Thursday, November 18, 2010

Some teachers teach.......

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?

I didn't.
Not one.
But it was no sweat. My dad, on a daily basis taught all his children 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 those memories bring a smile to my face.
My childhood was not altered because my Religion teacher had a bad day.
But I bet he wouldn't have hit me with a left jab if he knew that 30 years later I would be googleing him and corresponding via "electronic mail", sharing my thoughts with him concerning said left jab.

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.


slommler said...

Kudos to your daughter!! My DIL is also a passionate teacher of the first grade in Gallup, NM! Her students love her and she drives the old guard up the wall! Good for her too!! We are blessed to have her in our family!

Karen said...

..and you should be. She sounds like she's got a bit of her dad in her too.

Mr. Coppolino was my favorite... and being truthful here I had a huge crush on him, think I still do. He was compassionate, passionate about youth and learning and adventure and applying yourself. He gave the tough kids a kind hand and they came to enjoy his class and actually excel. I often wish I could find him and thank him. So far, no luck.

Megan said...

What did your mom and dad do about you getting punched in the nose? That sounds insane.

beth said...

very proud dad for sure !!!

good for her....has she seen the movie "freeedom writers".....i think it's a movie about her :)

have you seen it....i think it would make a great christmas movie for your whole family !

and yes, i did have one of those teachers {mr. green} and so did my kids at their private fact they had many....we're the lucky ones for sure !

dcpeg said...

. . . punched in the nose?!! What on earth did you do to merit that? Can you even imagine the firestorm that would start if that happened today?

Bryn sounds like a brilliant gift to children. Her students are so lucky to be in her classes! I hope she doesn't end up so frustrated with the system that she decides to change careers. Good teachers are far too rare!

Marilyn said...

I would definitely be proud too. I had a teacher or two I really liked, but they were cool and aloof, not approachable like this. Definitely proud!