When you were in school, did you have one of those special teachers that really touched your life?
You know what I mean. The teacher you had who immediately springs to mind when reminiscing about those long forgotten school days.
The teacher you would nominate for those cute commercials, where the teacher accepts an award while wiping the tears from his/her eyes.
That special teacher who not only taught class, but taught life's lessons.
Did you have one of those?
But it was no sweat. My dad, on a daily basis taught me and my siblings life's lessons by example.
When reminiscing with family and friends about my 12 years of catholic school, 3 images immediately pop into my head.
1) Sister Regina Monday, my first grade teacher, smacking my open palm with a brass ruler. I was only 6 years old for heavens sake.
2) Mrs Dott, our only grade school teacher who wasn't a nun or a priest, teaching our 3rd grade class how to count to 10 in French. I can still do it to this day, and they are the only French words I know.
3) Father Pietry, while teaching a High School Religion class, suddenly took a step toward me and punched me in the nose. I mean, he wound up.
His form was perfect.
He was wearing his class ring.
It wasn't pretty. I had more blood on my blue and gray school sweater than Al Pacino had on him during the filming of Scarface.
( Of course, I really milked that bloody nose. Didn't even try to stop the bleeding for awhile.)
Fear not. I was not traumatized by these events. Well, maybe the counting in French was a bit unsettling, but the brass ruler and the shot to the face left no lasting effects. In fact I think of those memories in a humorous way.
My childhood was not altered because my Religion teacher had a bad day. On the contrary, I led a "Leave it to Beaver" type of life in a "Leave it to Beaver" neighborhood.
I was the happiest kid ever.
The reason I bring this up is because I now know of a teacher, who does more than teach.
She touches kids lives. And that is special.
The teacher I speak of is my daughter Bryn who is in her second year of teaching Spanish at a all boys Catholic High School.
She recently came home and filled us in on a meeting she had with the language department at her school. Without going into detail, what happened was, she spoke up during this meeting against some of the teachers when they were bad mouthing some of her students.
She's one of the "new" teachers and could have just sat back and said nothing.
But she didn't.
She takes after her mom.
She was passionate about "her kids" and just furious at some of the teachers who just seemed to be going through the motions.
Many of the kids she taught last year come by to visit her, and some hang out with her in her class room after school, as she does whatever teachers do. They talk to her about all sorts of things.
She said to me, maybe they need to talk to someone. Maybe they have an issue and feel comfortable talking to me about it. I want to be there for them if that's the case.
I told my daughter, " Some teachers just teach, some teachers touch people's lives. Your one of those special teachers."
Yeah, proud dad here.