My Favorite Teacher

Most of us have a favorite teacher. That one teacher when we think back at our childhood. . .

You know the one.

The one who lit a fire in you for a certain subject.

The one who believed in you when no one else did.

The one who made learning come alive.

The one who seemed to make the world just right with a smile.

For whatever reason, that teacher just sticks out in your mind.

I had lots of teachers I liked. Lots that poured their hearts into their jobs. I am thankful for all of them.

But one sticks out.

Mrs. Burgoyne. Fourth grade. Weatherly Elementary.

She inspired me.

Not long ago on a Sojourn night, I talked about how she had made me believe that I could do things that I had not thought possible. She even let me teach her class a math lesson. Three days later after I had formed small groups, made little pockets with math problems inside for the kids to discover and a multitude of other stuff, she gently let me know that I had to give her class back. She had inspired me to reach beyond my feelings of insecurity to dream of what could be. That summer I opened a preschool in my garage. I recruited from the neighborhood and every Tuesday from 9 until 11 am, preschoolers showed up. I hired an assistant and at the end of the summer had a graduation ceremony with parents invited. The local news came too. Seemed a 10 year old running a summer preschool in her garage was a human interest story.

I was thrilled recently when I found Mrs. Burgoyne on Facebook. She remembered me. I was for a moment transported back to the 70’s. Memories flooded as I remembered my teacher making Charlotte and Wilbur jump to life while reading Charlotte’s Web. I remember not knowing the answer to a question on a test and her telling me the answer. I still remember today that Switzerland is known for clocks and cheese. I remember going to her house to work on the Taj Mahal project that my friends and I had created. It was headed to the city fair and she wanted to help us perfect a few things. She gave us kool-aid and cookies. The kool-aid was red. I thought I was the coolest kid in the whole world. Mrs. Burgoyne changed my life.

Thank a teacher today. If you can find your favorite teacher, thank him/her.

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