This week, Harbor families went the extra mile to show how much they appreciate their teachers. We were treated to a breakfast spread, a Tex-Mex lunch, a salad bar, and goody bags. The sweetest touch was the handmade cards, drawings, and notes from our students. I was touched to receive a portrait and a hug from a JK student this morning. What a great way to start the day!
I won’t even attempt to count the teachers I have encountered throughout my life, from nursery school to grad school, and all the extracurriculars along the way, but upon reflection, there are a few who stand out. I hope that I adequately showed my appreciation for them and their positive impact on my life.
I was a painfully shy little girl, and I appreciate all the teachers who allowed me to demonstrate my knowledge in ways that were comfortable for me - not being put on the spot or asked to stand up in front of the whole class, but I also appreciate those that gently nudged me to push through my comfort zones, like my second grade teacher who got me on stage for the musical presentation of Cinderella, even if I was in the chorus. Or my fourth grade teacher who didn’t let me back out of the spelling bee. These early experiences proved that I could get up on stage in front of an audience and survive. I might not love it, but I also won’t burst into flames.
I appreciate my AP English teacher who had such a passion for the written word, her students couldn’t help but love every minute we spent in her class, picking apart every little detail of a poem, analyzing the themes of a novel, and writing our own responses to the incredible literature we were exposed to in her class. I also appreciate the art and photography teachers who nurtured my artistic side, and taught me not only the fundamentals, but also the value of a creative practice.
I appreciate the professors who challenged me and broadened my horizons. I even appreciate the teaching assistant at the University of Maryland who was able to tell me that no, maybe I don’t have what it takes to succeed in organic chemistry. I don’t remember his name, but he was right. I appreciate my graduate instructors who demonstrated what it means to be an excellent teacher, and helped me grow as an educator myself.
I appreciate the teachers at The Harbor School. I appreciate their hard work, their creativity, and their constant support of each other. I especially value their dedication to our students and their lifelong love of learning. I am sure that your children will one day look back fondly at their time at Harbor, and remember how these teachers helped shape their lives.