Now that it’s officially been years since I have taught in a classroom, I can unreservedly celebrate this day without feeling sheepish.
Some kids knew from a very young age that they were meant to be teachers. I was never one of these kids. The first career I remember wanting to pursue was Interior Design. Yet throughout my childhood, it was always my teachers that were my real life heroes. I never thought I would be a teacher myself, but my teachers convinced me that you would be hard pressed to find another profession that is so rewarding.
Thank you to my 3rd Grade teacher – Mrs. Vicki Bakki who made my transition from Manila to San Diego so smooth.
Thank you to my 4th Grade teacher – Ms. Kathy Dunlay who opened my eyes to the joy of reading and would spend the last 20 minutes of class reading to us in the best voices. I never wanted to go home.
Thank you to my 5th Grade teacher – Ms. Julie Harris who never talked to us like we were kids and loved us fiercely and firmly. She had an incredible voice and would sing to us all the time. One of my favorite memories was that every Friday, we would sing the Friday song together. Friday, Friday! Friday is my favorite day. Friday, Friday! Friday is my favorite day. Monday’s just a bummer, Tuesday’s only fair, Wednesday getting better, and Thursday’s almost there but Friday, Friday, Friday’s my favorite day! As a kid I thought Fridays were awesome because we had no school for two days. Now having taught, I realized Ms. Harris probably loved it a million times more than all of us combined.
Thank you to my 7th Grade Life Skills teacher – Mrs. Barbara Bjorkquist. It’s a special challenge to teach 13 year olds to care about others and the world, but she did it. She had us write letters to our future selves and mailed us our package after we graduated high school. She was so kind to store the hoard of letters for years so that she could help us treasure our memories.
Thank you to my 8th Grade teacher – Ms. Karen Bungard who made history and literature come alive. I will never forget the Poe Party we had where we all dressed in black and covered the lights with black table cloth and would read The Raven. She was also obsessed with Sir Francis Drake and would tell us that she was up all night reading stories about him and we thought she was crazy but now I see she just loved learning and couldn’t wait to share it with us.
Thank you to Mr. Tuttle, my 9th Grade Honors English teacher. We were told in 8th grade that he was the hardest toughest teacher and you better pray that the registration gods placed you with the other 9th Grade Honors teacher. I am so glad I ended up in his class. He gave me my first C on a paper, but the lessons I learned from his merciless marks I will take with me for the rest of my life.
Thank you Ms. Rankin & Ms. Matson – Thank you for showing me that women can be cool, smart and kick ass in science. I admired them so much, I decided I had to become one of these crazy science teachers 🙂