Did you know that Tuesday, May 9 is National Teacher's Day? Considering the outsize influence a great teacher can have on both the education and eventual character of their students, I think it's curious that we only allocate one day per year to honor their contributions. In my own education, I was blessed with many gifted teachers; in adult life I've met even more, and witnessed the amazing contributions they make to our youth and our communities.
I don't think I've ever met an educator who became a teacher because they thought they were going to make pots of money. And that tired old adage about '....those who can't, teach', is just that: tired. The best teachers are drawn to the profession because they have a passion for their subject and want to communicate that passion to others. They truly enjoy the act of teaching, even with the occasional challenges posed by a herd of restless and creative young people.
And make no mistake: kids, no matter the school system, are restless, creative, and very challenging. If your own children try your patience at home, imagine what an entire classroom can come up with.
When I was in middle school, the social studies teacher-we'll call him Mr X-was notoriously tough on tardy students, hard to enforce in a farming community where chores sometimes trumped being on time for school. One day, after Mr X had already chewed out two students for being late, another boy, Chuck*, wandered in, with not a care in the world. Mr X laid into Chuck, wanting to know why he was so late. Chuck's answer was, 'I was taking a sh**'.
The roomful of preteens thought this was wildly funny, but Mr X was not amused, and launched into a ten minute diatribe. In the middle of this, the class clown, David* walked into the room. Mr X stopped yelling just long enough to focus on David, and hollered, 'And where have you been?' David replied, 'Me? Oh, I was GIVING a sh**. No, really...it's important, don't you think? I mean, people just TAKE them all the time, and someone has to give back. I'm just that kind of guy.'
Chaos ensued, with students literally rolling in the aisles, disabled with laughter. Mr X continued screaming. We never even opened our textbooks that period, which played right into Chuck's (and David's) original intentions. The students enjoyed this thoroughly, but in retrospect, I suppose it isn't Mr X's favorite memory. Like I said: a challenge.
I am grateful for the teachers who continue to accept that challenge. To express that gratitude, we are offering a 10% discount** to teachers and retired teachers all day Tuesday. Way better than an apple.
* Names were changed to protect the guilty.
** Excludes previous sales, items from the boat, and email specials.