“Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.” ~Andy Rooney
Do you have a teacher who continues to impact you and teach you though you’re no longer in their classroom?
I lucked out and had many great teachers, one in particular, Mr. Siegel. He was my third, fourth AND fifth grade teacher. Some of the best years of my life were spent in his classroom.
I think that Mr. Siegel understood that his position allowed us to be kids and really understood that those are tender, impressionable years. Years that can never be recreated. His oldest daughter was the same age as me (and the rest of our classmates) and he just understood us. His classroom was fun! In the afternoon, we would sit on the carpet and he’d take out this wooden guitar and boy…we’d sing our hearts out. Creativity was always encouraged.
He’d explain that “fractions and decimals only get more complicated and harder.” He was right. Kindness and acceptance were the common denominators of his classroom; and is likely the reason why it was also the birth place of a handful of lifelong friendships that are still with me today.
I learned the importance of owning up to my choices and why apologizing is important when I hurt someone. When I was sick with pneumonia, he and his wife, visited me at hospital with a Spirograph set and a card made by the entire classroom. It was a bright yellow card made of construction paper and had flowers on the front. I will never ever forget that. That card told me that I was cared for and thought of by my entire class. The nurse kept it by my bedside and it kept my spirits up. Today, I still hold these life lessons close to my heart.
Today is his birthday, Happy Birthday Mr. Siegel! Thank you for celebrating the way that you have and for all that you are to the world.
Also, Thank You to all the special teachers out there. May you keep doing what you’re doing because what you are doing will impact someone for the rest of their lives. This I know for sure.