09 October 2011

Teachers Make a Difference-52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History

Week 41:  Teachers.  Did you have a favorite teacher when you were growing up?  What class(es) did this person teach and why did he/she make an impact on your life?

He gave me my first E!  I still remember the day as if it was yesterday.  The class was 7th grade Science.  It was a cool spring day, the last class of the day and the teacher was passing the test papers back.  I turned mine over and saw an  "E".  I was mortified.  I had never gotten an E before.  I had studied, I had a good memory.  How could I get an E?  That teacher was Mr. Bishop and he became my all-time favorite teacher.

He must have noticed my distress because he asked me to stay after class.  He talked to me about the test and even explained some of the wrong answers I had gotten.  I didn't say a whole lot.  He then asked me if I had gotten an E before.  I hung my head and said no.  He said there was nothing wrong with getting an E, it was okay to fail every now and then.  I think those were the best words I could have heard at that moment.  They carried me threw other tough times in school and life.

Mr. Bishop was an enthusiastic teacher, he had a ton of energy.  He had a great sense of humor.  He had high expectations for all his students.  And, he created a fun, safe, and engaging classroom environment.  Unfortunately, I only had Mr. Bishop for one class.  He moved a couple of years after I had him for a teacher.

I contacted Mr. Bishop when I was in high school and he helped me with some college decisions.  At the time I wanted to study medical technology.  He sent me some information about it.  I appreciated that greatly.  I started out in college with a medical technology degree, but decided eight semesters of chemistry wasn't for me!  I became a teacher instead.

Mr. Bishop influenced me as a teacher, too.  I remembered what I liked about his classroom and tried to emulate it in mine.  I kept a sense of humor and had high expectations for all students.  But, most of all I remembered and shared with my students that it is okay to fail.

Thank You Mr. Bishop!

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