Tuesday, November 26, 2013

i'm thankful for: teachers

granted, those over achievers have been posting things they've been thankful for all month long on facebook, but i know if i was to try and go for an entire month i would hit the point of "i'm thankful for... uh... nail polish?"  anyways, i decided to whittle it down to just a week (well, 4 days) so here we go!
i am quite thankful for all the teachers i have had throughout my life.  i have overall had some pretty decent teachers, a horrid few, and then there is the handful of teachers i will always ALWAYS remember and be grateful for.  through all my school years, i've had at least one at each school that has left an impact on me in various ways, so here we go, a shout out to them.
mrs. blake will ALWAYS be the teacher i regard as my favorite.  markham had her for 2nd grade at dry creek, and then i was lucky enough to end up in her 2nd grade class as well.  and then 3rd, 4th and 5th until she retired (clearly because we were moving).  she truly made the learning environment fun and very hands on.  we took imaginary trips to european countries, had medieval feasts in the classroom, and took more field trips than i can even remember.  she had a love for travel, and brought that in to the classroom through finding us pen pals, and we had a "valentino" beanie baby that we would send to her different friends around the world and he would go on adventures.  in later years, she admitted she probably wasn't the "best" teacher we could have had, but we all definitely enjoyed our time.  she has come out for visits a few times since, and it has been great to catch up with her.  i still have yet to write to her (yes, in a handwritten card.  we still do that people!) and fill her in about my decision to become a teacher.  fun fact:  it's mostly because of her and her love for the madeline books that i have since fallen in love with the name, and intend to name my future daughter after the smallest little girl in the two straight lines, as a homage to my favorite teacher.  even though i'm now 25, i don't think i will ever get used to calling her karen though!
mr. muth was my 7th grade math/science/p.e. teacher at franklin, and kept things interesting.  we were his first class he had at the school, and i will always remember his little mermaid lunchbox.  an admitted disney enthusiast, we had quite a few hands on experiences in his class.  oh, and "life lessons" for sure.  i learned how to count to 10 in german that year, dissected a pig, and learned that "pain is just weakness leaving the body"... as well as anything that was not enjoyable "builds character."  the poor guy had to deal with the year of the josh, with about 5 or 6 between the two 7th grade classes.  oy.  mr. muth went on to having josh (my brother) and aileen in his class as well, which i think added to aileen's enjoyment to pursue a science career after high school.
rebecca gregg & randy snook  were two of my college professors at sierra in the photo department, and it was through their classes that i discovered that photography was what i really wanted to do.  in particular, randy taught the documentary class, which was one of my top photo classes at both sierra & sac state.  rebecca taught the studio photography classes, where i learned a lot about lighting, posing & eventually creating my own projects that would later lead to my ballerina project at sac state, and heading in to running my own business.  i ran in to rebecca last year at the gold county fair, and was super excited to tell her about how things have been going.  i'm on campus all the time, i should seriously just stop by and say hi sometime.  the passion rebecca has for her students reminded me so much of how mrs. blake cared about each and every one of us over the years.
sharmon goff was a great teacher to have at sac state, and i was able to say i was a "second generation" student of hers.  my dad had sharmon when he was at sac state in the 80s getting a minor in photography, and still remembered some of the projects he worked on.  sharmon taught the studio and documentary classes at CSUS, and both were yet again, my stronger suits.  my ballerina project fell under the senior portfolio class that i had with doug dertinger who totally made some of the classes rather comedic.  some days, it was like having a muppet run rampant in the room... but as senior level college students, some days you just need this.
joanna mcvay has been my dance teacher since,  well... forever.  she has been a consistent factor in my life since i was age three, and has created an environment of a second family. in the past 20 years i've been with kids r it, i've only been away from a recital for one year and it was rather strange.  joanna trusted me enough to give me my first job, and has since supported me through everything school and business wise.  had i not had a teacher like joanna, i don't think i would have continued through as long as i have after graduating from high school.  her studio is also not discriminatory, which has exposed some of her students to others with varying disabilities and capabilities and still treated them like they were one of the same.  some of my favorite people to be around are my coworkers, and things such as recital and staff meetings are more like a mini family reunion than a chore.  i know someday, when i finally move on to bigger things, she will still be supporting me the entire way, as she has done with other students and staff.

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