"My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it!"
One week, trending on Facebook (or at least around my personal feed), was the opportunity to see if we could remember the names of each teacher since kindergarten. The only ones who actually re-posted are the ones who nailed the memory test. Surprisingly, I was not one of those people. I have been told by many close friends and family that they are jealous of my good memory and I remember in college being able to list all of my teachers through my senior year! This time, I couldn’t. I attribute that to the fact that it seems like as soon as I turned forty I started forgetting how to tie my shoes. ;-)
And then one of my friends asked me today, “What teacher from your school days had the greatest positive influence on you?” Now, THAT person I remembered. Third grade, Mrs. Haberbosch. She gave me her hamster.
Well, I won the class hamster. Each child was supposed to remember to ask their parents to write a permission note saying they would, in fact, not be annoyed if their child brought home a hamster. Then we were to put the notes into a bowl and do a drawing. My mom thought, “What the heck,” and wrote a note.
The hamster may be my highlight of third grade, but it was not the cute little rat that made me love Mrs. Haberbosch. She was kind. She was patient. She was funny. She patiently answered incessant questions (and I had legion). She knew when and how to be tough, but loving. Most of all, she helped me believe in myself and taught me that this belief is what counts the most in school.
I really, really wanted to do well in her class.
I do remember a few other teacher’s names. Like the one who showed impatience when she purposefully slammed my cubby center with a rolled up newspaper while I was still sitting in it. Or the one who called me a daydreamer who "would never get algebra." Or the one who called me ditsy out loud and was snidely negative about it in front of the whole band. As I get older, their names are starting to (thankfully) fade … but I will always remember Mrs. Haberbosch. Not because she had a more challenging name, but because she very kindly challenged ME.
My mother, to her surprise and slight chagrin I’m sure, saw me traipsing across the school grounds to our family car with cage in hand and smiling ear to ear. She then asked me if I was excited that my name was drawn out of the bowl and I exclaimed. “I was the only one who brought a note!” It was to my mother’s credit that she did not bang her head against the steering wheel. For some reason or another, I called the Hamster “Trap.” ;-)
Great teachers inspire a lifetime of learning. Thank a great teacher today. Or, if you are a teacher, be Mrs. Haberbosch. When you teach them what counts, you will not only forever be remembered on future Facebook games, but in future hearts – you know, the ones you’re molding? :-D