Well, I suppose that should say former teacher seeing as how I’ve been out of high school for about 9 years now.
Yes, I’m getting old.
During my time in school I had one teacher in particular who was there pretty much my entire schooling “career”. He was a rather inspirational man and he’s the one I mainly have to thank for lighting the creative spark in me. He was my music teacher. (Okay, there was more than just him. There were a few over the years that have been remarkable.)
When I was in 3rd grade my mother got the brilliant idea that I should play an instrument. Even I looked at her like she was nuts. She was dooming herself to 7-8 years of constant, daily ear beatings by my attempts to play and actually make it sound some what like music. I can tell you, I was God awful for the first few years. Oh lord was I bad and I’m pretty sure our neighbors hated my mother for years afterward. So, when the time came to figure out what I, as an 8 or 9-year-old, would be good at playing I headed with the rest of the 3rd graders to the auditorium/cafeteria to meet the man who was brave enough to teach 8 year olds how to read music.
Mr. Rozell. He took his time and helped each one of us figure out exactly which instrument we would be good at. I apparently was good at the wind instruments. I chose the clarinet. Thus began a LONG time of learning, hating it and eventually coming to love it. (I still have my clarinet and sheet music. I remember how to play and I still love it.) He was the one teacher that was constant through out all of my schooling. He moved from teaching elementary to middle school with my class, then to high school. My last two years though, we did have a different teacher, but he was always there for us if we had questions, needed to talk or needed to buy reeds. (Which I did…all the time.)
So, why am I blogging about it? A few weeks ago I read an article about students and teachers being friends. Granted, I did agree that if the student is still in school and being taught by said teacher, it is a bit inappropriate to be social network friends with them, BUT, there is one particular state (I don’t remember which) that is trying to ban former students and teachers from being friends. How can a state dictate who you are friends with? And what if that former student becomes a teacher at the same school as the teacher? (As has happened at my alma mater, most of us loved our school and our teachers.)
I appreciate the fact that I can still remain in contact with my former teachers. That I can converse with them and see how they’re doing all these years later. As they can also see how I’m doing. Is it inappropriate now? Absolutely not! We are all adults and, as I’ve said, I’m thrilled that I have a way to stay in contact with people who helped to form me into what I am today. A mom, a writer and (fingers crossed) a soon to be Pitt undergrad. (That’s another post for another time.)
If you’re in school now, appreciate your teachers. Stop being a-holes and learn. You may think you don’t need math, English, writing or music; but honestly, you do. These are things you will take with you through life and they will help you in college or in your job. I still use everything I learned in school today, 9 years later. I just wish I had paid more attention and got better scores on my SAT’s.
If you’re out of school, appreciate your teachers. Say hi. Ask how they’re doing and say thanks. It may not seem like a lot, but for someone who has dedicated their lives to enriching and teaching you, it does mean a lot. It means that what they decided to do with their lives wasn’t wasted. It has done some good and they changed lives.
So, if any of my former and future teachers/professors read what I write, thank you. Thank you for everything you have done and will do.