Sunday, October 10, 2010

But even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can, within their own small ways, turn on a small light in a dark room.*

The teacher not only shapes the expectations and ambitions of pupils; the teacher also influences their attitudes toward their future and themselves. If the teacher loves the students and has high expectations of them, their self-confidence will grow, their capabilities will develop, and their future will be assured. – President Monson

I have had many teachers in my life. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly side of them. I am speaking of many different types of teachers; school, church, seminary, institute, life. While most of my teachers have been very good, there are a few who stand out to me above the rest.

The first teacher who really made an impression on me was Mrs. Chervenak. She was my second grade teacher. Mostly, she made learning fun for me. We did spelling practices on our desks with shaving cream (she may also be responsible for why I love the smell of men so much...of course, men might have something to do with that too).

Mrs. Robinson came in third grade and she taught me the invaluable lesson of not interrupting people. Sometimes I still have that childlike impulse to spout out what is on my mind, but I try to hold back, wait a minute, and not to interrupt someone else's conversation. In fact, to this day I am still afraid to interrupt adults speaking to each other...

Mrs. Hobson (and this is probably it for school teachers) was my 5th grade teacher. I had a rough year in fourth grade. I had a bully at lunch, a bully of a teacher (no joke she was almost as bad as the one my age). I was really not feeling the whole self confidence thing. Mrs. Hobson was like the burn cream in the first aid kit. She soothed the damage of fourth grade, she showed confidence in me even when I knew that my fourth grade teacher had told her not to (this is how I know: I applied to be a Safety...yes, a safety, you didn't read that wrong and on my application, which went to Mrs. Hobson, the fourth grade teacher made sure to note that I was 'unreliable'. ...Way to label someone young). I am always grateful for Mrs. Hobson because I feel like she really got the ball rolling on who I was to become as life went on (and yes, I was a Safety and I had the badge and the orange vest thingy too).

I had teachers at church, seminary, and institute as well, who have all shaped who I am.

Sandy Willis taught me great lessons on character and integrity, charity, and so much more. She taught me to judge people off their own merits, not off of what others say. She taught me that the best way to learn and grow was to leave my comfort zone. She also taught me that when things were hard and it seemed nearly impossible to go on that it must mean something spectacular is waiting on the other side of it, basically hope and to never give up. I seriously had never seen someone so happy to hear what a hard time I was having, she would be full of excitement over what must be waiting. She is still around in my life, and as I grow older and stumble around in this life she has also taught me to love people for who they are and never let that change because they slip and fall.

Sister Lansing. She was my seminary teacher my last year. Our motto was "You can do hard things". The thought of her and the memory of her voice saying these words got me through the hike to the top of Mount Timpanogos, through the first semester of college, the first months of every new job and is sure to get me through many more difficult and trying experiences to come.

Oh, I almost forgot one and I certainly can't forget him. I wouldn't have been able to graduate college on time without him! Brother Tatum (Professor Tatum?). Former Californian police officer turned Criminology Professor. I was scared to death of him the first time I took one of his classes, and I don't know what I did, but the next time I took a class from him he thought I was the greatest. Does that not make it easier to in turn, think he is the greatest? His confidence in me helped me to get through the last two grueling semesters of college. I felt safe in sharing my project ideas with him without worrying that he would think they were stupid. He wasn't completely onboard for all of them (the edible Anatomy of a Leader project I proposed, he was skeptical when I asked if I got bonus points for an edible final project - I will post pictures later) he still supported me and trusted me (and he loved my project). Also, he was my education counselor and he helped me to finagle my credits earned in my major to count for my minor (thus getting me out of school before I went nuts).

I am very grateful for many other teachers too. Like I said, I have had a lot of good ones (and bad too - luckily not nearly as many). I have felt the effects that a good teacher can have and I am thankful for all the hard work, effort, and love they put in to teaching others.

1 comment:

Joanna & Ben said...

It's OK, Jess, I had some meany teachers too. Too bad that they're easy to remember.


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