Hello! Happy almost 4th of July!! I just finished this new card and am in a bit of a dilemma…
You know how you practice your Oscar speech right? You think of all the people you need to thank, the ones that helped get you to where you are today and without whom you couldn't have made it. In my speech, after the obligatory “I…I…tap tap tap…is this thing on?…”, I roll through my greatest hits list of teachers. Being a product of public education, and being related by blood to mainly educators, it would hardly feel right to stand up there in my (ahem) vintage Valentino gown and not thank some of the talented and hard working folks who, recognizing talent and greatness early on, wisely plucked me from the ranks….ok, I am getting carried away. You get the gist.
I had many fabulous teachers during my 13-year stint in the Kirkwood R7 Public School District. Mrs. Vaugier in third grade who let me dress up as Cruela Deville for “storybook” day, Mrs. Longnecker in eight grade who taught me how to keep a journal, Mr. Holley freshman year who brought in music to teach us history lessons, and Mrs. Vignery in AP English who taught us to jitterbug while we were reading The Great Gatsby. These things had a lasting impression and I think of them often, and certainly appreciate them more now than I ever did then.
But for all of the good teachers that taught this (mediocre) student, there are 3 who stand out. Three who really made me feel like I had a special talent and was meant to do things. Mr.Dean, my high school art teacher, who taught me as much about being brave as he did about putting together a portfolio. Mr. Stephens, my director in the drama department, who helped me see myself as an entirely more valuable thing, and who despite some of his flaws, taught me more about life and art in his drama classes than any I would take in college. And finally, (I guess you guys are getting the speech… is the music playing yet?) our principal, Mr. McCallie who was one of the most talented and impactful educators I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He knew all of us by name (there were nearly 2000 kids in our school) and knew where you were supposed to be. He showed up for us and ran a tight ship. He somehow kept an eye on me and has been a wonderful support to me to this day. These people made me feel smart, and talented and capable. They were up in my business and knew when I wasn't where I was supposed to be or if I could do better. They were tough on me and helped me fly.
So, here's my problem. Not all who make a great impact are 'teachers' by title. Mr. McCallie was my principal, an educator, but not technically, my teacher. I want this to be for those that impact our lives in this capacity, but I don't want to limit it. I also really think teachers need as many shout outs as they can get…. and I like the word. It feels good.
I have made two versions of this card, and I want you to help me choose which one goes to print! Weigh-in in the comments section of this post and I will make a decision this week.
TEACHER? or EDUCATOR? what do you think?