Thank you, Teacher

Dr. Henry Selby, Headmaster All Saints' Episcopal School, Morristown, TN

Dr. Henry Selby, Headmaster All Saints’ Episcopal School, Morristown, TN

Spoiler Alert!  I’m naming names here.  My recollections of teachers are strong, and I remember all of them.  Mrs. Kiser (room 103) taught me the “ball and stick” method of printing the alphabet; Mrs. Donohue unveiled to me the mysteries of phonics;  Mrs. Bunnell opened my eyes to the world of literature.  The list goes on, of course, right through to high school physics with Mr. Evans who somehow engaged my mind with resolving vectors by splitting components!  So I am very grateful to my teachers.  My parents were both highly educated, and I certainly don’t want to ignore their profound influence upon my own education, but the classroom teachers occupy a different place in my memory.  Besides, I assume that there were certain skills and subjects that my parents didn’t want to teach me!

That is certainly true when I think of my own children.  There are a few things that I really wanted to teach my own daughters and son, but there are countless things taught by others for which I am extremely grateful.  My daughters are “grown and gone,” each now established and successful in their vocations after wonderfully challenging universities.  I am very proud.  My son, a sophomore at West High in Morristown, is meeting his challenges with success as well.  Again, I’m very proud.  But most of all I am very grateful.

Last night I had the opportunity to attend his school’s annual open house, meet with teachers, and “feel the vibe” of this learning community.  You can guess that I made it a point to thank his teachers for the care they are taking in helping my wife and me to raise our boy.  Ms. Verdino inspires him in mathematics; Mr. Burroughs challenges him in a physical science course that is heavily weighted toward chemistry, Ms. Bowen-the-English-Teacher-Bowen engages him in deep analysis of literature, and Ms. Bowen-the-choral-Teacher-Bowen is prepping him to be the next Pavoratti.  And these wonderful folk are building on the remarkable foundations of Mr. Owens and Mr. Claborn and Ms. DeAngelis and Ms. Metz and Ms. Golden and Mr. McLaughlin and Ms. Hall and Mr. Hodge and all the way back down the lane.   I am not naming everyone in his past, but I’m grateful to every one of them.  For that matter, I’m grateful to those teachers whose rooms are next door or across the hall or in the other building.

I am grateful.  So what?  It occurs to me that one of the reasons that my children have always been engaged learners is – maybe – just maybe — due to the fact that they know that their parents are grateful.  Our sense of gratitude is obvious to our children who know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we value education and the professionals who practice it.  Thank you teachers, wherever and whatever you teach.   There are many of us out here who “get it.”

Source: Dr. Henry Selby, Headmaster All Saints' Episcopal School, Morristown, TN