Monday, January 3, 2011

Fond Memories of a Great Teacher

I just found out my favorite teacher from high school is suffering from dementia. Although I have not seen him since 1984 (How is that for dating myself?), it pains me to think of him losing his memory.

Mr. E. taught science and being from a small school district I had him for a teacher three different times and was his teacher's assistant one year. I think I only got the job because I was one of the few people who could read his hand writing!  Considering the amount of time I spent in his office from 7th-12th grade I had a lot of practice.

In 10th grade I was really struggling in school and I had Mr. E. for biology. I knew the material but totally tanked every time we took a test. I just could not seem to get it out of my head and onto the paper. It was very frustrating and disheartening for me. Mr. E. let me come in during his planning period and after school to have extra time to finish the tests. He also found me a much smarter study buddy and I have wonderful memories of biology study sessions with my friend, Deb. With his show of kindness and compassion combined with Deb's laughter-laden study sessions,  I passed biology with a solid B. He believed in me when I wanted to give up.  It is something I have never forgotten.

I am thankful that several years ago I wrote to him thanking him for helping me in high school. Had I flunked biology I may not have graduated with my class. It was a big deal. If I had waited a few more years my thank you may not have resonated with him at all.

Once more just for you, Mr. Engel -- "Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species!" I think every student I know from CHS can still recite that thanks to you and your ever present yard stick. Thank you for your many years of service to the students and community.

Perhaps if you have someone who has made a difference in your life, big or small, you could take time this year to let them know what they have meant to you. You never know when the opportunity to do so will slip away.

As always, In His Peace - 

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry to hear about your teacher but you are so right we should always let those who have touched our lives whether for a season or a moment or a lifetime..we should always let them know..God Bless you and a Happy healthy New Year to you and those you love Patricia