With Praise And Gratitude For Teachers

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Tomorrow my very first great-grandchild starts kindergarten. I cannot believe I have been blessed to be able to experience three generations of my family starting that new and exciting journey. My prayer for each of them has always been that they are lucky enough to find that one, special teacher who will see them for who they are and help them cultivate their talents and gifts. I was blessed to have had two in my elementary school days and what they taught me still lingers after all these years.

You may have heard me talk about my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Zimmler, who ruled his class with an iron grip, more drill sargent than teacher to the naked eye, but who, underneath his “no-nonsense-follow-the-rules” exterior lay the heart of a poet, a lover of the written and spoken word. It was his powerful use of punishment essays that led some of us to repent of our rebellious ways quickly before our hands fell off from writing. For others, like me, it was actually the tool I needed to go after my dreams … I just didn’t know it then, but he did. Mr. Zimmler lovingly, and with great thought, passed me on to my 7th grade teacher, Mrs. Rotholtz who, after actually sitting and reading the thick file that contained my own punishment essays (my feminist, freedom-loving banter with Mr. Zimmer had earned me the record for longest punishment essay ever assigned … 3,000 words), said to me, “Would I be right if I guessed that you want to be a writer? If so, we have lots of work to do.  You have talent galore, but you need discipline and focus.” With that she took me under her wing and introduced me to the likes of Edna St. Vincent Millay, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and others. She never played the “you’ll never be able to support yourself writing” card as all the other adults did. She fed my dreams and my soul. Together, Mr. Zimmler and Mrs. Rotholtz not only gave me wings, they taught me how to fly.

Last week on August 30th, we noted the anniversaries of the passing of two of the greatest teachers of my adult life, Louise Hay and Wayne Dyer, who passed over on the same day three years apart. Together they helped me heal my life and gave me a new set of tools so that I could help others do the same. I am deeply grateful that I was gifted with not one, but two sets of teachers that helped me to grow as well as to thrive. We should all be so lucky.

So this week as I watch my little Xavier hop on that school bus with his new back pack and lunch box, I will wish him joy and excitement as he ventures forth on this new adventure. With luck, he will find a gift of his own in the one who will lead him.

This week over on the Home Page we will be talking about things we’ve learned growing up and the profound effect teachers have had on us. Let’s consider this a “what we did over the summer” kind of assignment! As always, have fun with it and remember to just keep writing.

Peace and blessings.

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8 thoughts on “With Praise And Gratitude For Teachers

  1. Appreciating your teacher stories and how special it is to witness Xavier’s entry into school. He’s blessed to have you as one of his guides and mentors, Barb.
    I will have to noodle about my teachers now…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely love this tribute to your wonderful teachers Barb. I have a couple of teachers that guided my way as well. I am grateful to them for seeing my potential and never telling me I couldn’t succeed. Xavier will not only have his teachers, but he will have you as his guiding light!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had some great teachers but the one I’m thinking of right now is Mrs Nathani, who was in charge of Hindi during my A Levels. I had taken the subject thanks to my Dad who wanted me to keep my career options open in case I went for a government job and would need to prove competency in my mother tongue.

    I had lived abroad throughout and this was a residential school in India. My teacher realized I had good command of the language but spoke like a foreigner. 🙂 She took the time to make me practice diction and writing outside of the class and my essays were published in the school magazine, that made people think I was great at Hindi – without charging tuition fees.

    40 years later, I speak ‘chaste’ Hindi in a world where languages are mixed up and have people go wow. I think Mrs Nathani also inspired me to start writing, although I do it in English.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am in awe of teachers, especially public school teachers after having the good fortune of doing an internship as a psychology intern in public school. Some teachers were better than others in the classroom but they were all deeply caring and desired only the best for their students. I think we learn from them all, but there are some who express their vocation in a ways that changes lives forever.

    Liked by 1 person

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