Teacher Appreciation Day

Departed Memphis this morning and drove twisty, hilly roads to Bull Shoals, AR. Why Bull Shoals? Southern tailwater fishery. If that term is not something you are intimately familiar with then you are missing some incredible fly fishing for really nice trout. Look it up, learn it. You can thank me later.

Speaking of thanking for learning. Today is National Teacher Appreciation day.

Heroes can be created in a split second. Often time the event is over before what is happening really sinks in. But true heroes can also be made one day at a time, one person at a time, over and over for years.

A lot of my personal heroes are teachers. As a child I was amazed at all they knew and all you learn from them. As an adult who taught SCUBA, sky diving and a variety of other stuff, I developed a deep appreciation of a skillful instructor. I was probably never better than reasonably competent but I have seen great and inspired.

I generally find teenagers to be a bit trying and would probably resort to a method commonly called ‘kill one to scare the rest’. As effective as it might be short term, even I can see that it would not work over an entire school year. Either you would run out of students or somebody would notice that little Johnny or little Suzie didn’t come home. The plan has many flaws, no matter how much teenagers get on your nerves. So teaching kids is obviously not my forte.

I know a man I am proud to call a friend who teaches high school age kids. Everyday he deals with them, inspires them, teaches them, shapes them and impacts their lives on a scale they won’t realize for decades. They never beat him down (mentally, spiritually) and each day they get his best. To never give up, to stay positive and to actually make a tremendous difference year after year? If that’s not a hero then you need to re-think your definition.

I know a young lady who teaches special ed. She is a wonderful young lady, full of life and hope. That pretty much sums why she is a hero. No matter how hard the day, she gives her all for someone else’s sake and comes out at the end of the day a better person. Without doubt a better person than I.

So thank you to each and every teacher I ever had, especially Mrs. Hirschfield in 12th grade English. You inspired me. Sorry it took me so long to realize it.

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