Today I got a phone call from the US Department of Education thanking me for my teaching. One of my best teacher friends nominated me for their teacher appreciation, isn’t that super nice? So I thought I’d join the #MTBoS30 and show appreciation for some very special teachers.
Ms Smith, who taught me Honors Precal and never got mad no matter how many times she had to say, “Meghan, turn around.” Not only that, but she also accepted my invitation to participate in the teacher portion of our local FFA livestock show, which meant she had to pretend to guide my pig around in the ring for ten minutes. Ask yourself: are you that dedicated to student relationships? Also, I need to buy a plant for my room and have it get kind of droopy, then when the kids get some bad test scores, pretend to “just notice” that the plant needs some water and care and attention, but then it will spring back. Talk about a pro move.
Dr Foreman, my Cal I (and many other classes) prof, or I like to say, The Reason I Became a Math Teacher. Even though I had already had Cal BC in high school (but didn’t take the AP test), it was like I was learning calculus for the first time, or should I say, understanding calculus for the first time. He was also my adviser and just a general all-around great person. He had the best deadpan delivery of anyone I’ve ever known; I try to imitate it but never quite pull it off (the trick is to keep on going like you didn’t even make a joke and wait for the laughs to come 20 seconds later). This is how nice he was: his daughter attended the high school where I first taught and he told her to say hello to me on the first day so I would know a friendly face. How sad for his life to be cut short by cancer, but he definitely touched many students’ lives during his career.
Dr Atkinson, my other math prof, who LOVED math. And always (like I tend to do) got super excited at that moment in a middle of a proof when you realize HOLY COW GUYS THIS IS GOING TO WORK OUT (even if you’ve already done the proof 10 times before). He was also so patient during his office hours; I wish I had that kind of patience when someone asks me how to multiply matrices for 168th time.
Susan S, with whom I taught with for multiple years but not long enough before she retired. She had taught everything under the sun and could explain anything to anyone without making you feel dumb. She taught me how to graph functions! She was also great about determining This Is Important versus This Is Required. She was such a good teacher that every time you mention her name, someone in the room will always say, “Oh, I miss Susan.”
Suzanne C, my classroom neighbor and friend. You know the whole “teach people math” versus “teach math to people” thing? Suzanne has got that down. She is always making connections to kids that some people think are unreachable and teaching kids that some people think are unteachable. In her crazy way she is always an ever-present reminder of putting kids first.
Beth R, my school BFF. What would I do without her? (Answer: Quit. Seriously, I was debating a job change recently and one of the major cons was “no Beth.”) She has taken on AP Cal all by her herself and rocked it. She is great to collaborate with or just bounce ideas off of. Her students know they’re going to work and learn in her class but it will also be enjoyable. Oh, and yes, we are so on the same wavelength that we once wore the exact same outfit on back-to-school PD day. Also, if you have a super-rough day at school, she will bring you a bagel the next day. I mean, you can’t ask for more than that from a friend, can you?
My fellow MTBoS teachers…this post is already too long without going into why I appreciate all of you, but I hope you already know I do.
Thanks to all of these teachers for being so awesome.