In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. Thank you to all of the educators out there who do so much for students everywhere.
Most influential teacher….Mrs. Parks hands down! Mrs. Parks was my first grade teacher. She is one of the major reasons why I wanted to become a teacher. She made learning engaging and always did it with a smile on her face. As children, we do not remember the grades, we remember the relationship we had with our teachers and the experiences they created for us in the classroom.
My final year of college when it was time for me to be a student teacher, I was able to go back to that same classroom and teach alongside Mrs. Parks. As I began my journey into education she was finishing hers. She would be retiring that year. Watching Mrs. Parks teach her students from a teacher's perspective was eye opening. You could see the care she had for each and every student in her room and they responded to her with an eager to learn. I am now in my 11th year of teaching 2nd grade and am still in contact with Mrs. Parks. She will always hold a special place in my heart and in my classroom.
When thinking about influential teachers, I have been blessed to have many along my educational journey. But there is one that sticks out in my memory as one who not only impacted my academics but my heart and the teacher I am today.
3rd Grade. Mrs. Miedema. Walking into her classroom felt like home. It was a space where I felt safe and that no matter how I scored on a test or how well I performed on an assignment, I was always welcome. I was not what some teachers would qualify as the best student. It took me a longer amount of time to catch onto concepts, especially in math. She never once made me feel inferior to my classmates, but covered me in encouragement, support, and love. Because of that, I strived to be better. I didn’t want to disappoint her.
Her example has stayed with me, even all these years later (not going to say how many years 😉). I strive to show that same encouragement, that same support and love to my students. I strive to be that kind of a teacher, not only because I know that is what is best for my students, but also because I know how much of an impact that can make on a student, even if it's just one.
Megan and Kara are educational leaders, professional development experts, and current classroom teachers who are improving the way instruction is being delivered in the standard classroom.