During the arduous and time-consuming process of preparing a professional website, I was forced to reflect on the scope of my work and contributions. Looking back, I tended to reduce my status to, “I’m just a teacher.” Teachers traditionally downplay their work; it’s what we do, it’s why we choose to be in a classroom, why we are so deeply committed to creating a better world by educating our future generations. In fact, teachers are our most precious resource. I probably speak for many teachers out there who are discouraged by the increasing demands of mandates, though well-intentioned, fall short of what every teacher understands: each child is different and each child is capable of learning.
It is my belief that the arts are the means to this end. While sorting through some old albums of past high school productions that I thankfully did not discard, I found a written student message that was anonymously posted on the callboard during the 1997 Theatreworks Troupe production of Harvey:
(Click to view larger image)
As an English teacher, I did not make corrections since the voice of the writer is compelling. The spelling and punctuation revisions are easy to correct; encouraging the expression of a young person is priceless. I am certain that there are thousands of teachers who have received similar messages to remind us that we DO make a difference.
Let’s hear it from you … the teachers, the students, the graduates whose lives have been indelibly touched by a teacher for whatever reason and acknowledge how they were instrumental in breaking the mold to allow you to become who you are today.