I am almost finished with my 11th year of teaching. As with every year, there have been times of laughter, times of sadness, times of confusion and dismay, times of pride. While I always enjoy reflecting on my own teaching, what I like to do this time each year, during Teacher Appreciation Week, is think about the teachers I had in my past who have played their role in shaping me into the person I am today.
To the following teachers, in alphabetical order…
Dr. Marilyn Aronson (deceased)
Dr. Aronson – there’s not a class day that goes by where I don’t feel you in my very bones. Your lessons about “Hard writing makes easy reading” continue to resonate and I hope I make you proud every time I teach it. I took your Greek Tragedies book so I could have pieces of you with me from one of my favorite works during AP Lit, Oedipus Rex. I hope you know you are a legend and you are loved.
Mrs. Stacie Brooks
You were my first teacher-love. You were the first person (outside of my family) who made me believe in myself. You called me out when I feigned illness, but you never made me feel bad about it – you always knew it was about my self-confidence. You made me love school and I am forever grateful.
Mr. Martin Doyle
Any Russian I learned in high school, I learned from you. Seriously, I wish I had you for all three years of Russian. You taught me incredible study techniques that actually made me a better student. You are the only reason I had any confidence to take Russian in college.
Professor Donald Loewen
You made me challenge my honor and made me a better person for it. You are also the person who made me fall in love with Russian. Spasibo bolshoye, Professor.
Mrs. Carol Lowe
You were one of the toughest English teachers at Tech and that’s why I loved you. You were no-nonsense, brilliant, with an amazing sense of warmth and kindness. Every kid respected you to the highest degree because you deserved it. You read all of our work, each and every word, and you let me express myself – yours was the only homework I ever wanted to do.
Ms. Judith Mandiberg
Your leading sentences are what gave me confidence in creative writing. You may not believe me, but I would write several different stories for each of those sentences. But what was more important was how you cared for us. You trusted us with your address to write you letters and during a time that was so tumultuous for me, you were a guiding light, personally answering each and every one of my letters. I’m sorry I stopped writing. If I could find your address again, this time I would come for coffee.
Professor Rachelle Moore
Your guidance, leadership, and friendship molded me into someone who was confident enough to take control and run my own programs. Your Computers in English Studies class is what has given me the confidence to build my own websites today. You inspired me to write poetry again.
Mr. Sigmund Robinson
I can still rattle off electronics equations because you made us memorize every one. I am able to fix small circuits, understand the difference between parallel and series, and appreciate my Jewish ancestry because of you.
Professor Libby Tucker
Your classes are literally the entire inspiration for my teaching! Because of you, I am able to teach the most amazing senior elective English class in the history of public school. You showed me that my love of folklore and the supernatural was real and valid – you gave me my life’s purpose.
Professor Al Vos
You actually taught me how to read Shakespeare and I am forever grateful. You opened up an entire world of figurative language, complex characters, love, devastation, all through the eyes of Iago, Prospero, Portia, and more. I only wish I can be half as inspiring when I teach Shakespeare.
Mr. Steven Zebofsky
You made me love history. Even though I was a horrible history student who couldn’t write an AP US essay to save my life, you taught me things about the world that no one else ever mentioned. I was always amazed and how all you needed to do was write an Aim on the board and still deliver a brilliant lesson simply through discussion and debate. Thank you for letting be Sparta and kicking Athens’ ass.
As you think about all the teachers who have positively influenced you or your children, please remember them during this special week. A little moment of gratitude means everything to us.