Today I met an elementary teacher of mine when she visited my place of employ. She saw immediately that the job was for me even though it has been almost 2 decades since I had her class. She didn’t even see me at first, but when she turned what joy.
My childhood was very strict, but my teachers from elementary were always warm standouts. No matter how strict they were, they always balanced with a true desire to see each of us succeed….for our own sakes, not their own.
Those were the days when I felt empowered to go to school. I may have stumbled more than a few times, but they were always saying or doing the right thing so that I would walk right and tall. These were teachers that weren’t your friends, more like drill sergeants you remember the first time you survive something because of their care during training.
(If you must know, I am currently watching Attack on Titan the anime, so my talk has a military lean to it.)
Life wasn’t simpler back then, simply more engaged in all the right ways. My teachers definitely had favorites, political views, personal issues…but they left those things at home in such a way that it was still part of them and yet left us unencumbered of the extras, so we could learn as we needed to.
The rest of my school years weren’t like that. I easily tested teachers and saw many fail. I experimented on how far I could go with my introverted ways to see if they could bring me back and pull out the diamond that was hiding inside of me. So very many failed and the ones who barely passed, I remember, but those who shine I will remember to my kids.
See, teachers aren’t there to simply give knowledge. A teacher should also not simply inspire. They take rocks and see the beauty, or the clay with its possibilities, or the paint and have all the ideas on how and where to put it. They can see beyond the moment and with an ease that could only be a gift from God, easily give direction to the path a person needs to take to keep going on their journey.
This is life as a teacher.
This is the life of a great one remembered.