Sunday, May 5, 2013

To be appreciated...

A good friend, teacher, and fellow blogger has issued his 2nd Annual Teacher Appreciation Challenge, which I decided to take. I encourage you to take it as well. Whether it's a current or former colleague or teacher let someone know how much you appreciate what they do. (Click on the link above and it will give you all the information you need to participate.)

There are several names I could put in this post. Each is deserving of gratitude and if I had the time and the space I most definitely would. However, time and space are both finite and no one wants to read a novel, so I narrowed my choice down to one. This year I decided to highlight a good friend and outstanding educator -  Mr. Z.

I was fortunate to meet this amazing person through another awesomely talented educator, Mr. H. (Who - it could be argued - deserves a post of his own, as well.) As I came to know Mr. Z. I discovered in so many ways how deep his commitment to his students was. He couldn't stand the thought of any one of them not reaching their potential and he did everything in his power to make sure they had opportunities to make that happen.  From home visits before school started and letters to their future selves, to Super Activities and year end celebrations Mr. Z. poured his whole heart and soul into his teaching. During summers, he even taught students who others might have given up on through his work with children in Juvenile Detention. He could not think of any child as worth less than the best he had to offer. He went beyond teaching the basics and brought the wonder of music, sign language, drama, and so much more to every class he taught. His care and compassion didn't stop with his students, but encompassed the teachers, staff, and parents that he worked with as well. He did little things to let people know how much he appreciated all they did to help students.

I will never forget the influence that Mr. Z. had in my life either as a friend or educator. His passion for teaching rejuvenated my own and has made me want to strive to be better in my own sphere of influence.

So... Thank you, Mr. Z.... 

Thanks for encouraging so many of us to reach higher, teach better, and change the world...
One starfish at a time.

Photo by Backroads Photography

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