For students still in school, it’s easy to take a moment during Thanksgiving week to let a teacher know how much they appreciate what he or she does.
For us adults, it’s a little more difficult. Our teachers no longer make up a large majority of our day-to-day life, and we no longer think about our time in school anymore. And yet, in many unnoticed ways, the things our teachers instilled in us still remain very prevalent. It might appear in the way we double check if we used a semi-colon correctly. It may surface when we use that math shortcut to quickly multiply something by 100. This is knowledge we take for granted now, but we only have it because someone patiently taught it to us.
During this week of reflection and gratitude, the EFP team would like to personally thank our past teachers who gave us the skills we now use every day. Your time in our lives may have seemed short, but the impact you had will continue on in us and every single one of your former students.
Tom: “I was co-editor of the yearbook my senior year and Ms. Franchiosi was our yearbook advisor. She was a firecracker and extremely passionate about everything she did. She encouraged us to be our best, and we learned from her discipline and how to meet deadlines.”
Mickey: “I wouldn’t have succeeded to whatever extent I have without my 11th and 12th grade Honors English teacher, Ms. Katherine Lancaster. She worked us harder to prepare for college than we were ever worked in college, instilled a love for diverse English writers, poets, and figures, and sparked a deep love for my favorite author, Jack London. Only she could chuckle at my satire (and she did) and made me present a funny tirade on advertising to every other English class in my grade (no, that did not make me cool). I think she’s chuckling in heaven that I ended up in the advertising and media world after my devilish dissertation destroying commercials of the day. My daughter, Katherine (Katy) was named in part for Ms. Lancaster.”
Nancy: “I am very thankful for my high school English teacher, Marguerite Hensley. Mrs. Hensley taught us the importance of strong writing and grammar skills, and managed to make it enjoyable. What I learned from her has helped me my entire life. It paid off in a big way while I was still a student of Mrs. Hensley’s – she assigned us an essay topic as required homework, then she entered our essays in a national writing contest. I won a two-week cruise for two up the west coast of the U.S. to Alaska!”
Suzy: “From ta-ta-ti-ti-ta to solfeggio, Mr. Parker, then Dr. Parker and today JP, gave me the gift of music for a lifetime. It is rare that students have the same teacher for so long, and even more so, that their lessons become ingrained in your life and manifest in joy. Mr. Parker took a quirky, precocious kindergartner, encouraged an awkward middle schooler and gambled on a less than naturally talented high schooler to take big leaps and find a spotlight, otherwise never to be known. It has been an honor and a privilege to watch his baton and tap my foot to the beautiful music and courage he created in me.”
Jacob: “I’d like to thank my fifth-grade teacher for teaching me the importance of communication. We had a project where we taught a chapter of our history book to the rest of the class. The main objective was not to necessarily have all the correct information but to communicate your information or knowledge effectively to the rest of the class. I can remember this day being one of the most fun and useful days of class I ever had.”
Nick: “The teacher that had the longest lasting effect on me was my senior year statistics teacher, Mrs. Bugal. Mrs. Bugal will always stand out in my head as an excellent teacher because she was extremely passionate about education, and took care of the specific needs of each of her students by hosting bi-weekly, before-school meetings to review curriculum. She cared about the quality of her students’ educational experience more than anything else, which is why I’m confident I still know how to do most of the things she taught me years ago!”
Christine: “I’d like to thank my fourth grade teacher for showing me the value of hard work. I still remember to this day the Poem in a Pocket project she assigned us to do. It was the first time I couldn’t wait to work on a school project, and I must have read hundreds of poems so I could include just the right ones. The best part was after we turned them in, when she made a point to recognize and validate the hard work I had done, asking if she could keep my project as an exemplar to show future classes. I could not have been more proud.”
Meghan: “As hard as it is for me to pick just one, a teacher I’d like to recognize is my high school biology teacher. Her passion for not only the wonderful quirks of biology but also for teaching shone through each and every day, and her classes definitely sparked my interest in science. Moreover, her classes laid a fantastic foundation for my college coursework, and I still keep her encouragement and advice in mind when deciding what paths I want to pursue.”