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what do teachers think about their former teachers?

Two of my favorite quotes are:

Teachers Touch the Future” and

Teachers are in it for the Outcome, not the Income

Teacher Appreciation Week makes me think about a few teachers I had as a student, as they were instrumental in who I became as a person and as a teacher.

I was extremely fortunate to have had several teachers who took a personal interest in their students and were mentors and cheerleaders as well as educators to me. I have countless fond memories, a testament to the huge impact a teacher can make in a student’s life.

Even better, I have been able to keep in touch with these wonderful people for decades, ever since they started shaping my future. They have continued to take an interest in my life, support me, advise me and celebrate when I decided to eventually become a teacher myself.

My 5th grade classroom teacher’s calm, friendly demeanor made her the perfect choice for the incoming students. Her kindness and thoughtfulness made the transition to a new school smooth and enjoyable. After she retired, she accepted an invitation to visit me and my family, traveling far to make the trip. I was able to return the favor a few years later.

The biology teacher in 11th grade was a teacher in training and the one who ignited a passion in me to become a life-long learner. She knew just the right amount of push I needed to take my studies seriously and go deep. Years later, we chatted about how to address student’s lack of drive and positively influence them to realize their learning potential.

Then there is my Latin teacher, who has a delightful sense of humor. One of the wisest people I know, she taught us so much more than Latin, infusing her classes with history, art and philosophy. In the advanced Latin class, she had us read a variety of authors in addition to the regular curriculum. She even visited me when I was in the hospital in 7th grade. She was one of the chaperones on our senior trip and made it an unforgettable experience.

I’d like to amend the first quote to “Teachers Shape the Future”.

My teachers certainly shaped my future and I hope every student has at least one such teacher.

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