Judy Cutts was a high school phys ed and health teacher. She was always the most understanding and supportive teacher that I ever had. She choose me to be a part of the PEPI program my senior year. This is where students could go out to elementary schools and teach PE classes for the kids. Judy drove us to the elementary school each week, observed what we did with the children, and then discussed all the things that we did as a follow up. She’s the reason I’m a teacher today. She showed me how to build a rapport with children and planted that ”teaching seed” in me.
Mrs. Githens was an older Language Arts teacher in middle school. We all thought of her as a slightly goofy but competent teacher, with the emphasis on teacher. She was the kind of woman who I was unable to picture outside of a classroom.
One day, in the context of a discussion of a book, she began to tell us the story of the death of her dog. It had been a fairly recent event. As she told us this story, her eyes began to water and then, as she reached the end, tears were pouring down her face. We were stunned into silence. No one had ever seen a teacher cry before, and she was the LAST teacher we would have expected to show this kind of emotion. She was completely unembarrassed, though.
For some reason, this has stuck in my mind, when most of middle school lessons have disappeared, and I think it impacted me as a teacher. Sometimes, it is ok to show a human side to sides. Sometimes, it is every important to let kids know that the teacher is also a person.
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