Q: What is the most important thing you learned in school?
A: One idea leaps immediately to mind: the value of relationships between a teacher and a student. In most of my school years, I was a decent to good academic, compliant (read: goody-to-shoes...) student. There were teachers that I didn't like though because they seemed to disrespect the students, learning, the school, etc. My favorite teacher of all time though was my middle school social studies teacher who was also my athletic coach for those three years. I went to a small private Christian school at the time. Multiple aspects of his character showed me then, and still today, how important respect for others and integrity are to any relationship. During this time, I also babysat his son occasionally, so I witnessed him in a variety of roles. He was and is a fascinating, passionate person and educator. Due to relatively low wages in private school teaching, he has had to work only part time in the classroom while he pursues his other, more lucrative passion of golf club making. Still, whenever a discussion of the impact of an educator in a person's life, he immediately leaps to my mind. Whenever I return to California for a visit, he is on my short list of people to visit. I was privileged in my first seven years of teaching to work as a colleague with him. Those years were excellent as well because he was still the incredibly funny, dedicated educator and man that I had known as a child. So this is a rather rambling comment on how much I value the lessons of character that this man taught me. My hope is that I can touch even one student in the way that he impacted my life.