My friend Megan over at Megan Dub-Yuh had an awesome idea about everyone sharing their positive education stories. They are all linked from her blog.
I've had a many good teachers. But three GREAT teachers come to mind. They were all high school science teachers. I'm from a VERY small town in Arkansas. Education is not considered all that important. Football is FAR more important than the grade you made on a science test. But these three teachers were true professionals. I have no idea what there were doing teaching in lil ol' Paris, Arkansas, but I am very lucky that they were. Mr. Varnell - physical science, Mr. Patterson - biology, and Mrs. Siebenmorgan - chemistry and physics.
I was one of the only girls in Mr. Varnell's class. Remember that huge static ball? Well, of course they needed a girl with long hair to test it out. :) I stood on the platform and touched the giant metal ball as my hair raised up on all ends. It was by far my favorite class up until that point. We did crazy experiments with very simple chemicals. It was a lot of fun, even for the football players in my class.
Mr. Patterson taught biology. I had 139% in that class because he had to give out so much extra credit for most people to pass the class. We grew plants and dyed carnations. And did a bug collection. I had a lot of fun in his class.
Mrs. Siebenmorgan changed my life. She signed me up for the challenges through the University of Arkansas. She pushed me harder than any other teacher I ever had. She saw my potential and BOREDOM and put me in a class a grade ahead of my own, where I ended up meeting and getting to know Joe, my husband. She was a fantastic teacher, but fun at the same time. She influenced me to be a chemistry major in college. I was a biochem major for 3 years, until I found my true path in education. But oddly enough, that biochem background has been more than helpful even in psychology, since much of psychology has to do with the body and brain and the chemicals that make each of us function. It was just meant to be.
On a less positive note, my mother in law is a 4th grade teacher. She says that it is truly a thankless job. Oddly enough, there was a skit on The Colbert Report just the other night about how great the GOP thinks teachers have it, with their $50,000 a year incomes and lavish benefits. I don't know where *these* people teach, but my MIL makes far less than $50,000 and cant afford health insurance, EVEN THOUGH she is a college graduate. She works 24/7, grading papers and influencing the young minds of this country. And she cant afford health insurance?!?!
I worked as a special ed para in Kansas while we were stationed there. I vowed to myself I would NEVER be a teacher. With such little pay and the absurd politics that went along with that administration, it wasn't worth it. The administration, mainly the principal, treated the teachers like children themselves. I'm told that not all schools are like this, but some obviously are.
But after that experience, I have such great respect for people that have decided to dedicate their lives to teaching.
I've said it before and I will say it again, there is something VERY WRONG with this country while Soldiers and teachers make very little while actors and athletes and Charlie Sheen make millions of dollars a year. WTF people??
3 years ago