Thank You – A Teacher Appreciation Post

Keep reading to learn about some of my favorite teachers, and what made them so great!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Keep reading to find about some influential teachers I’ve had!

I heard a funny joke awhile ago, “If your job has an appreciation week, you aren’t.” It’s more sad than funny because it might be more true than not. But, this week I am feeling very grateful about teaching, and won’t be writing about any strategies or resources (CLICK HERE if you’re looking for some of those) so I can instead give a shout out to a couple of my most influential teachers.

First off, when I was younger, I didn’t really like school. I was a little different, and felt a lot different – I was diagnosed with a learning disability, and was placed in an isolated special education classroom in second grade. It wouldn’t have happened with today’s modern teaching approaches, but it did in the 1980’s, and, so I was stuck – isolated in a class away from most other second graders, and I stayed in that class until middle school.

The first teacher I’d like to thank wasn’t officially my teacher, but had a PhD in Mathematics and was a former superintendent – my grandpa. He would work with me on math once a week throughout elementary school, and would up teaching me the most valuable lessons that helped in all my other classes (and life in general) – to slow down, write neatly, to not be careless, and, most importantly, to stay organized. So, thank you, Grandpa, my first great teacher for giving me the skills I needed to become successful in school and life.

Middle school was also difficult. I still didn’t really fit in, and, to make things worse, I knew it. I’m sure I must have had some good teachers, but I didn’t really click with any. One thing I did become convinced of though was that I wanted to become a teacher – specifically the type of teacher who would strive to make kids who didn’t feel like they belonged feel like they belong. And, I think this belief translates into both my teaching strategies and resources (CLICK HERE to check them out) which I strive to make as inclusive as possible.

This brings me to high school, and my favorite teacher ever – Mr. Johnson. I had Mr. Johnson for 12th grade English. He took someone who didn’t really feel like he fit in, and made him through encouragement, conversations and jokes made me feel like I belonged. He even made Dante’s Inferno understandable, and got an entire largely checked out class of seniors excited about performing a scene from Hamlet on the stage with homemade costumes and everything. He even took us on a walk to buy us donuts once!

As great as all these memories are, What I’d really like to thank Mr. Johnson for was for providing me a template of the type of teacher I strive to be. One that is patient, funny, rigorous, but, above all, there for EVERY student. So, thank you Mr. Johnson for setting such a great example for me and every other student who was lucky enough to have you.

So, as this school year draws closer to the end with Teacher Appreciation Week, I’d like to also say thank you to you, the readers. I appreciate you letting me be a small part of your teaching journey by letting me share my resources, techniques, games, etc with you, and really hope it helps make your teaching a little easier.

How about you? What teachers had the biggest impact on you?

Keep reading to learn about some of my favorite teachers, and what made them so great!