Tuesday, May 6, 2014

For teachers

"There are two kinds of teachers in the world . . ." reads a passage in Matthew Dicks novel Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend.

"There are teachers who play school and teachers who teach school."

Buda, the imaginary friend of Max, is reflecting on the power of teachers in the lives of students.

In his way of reasoning, some teachers have a profound impact because they are real and honest and truthful. They care for kids. And every kid knows it.

Other teachers like the look of school and the idea of school. But they don't really like students.

Buda, the imaginary friend, understands and appreciates the power of teachers who care for kids, who communicate to the students in their classrooms that they are safe and loved and respected. These teachers challenge and push and encourage students. It is in those classrooms, the classrooms of teachers who teach school, that students learn and grow and mature.

Today is Teacher Appreciation Day. It is a day set aside to thank teachers for what they do for all of us.

I agree with Buda - teachers who really teach school have a dramatic, lasting impact on their students. These teachers fill students with passion, curiousity, compassion, enthusiasm, and wonder.

I hope that you have had "teachers who teach school" in your lifetime.

I have.

And to Miss Harriger, 2nd grade at Inez Elementary School in Albuquerque, NM; Miss Hixenbaugh, 4th grade at Inez Elementary; Mrs. Chapman, 5th grade at Inez Elementary; Mr. Robbins, 6th grade at Inez Elementary; Miss Getz, 8th grade Language Arts at Monroe Middle School in Albuquerque, NM; Miss Ely, 10th grade English at Sandia High School in Albuquerque, NM; and Coach Braig, Latin at Sandia HS . .

I say thank you.

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