felt very different, and I really felt out of place. I was missing Murray, Kentucky and my friends there. Then in comes this woman who loves NASA, as do I. She invited me to the Physics team. I was so overwhelmed, these were the really smart kids and I mean really smart. But, I had a blast doing different experiments. It is her faith, her solidity, her caring about friends and family that has become more dear as I have grown older.
Then, on a trip through the area she went out of her way to share a time and catch up. I am honored. I can read and I do thank a teacher. But, that is not the only thing I have been taught.