By the time college graduates walk across the stage clad in cap and gown, they have had their fair share of teachers. From preschool to Philosophy 101, the list of teachers becomes quite long. Despite this, how many of us can still remember the great majority of our teachers?
In writing this blog, I decided to do just that. I challenged myself to remember the names of all the teachers I ever had. I am proud to report that, in less than 20 minutes, I had a lofty list of 50+ names ranging from Mrs. Mattingly, my strict 4th grade teacher, to Ms. Linhart, my vivacious high school Spanish teacher to Mr. Keller, my goofy senior Economics teacher. Each name elicited a specific emotion or memory. Maybe it was a quirk of the teacher or a certain habitual class activity or a life philosophy he/she taught us, or even, in the case of my math teachers, a certain feeling of angst and uneasiness.
While this thought exercise was fun for me, I think it speaks to a larger reality for us all. That is, the prominent and vital role that teachers play in all of our lives. What other collective group could I rattle off a group of names so fluidly? The complete 2006-2007 Super Bowl-winning Colts roster? No. The top-selling music albums and artists of all time? No. Even the 44 presidents of our great country? No. While these groups of people might be prominent by larger society’s standards, they will never have the individualized, intimate connection with us that our teachers did.
Teachers are an integral part of our lives as young children and beyond. Everyone learned their math fractions from someone. Everyone was quizzed on the 50 states from someone. Everyone learned about the solar system from someone. Those collective “someones” are our teachers. This is not to say that every single teacher you or I ever had was excellent or a “life changer.” It is not to say that you will remember every lesson they taught or homework assignment they gave. But, it does speak to the important role they played for us at one point in our lives.
With this in mind, enough cannot be said about the power of a teacher. While some have since retired, passed away, or moved on to new life pursuits, their impact will never perish. Whether you consciously remember it or not, each and every teacher had an impact on you. This is something I continually work to remind myself and think we should all be mindful of as we move forward in our lives.
How many of your teachers could you list by name today? Go ahead. Give it a try. I ensure you it will be humbling and thought-provoking exercise.
Mrs. Hall/Mrs. Beatty
Sr. Anne Fredrick
Sr. Cathy Ann
Mrs. Sander (54)
Erin Gahimer is the summer Development Intern for IPSEF. She is a life-long resident of Indianapolis seeking to learn more about the non-profit scene in the city. She graduated from the University of Dayton in May 2013 with degrees in Sociology and Spanish and has plans to attend graduate school in the Fall.