I was lucky to have many teachers who impacted my life in ways that lasted. My favorite educators saw who I was and want I needed to learn. Over the years I have forgotten the names of some of them, but there are those special teachers whose names I will say all my life.
Like Mrs. DeBolt, who slipped me nickels for ice cream. Mrs. Olsen, who taught me the joy of singing. Mrs. Piper, who read aloud like she was performing in a theater instead of a classroom. Mrs. Hamilton, who took me aside and told me my writing was not like the others. My PE teacher, Mrs. Reynolds, who encouraged me play like a boy. My basketball coach, Coach Enlow, who saw something in me that I didn’t see myself. Mrs. Thigpen, who bravely taught me the facts of life, and Mrs. Gordanier, who poignantly demonstrated that I should choose carefully the words that come out of my mouth.
All lessons, and teachers, that stay with me today.
Education is a measurement of who we are so the funding of school districts puzzles me. School funding is a scientific formula based on valuations and percentages and not on a district’s needs. Budgets are tight so teachers take out of their own pockets to provide their classrooms what the school formula does not. On top of that, we expect these men and women to be counselors and substitute parents, social workers and first responders. They come to school early, stay late, and take home their own homework each night. Every single day, teachers are measured and tested, questioned and judged.
For the complete column read this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.