Food for Thought

Recently someone commented on a Facebook status I was tagged in and they said “I know that I had nothing to do with the amazing life you have created but I want you to know I am incredibly proud of you.” That someone was a teacher I had back in High School and I don’t think she understands how much of an impact she did make on my life. I honestly don’t think any teacher truly knows the impact they make and I believe they don’t get enough credit.

I can remember all the teachers that made an impact in my young life, they helped me become the person I am today. The teacher that made that comment on my Facebook post was my physics teacher. Boy, did I dislike physics in the beginning, I wanted nothing to do with being in that class. I hated it so much that I had decided I was going to drop it. Dropping a class in high school is surprisingly easy, you just walk into the guidance counselor’s office and fill out a form, then the counselor gets it signed by the teacher. Well, for most kids it is easy – for me it was not. My teacher found me and talked to me about why I wanted to drop physics. She was blunt and told me that she was not going to sign my drop form and that my poor grades were because I was lazy, not because I wasn’t smart enough. She was determined to have me stay in the class and she told me she would help me anyway she could. So, I stayed… I mean what choice did I have?

A few months later, physics had somehow become one of my favorite classes. I enjoyed dropping things out the window and having Malibu ken go bungee jumping off my desk – all in the pursuit of physics knowledge that is. Had this teacher just signed the papers, I never would have got to experience the joy that is high school physics.

That’s the thing with good teachers – they never give up. They are the people that will do everything in their power to make sure you succeed and get all the help you need along the way. They put in long hours and often deal with situations that most of us could never dream of. Their work follows them home from making lesson plans to wondering if that one student with the tattered clothing is getting dinner tonight. Yet, they don’t get nearly enough credit. In the U.S. teachers are paid nearly nothing. Their hard work is often met with anger from parents wondering why their child isn’t getting an A+. It’s just not fair. These are the people we trust with shaping the minds of the future and they get no recognition. It’s time we change that. Teachers should be thanked, appreciated and hell, they should be paid a lot more for dealing with the crap they do.

If you’re reading this now, go thank a teacher. They helped you become the person you are today.


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