6 Things My Teachers Taught Me
In the midst of back to school time, I think back to my own school days and the teachers that left an impact on my life. They taught me so much more than just reading, writing and arithmetic. Many of my teachers left a lasting impression and shaped who I am as a person today. These are just a few of the things that they taught me.
1. Love what you do and do what you love. I remember walking into my high school lit class on the first day of school and the instructor informed us that his class wasn’t going to be an easy ride, but that we were going to have some fun along the way. He introduced us to Steinbeck, Shakespeare and burp baseball. We read poetry outdoors, many times staying after the bell rang to listen to the last sonnet. He pushed us and we eagerly showed up to his class ready to learn. The thing that stuck with me the most was his passion and love for teaching. At the time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in life, but I knew I wanted to love doing it.
2. Believe in yourself. The good teachers are the ones that can tell when a student needs a little boost of confidence. I remember an English teacher encouraging me to apply to join the yearbook staff my freshman year. I hesitated and told her that I didn’t think I was a good enough writer. I don’t exactly remember what she told me, but I remember feeling more confident after talking to her. I turned in my application the next day and quickly became a sections editor. Who knew I’d be blogging for a living a decade later.
3. Never give up. Fortunately, most of my teachers were amazing. Unfortunately, I also had some not so amazing ones who weren’t as encouraging. Those were the ones that taught me perseverance and when one door closes, another one opens.
4. Set the bar high. My very first journalism professor in college was brilliant and scary, but mostly brilliant. On the first day of class he blew through the room, with one too many shots of espresso running through his system, and told us “if you’re on time, you’re late, because news never happens according to a schedule”. We were all 10 minutes early the next day. He set the bar high for us and when we didn’t quite reach it, he’s have us try again until we did. We knew that praise from him meant something. We learned to have high standards for ourselves.
5. Women can do anything. Back in the days when science was supposedly for boys, I remember despising it. Well, that was until my 7th grade science teacher walked into my life. It was my first female science teacher and she took me under her wing and that was the year that I won first place in the science fair. She was one of my earliest role models, aside from my mother, that taught me not to be confined by gender roles.
6. Color outside of the lines. I remember arguing with my kindergarten teacher that the sky wasn’t just blue, but purple and red and all sorts of colors too (I now know where my 2 year old gets his sass from). Fortunately, most of my teachers appreciated and encouraged my creativity and uniqueness.