Last night our church sponsored a local event that we call Teacher Appreciation Night. The graduating seniors in our area nominate a teacher they want to recognize and an anonymous donor not only awards the teachers, but provides $750 scholarships to other deserving students nominated by those teachers. You might call it our Mormon version of “Happy Hour”. Anyway, it got me thinking back to some of the teachers I have had, and since I didn’t get a chance to talk about them last night, I would like to honor a few of them here.
First, I’d like to thank my neighbor and Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Horton for teaching me the meaning of the word “fib” after I came to school claiming that my little brother Greg had been trampled and killed by a cow. After verifying with my 5th grade sister that my story was not true, her lecture on fibbing ensued. I wasn’t trying to lie, my dream just seemed so real! (And for the record Greg, I’m really glad you didn’t die.) Next, Mrs. Johnson who taught me that when you smoke and drink coffee, a measly stick of cinnamon gum doesn't cover it up. Oh, and that you should be really careful when you bend over that far. Mrs. Johnson should have worn tighter shirts. Mrs. Bauer – who owned more cats than performed on Broadway, wore more gold necklaces than Mr. T, and would be fired for her “teaching” methods if she was still teaching today. She used to read our grades out loud in front of class and complimented us if we did well or made a sarcastic, condescending remark if we did poorly. I made sure never to do poorly.
Here’s to Mr. Blok for trying to teach me chess and making me feel like a math genius. To Mr. Lidster for wearing Izods and acting as seventh grade eye candy. Next, Mrs. Bohannon. I had developed a talent for imitating Mrs. Bohannon behind her back. One day my friends called her over to our desks and said, “Hey, Mrs. Bohannon! Watch this! Kristy does the BEST imitation of you!” I shot my friends a devil stare but Mrs. Bohannon insisted that she see me do it. Luckily, this algebra teacher had a sense of humor. I should have known she might take it well – for Halloween she came to school wearing a bra with a bunch of foliage on it: an “algae-bra”.
Thanks to Mr. McAllister for being the only one who ever successfully explained word problems to me. To Mr. Thoennes for introducing me to a love of ceramics. I think he was relieved to have a student that loved working with clay who didn’t also love working with weed. Mr. Wetzel for never reporting me when I ditched typing to go swimming at Jodi’s house. To Miss Keithley for, no wait, I hated Miss Keithley. What English teacher in their right mind fails a student and makes them go to summer school when they have all A’s in spelling, vocabulary and grammar????!! Miss Keithley…she needed a man in her life.
And finally, to Mr. See. I had heard of his unconventional tactics of lecturing while riding his stationary bike in class. He was definitely a different breed but as it turned out, Mr. See became an invaluable resource in preparing me for college. He taught me how to write a paper, and writing papers absolutely saved my college GPA!
So, here’s to the grossly underpaid. Thank a teacher.