Today, May 9th, has been designated National Teacher Day. The National Education Association website says: "This year's theme "Great Teachers Make Great Public Schools" draws attention to the crucial role teachers play in making sure every child receives a quality public education and conveys the hard work they do each day to make public schools great for every child. NEA honors teachers on their special day and looks at five top trends they face in the 21st century." The site has lots of information about trends and statistics, as well as a list of Celebrities' Favorite Teachers. You can read more on the NEA website.
As for me, my hometown (Lexington, MA) had a great school system, and I had many wonderful teachers. Two who particularly stand out for me are Patricia Kinneen, my 7th and 8th grade English teacher, and George Mechem, my 11th grade English teacher. Both of them fed my love of words, and pushed me to do something with books and writing. I didn't listen as well as I should have at the time, and went on to major in Engineering in college, but I always kept the love of books. To this day I can remember individual comments that Miss Kinneen wrote on some of my stories, as well as scraps of poetry from Mr. Mechem's class.
I'd also like to send out a special thanks to Eric Pas, my undergraduate adviser, and professor for many of my Civil Engineering classes at Duke. Eric died several years ago, much much too young, but I'll never forget his kindness, nor his enthusiasm for his work.
I could go on. All of my teachers from Harrington School: Miss Hopkins, Miss Clem, Mrs. Brosnan, Miss Fodera, Mrs. Alexander, Miss Fales, Mrs. J., and Mrs. Tuttle, the librarian. But you get the idea. Teachers can make a huge difference in their students' lives, one that is never forgotten, regardless of the paths the students end up following. Celebrate National Teacher Day by remembering the teachers who helped you to become who you are. Thanks!