Today is World Teacher’s Day. Therefore, we have no classes as a small gesture of gratitude toward those influential adults who have watched us grow, educated us on everything from shapes and colors to the unification of Germany, miseducated us on topics such as Christopher Columbus, pressured us, taught us poise and grace under pressure, made our day worth sitting through in the hopes of a funny anecdote to cheer us up, terrified us and made us despise Shirley Jackson and Anne Frank, inspired us and sparked curiosity about the world, and most of all put up with everything we pulled on them throughout the years.
This is a heartfelt thank you to all of my teachers, even the few who I didn’t tolerate well. I still learned something from them (even if only how to work with difficult people). Without you I would not be writing this from Sarajevo, and I would not have the opportunity to experience more than you could ever teach me about the world.
There are many times when I learn a small fact or hear a phrase that I associate with one of my former teachers and I smile a little bit. Some of the things that have happened here:
When the librarian pointed out “The Rubaiyat” to me, I instantly thought of Mrs. Seymour and her fantastic World Lit class.
I pass thousands of things which remind me daily of Prague, and I never fail to associate them with the many wonderful opportunities Mr. Buch generously gave to us.
I get so excited whenever I hear (and understand!) German tourists speaking to each other, all thanks to Herr Reinardy, Frau Tordsen and Frau LaPorte.
History is omnipresent in Sarajevo, and I tend to remember Mr. Haling’s comments about various political figures and their mustaches, or Mrs. Wagers’s tolerance of my strong opinions during discussions.
I just gave a presentation on Ukraine in geography class. I flashed back to seventh grade, when I did the same in Mrs. Johnson’s class. Also, thanks to Mrs. Haling I was able to speak loudly and clearly. It didn’t stop me from referring to Russia as Europe, but . . . we all have our moments.
I’ve referenced The Crucible several times. Thank you, Mr. Sinz, for the great survey of American Literature. And here’s to Mr. Masanz for interrupting class with interesting comments . . .
Mrs. Lind was my first teacher to teach me how to think about my “voice.” I still think about this when I write my blog posts :-)
I’ve had so many other wonderful teachers and counselors, too: Mrs. Dix, Mrs. Schultz, Priebe, Mrs. Colwell, Mr. Erdman, Mrs. Kadonsky, Reimer, Mr. Gilbertson, Mr. Blum, my elementary school teachers, and everyone else along the way. Thank you so much for teaching me the knowledge and the skills which I use every day, and thank you for showing me how much a little optimism can do.