When I was young I was raised in a single parent family in an an area with concentrated poverty (the ghetto or whatever you call it) We called it the North End, I’m glad to be a northender but regardless it did have its tough moments. Most people that I went to school with also came from poor broken families as you can imagine this kind of enviroment is not quite motivational…
When I was in grade 3 I had this teacher who was from Chicago his name was MR M and he changed my life in ways that he could never know. At the beginning of grade 3 my reading comprehension was below a grade 1 level, I was said to have ADD, also had to spent lots of time in the resource room as I was considered a “slow learner” needless to say I was far from the sharpest tool in the shed. Mr M's teaching approach was more of our class becoming a big family rather than just students. He taught us about different cultures including his own bringing in dradles for the class to play with, sharing with us some of his experiences he has being involved in the Vietnam War, and we also experienced and excellent music program which was done by another teacher named Mr R which we sang fun songs from the 50s,60s, and 70s I know it may sound gay but we had a blast!!!
Most of all Mr M showed that he believed in my abilities to be a better person and my ability to learn which gave me the confidence I needed to become who I am today. He use to call me the “little philosopher” because I always would stand up with excitement to answer a question or give my opinion on a specific topic etc-made me feel sorta special lol This teacher went out of his way to be more than just a teacher and he became a motivator!!! He never treated his position as a job not even for one day that I can remember. I think most teachers stick to a very structured ciriculum and teaching style which does not stimulate growth and inspiration. The truth is this Teacher is one of the very few of his kind and I wish the world had more of people like him.
To keep my story short I tracked Mr M down today at the school he is currently working at and I knocked on the door of the class he was teaching. At first he did not recognize me but when I told him my name I could see he knew exactly who I was and everything came back to him as if it happened yday. The funny thing is nothing in his class seemed like it changed as every student seemed like they were having fun an were intrigued by his prescence. I was there talking to him for no longer than 30 minutes and they had to try so hard not to interrupt as they wanted to speak with him and ask him questions etc. I coould tell this guy hadn’t lost his touch as he still was an “amazing” teacher.
I told him the purpose of my visit was to tell him how much of an impact he made on my life and that I was so grateful for his efforts. He told me in his whole teaching career I was the 2nd person to tell him this…I thought to myself that was crazy!, but also made me realize something really important-I think somewhere in the midst of life we really forget to communicate to the people who have greatly impacted and changed our lives that we are sincerely grateful for their efforts. Just like his intial encouragement gave me the motivation I needed to become a better person, I believe my gratitude gives him the motivation to keep doing what he is doing as it does make a difference.
So please take a few minutes to think of someone who made a difference in your life whether it be today, yday, 10 years ago.. GO OUT of your way to tell them you are grateful for their efforts. This will make them feel good and you will amazed how good you feel after telling them your thoughts.