Being in my Sophomore year of college, I am getting farther and farther removed from high school. As opposed to the beginning of Freshman year, no one really discusses high school all that often. And when they do it isn't anything too exciting for most people, but for my friends from home and I, it is such a joy.
I have people comment all the time on the fact that when I talk about high school I get way more excited than most people and that I keep in touch with more of my teachers than they do. And to that I reply with "yeah, I guess my high school experience was a rare one, I had such a good time." And that I owe to some of the best, most supportive, real teachers around.
Pursuing a career teaching high school I often think about what I want to be like around my future students. While doing this I often think if the best teachers I had and why they stood out to me.
I had teachers that constantly joked around with my peers and me, but could then settle the classroom down for a lesson just as casually as they had got us railed up. I want to be like that. I had teachers that made me want to come to them with exciting news, hot gossip, and my frustrations and that is because they took a genuine interest in my accomplishments and emotions. I want to be like that too.
Often times it is the little things. My favorite parts of the day usually were going into a teacher's classroom and them saying some funny little thing to me as I entered the classroom. Or asking me to stay back as everyone was leaving and them asking about something I had mentioned earlier in the week.
I also had extracurricular teachers that knew how to make a big impact in the little time they had with us. In yearbook, we had dance parties all the time and vent sessions and parties occasionally creating the class we saw as an escape from the others, but through even all those activities I was learning how to lead an entire staff, coordinate coverage, prepare for deadlines, and have an eye for design. It is really quite brilliant how all these things could co-exist.
Then there were the teachers who never gave up on me. I am probably one of the least coordinated people you will ever meet and because of this, I had full-well intended my athletic career to end with fifth-grade softball and dance classes. But then the two tennis coaches who I had also had as teachers in middle school encouraged me to be the tennis team manager freshman year to just check out the program. With great hesitation, I joined the team sophomore year and it ended up being one of the best things for me in high school. I never would've given it a second thought freshman year had the coaches not made me feel so comfortable and accepted at any skill level.
Now that I'm out of high school they still continue to impact my life. A message checking in every now-and-then goes such a long way and every time I am in town and see them it's like we never skipped a beat. I learned so much from all of these people and most of all that is how to carry myself with grace, have confidence, and compassion when I have the opportunity to step into their shoes in a few years.
So to all of you, and you know who you are, thanks so much for giving me knowledge, joy, an understanding mind to pick, and a great example as to what I want to be one day. I'm sure you are all chuckling at the thought of me being unleashed with hundreds of my own students one day, and I'll for sure keep you updated.