Teachers connect and change lives

The short, heart-warming video below is a powerful reminder of the crucial role teachers play in our lives. In a very real sense, the influence they have on children and young people is crucial not only to the  individual lives they touch, but also to our whole society. As schools are getting ready to start all across the United States, it's the perfect time to reflect on the vital role teachers play and to express our gratitude to those teachers who helped us—or our children—along the way.

Teachers who made a difference in my life

My earliest teacher memory is of Elsie McCarty, my Sunday School teacher for many years. She was a dear, loving person who lived her faith in a natural, unpretentious way, and her love for us was an early reflection of God's love in my life.

In grade school, Ethel Gold taught me to write and gave me confidence in my ability to express myself. “Composition Day” was an annual event and always a surprise, announced soon after we arrived at school. We were given a choice of several topics, and the regular morning classes were cancelled so we could write, write, write. Winners from each grade were invited to read their compositions at graduation. I wish I still had my winning essays.

Bob Dornin, with his contagious “Come look at this!” enthusiasm for science, planted the seeds for my life-long interest in nature and biology. To this day, I enjoy learning new things about plants, animals, and birds, and I love helping others connect with the natural world around them.

The chairman of the Biology Department at Randolph-Macon Woman's College (now Randolph College), Dr. Frank Flint, was also a beloved teacher when I was a Biology major. He was enormously supportive of his students reaching for top level graduate schools, and he encouraged us to participate in professional events and seminars throughout our college years.

I am equally grateful for a few outstanding teachers who helped and inspired my own children in school.

Thank the teachers who make a difference

Can you recall a teacher who inspired you to make the most of your strengths or encouraged you to overcome your weaknesses? Are you grateful to a teacher who has helped your child? Whether you have children in school now or you're a “grown-up” who wants to send a thank-you gift to an influential teacher from your past, the book Heart of a Teacher and its companion DVD of the video below make a wonderful, unique gift for educators. The video is a short, moving tribute to teachers.

Photo credit: “In giving we receive” by Dan MacDonald of Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada via StockXChng
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