Without teachers, we’d be nothing and have nothing

This week local schools celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week. Drew Central had a special cookout for its teachers, and Monticello Intermediate School got parents to cover classrooms so that teachers would have the opportunity to eat lunch together on Monday. Monticello Middle School had a special teacher’s appreciation lunch as well.

Teaching may seem like a thankless job. They have to do a lot of different things to teach the youth of our community.

I’m sure it’s a lot like parenting. As parents, we have to make our kids do what’s right. Teachers do the same. Parents worry about their children and pray for them daily. Teachers do too.

The only difference between an educator and a parent is that educators get paid, but if you added up all the hours the teachers put into their jobs, it’s safe to say most wouldn’t even make minimum wage.

Teaching is such a noble profession. In the Bible, Jesus’ followers called him “rabbi,” which means teacher. There’s no greater reward in life than to teach regardless of  how you do it.

Over the years, my boys have had some great teachers. They’ve had a few that weren’t too great, but for the most part, they have been blessed with amazing teachers.

I will never forget how Jenny Haughton taught Jordan how to read in kindergarten, or how Cameron’s favorite teacher, Brenda Henderson, taught him to read in pre-k.

Even my little Gavin has managed to have good teachers in his short life.

Teaching is essential to life. We are taught things in our lives. Our first teachers are our parents. Then, we move into our formal education to learn from professional teachers who dedicate their lives to educating our youth.

I have had amazing teachers in my life. While I may not recall every little thing they taught me, I know they taught me a lot of important things.

I am one of the lucky ones. I had great parental encouragement as well as great teachers to teach me what my parents could not.

It would be impossible for me to list them all, from kindergarten through my college years, but when I think about my education, there are a couple of teachers who come to mind.

I could not imagine my life if  Beth Shull had never been my teacher. She taught me the foundation of the career I enjoy today. In fact, I use every skill she ever taught me every single day I go to work. College only built on what she gave me nearly 20 years ago.

Jonalyn Reep was an amazing English teacher. She encouraged my writing of short stories. She even had me enter in a writing contest, where I received an honorable mention. She was an encourager.

Laura Ferguson taught me in choir. While she never could get me to sing – especially by myself – she did teach me things. When I think of Mrs. Ferguson, I remember all the performances we had with her. I remember singing in the Fine Arts Center at UAM, and going to other schools to compete. Those were fun times.

John McClellan was an amazing science teacher. When I think about my junior high days, this man enters my brain. He meant business when he said something, but I know without a doubt his heart was in the right place.

Wanda Jordan taught me home economics in ninth grade. While I can follow a recipe to a tee, I have trouble with sewing a button onto a shirt. I think she might be disappointed if she knew I can’t really sew or iron.

Of course there are others I think about from time to time….Cecila Whittmore, Don Whittmore, Melanie Raines, and there’s the teachers I had in college. As I just said, I think it would be impossible for me to name them all, but I had some of the best teachers.

It’s because of Coach Whittmore that I can still sing Johnny Horton’s “Ballad of New Orleans.” He gave us extra credit to sing the song in class when we studied about the War of 1812 in eighth grade social studies.

Sometimes I wonder if he even remembers that assignment.

The point is we would be nothing without teachers.  We can’t teach ourselves. We need them to mold us into knowledgeable people. Every generation needs good teachers so I say thank you to every teacher I ever had, good or bad. Thankfully, they were mostly good, but I learned from the bad ones too.

Everything in life is an educational experience and the world is our classroom. We should thank everyone who teaches us in the subject called Life because we’d be nothing without them.

<em>Melissa Cason is the staff writer for the Advance Monticellonian. She can be reached at 367-5325.</em>

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