The Best Teacher
We sat in the interviewer’s office and my son had just been asked to write down the name of a teacher who could attest to whether he was indeed ready to take University level courses early. The interviewer recommended that he consult with his parents in the decision, because as he delicately put it, “sometimes they have perspectives on your teachers that you might not be aware of.” He glanced at us with a knowing eye. My son turned to me and asked who I would suggest. I told him “you first, who would you pick?” Without a moment’s hesitation he said the name of his 3rd grade teacher. “Yes of course” I thought, “he would think of her first.” Even though it had been five years since he had been in her classroom (and in my mind was therefore not at all able to attest to his current readiness for anything) and three years since he had even seen her, she will forever be the logical choice for him. Though it sounds a bit dramatic, I would not doubt she will be one of the people he thinks of as he recounts the blessings of his life on his death bed. See she was the first teacher he would remember of the very few who had ever taken the time to look beyond the quirkiness that often overshadowed his gifts to see the wonderful, kind, funny, caring and amazing human being he was. She stayed with him in her classroom during recess researching his interests together on the internet, but also rescuing him from the difficulties he encountered on the playground as he attempted to blend with his age mates. She gave him coveted free-rein to her art supply cabinet and instead of responding harshly, gently smiled at him if he corrected her. In his heart he felt she knew him, she understood him, and that feeling is now permanently contained within him. Tuesday of this week the U.S. celebrated teacher appreciation day. All children need those special teachers in their lives. Children who are different for any reason, need them most of all, because they sometimes provide the only acceptance a child gets during their school day. I am giving the fortune from my fortune cookie yesterday to all the teachers who have had a positive impact on the lives of gifted and twice exceptional children. It reads: Your ability to love will help a child in need.
What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. – Helen Keller