We've all had great teachers in our past, right? Teachers who inspired us, challenged us, helped us mature, and were instrumental in us becoming who we are today. Why are some teachers considered great, and others not so much? Lots of reasons.
Thinking back on my teachers, here are the ones who stand out for me:
1. Mrs. Stephens- Senior English teacher. She pushed me to be better. Constantly. She didn't let me coast. She was highly respected among the students. Not necessarily liked by everyone, but always respected. She never let us coast and never just gave us "busywork." And she made me write my senior English paper on "Machiavellian Leadership." Not your normal English paper topic....
2. Mr. Galatian- High School physics and Science. He made Physics and science and computers a ton of fun. He engaged with students constantly. He was approachable and always willing to spend extra time helping you understand what was being taught. He had lots of jokes that he rolled out on a consistent basis. He was authentic.
3. Mrs. Darrah- 5th grade teacher. She was awesome. Made our class a ton of fun. I remember hundreds and hundreds of pages of cursive writing in her class..... And the fact that she also enjoyed dipping nacho cheese doritos into the chocolate shakes in the cafeteria!!
4. Mrs. Thompson- Elementary school Librarian. She made books and stories come to life. Listening and watching her read a book was just short of experiencing the same story through film. Her storytelling was magical!
5. Mr. Lomenick - yes, my dad. He never was a classroom teacher for me, but he coached me in football, and in life. And he was and still is a constant teacher- making others better and being willing to explain things, as well as see the potential in kids. That's a huge part of being a great teacher I believe, is the vision for what a kid can be, even if they don't realize it or see it.
Here's the deal. If you can remember the great teachers in your past, don't just remember who they are, but actually send them a note, or call them, or make a visit to their classroom when you might be back in your hometown. Tell them how much they meant to you and to your development as a person and as a leader.
We need Great Teachers. and we need to acknowledge the great teachers in our lives.