Thank You

I am currently wading through several teaching assistant evalautions. As I type the “comments” for the TAs to read, I am beginning to wonder what has happened to our writing skills. I don’t know if the kids are getting it or what. I know for a fact Ms. H. out there is busting her tail off each and every day to teach the kids proper writing and grammar skills and I applaud her for that. Thanks Ms. H!

I don’t know if this age of instant messaging, text messagaing and email has created this problem, but I for one am concerned. Punctuation is a good thing. It is alright to put a period at the end of the sentence. I remember in school back in the day it meant STOP. The sentence is done. The next one is beginning shortly. A new sentence should also be signaled by capitalization. It is ok to that too. Commas are your friend as well. Don’t be afraid to use your punctuation. I will be the first to tell you English (see English is always capitalized) was never a strong subject for me. I still to this day struggle with the whole tense, voice, etc. stuff. I tried my best in school to get grammar and writing. I had some hard ass teachers back in the day. The type of teacher who wasn’t afraid of parents, the parents’ lawyers, students and administrators. I remember learning to diagram a sentence at the tender age of 10. That’s right folks 10. I had to diagram sentences all the way through my senior year. I hated it, but I can probably still diagram a sentence today.

I would like to take this time to thank all those teachers who gave a damn and who impacted my life more than they will ever know.
Highland Park Elementary/Junior High (Amarillo, TX)
Ms. Molesworth (2nd grade teacher)
Ms. Adams (3rd grade teacher–she taught me my multiplication tables)
Ms. Despain (5th/6th grade teacher–Reading, Social Studies)
Ms. Briggs (5th/6th grade teacher–Math
Mr. Shipley (7th/8th/9th grade teacher–Science)
Ms. Howell (7th–Texas History–thanks for showing fun and exciting Texas is)
Ms. Hall (8th–US History–she’s the reason I am fascinated by US Civil War today)
Ms. Barnett (7th, 8th, 9th grade Literature–had separate teacher for English)
Coach Goza (basketball coach)
Axtell High School
Dr. Allen (high school teacher–she’s the reason I have such great typing skills.)
Coach Monsey (11th grade World History instructor)
Mr. Harris (10th, 11th grade–Math teacher)

Of this list three of them have influenced and impacted my life in so many ways.
Coach Jerry Goza
He was the one who taught me to love basketball. He was my basketball coach from 2nd-9th grade. He was always pushing me to do my best. My favorite memory of him—I was very upset when an opponent slapped me during a basketball game during my 8th grade year. The referee didn’t call a foul and my coach really didn’t say anything to the ref about it. I was also upset that we lost. After the game, I went into a temper tantrum in the dressing room. I yelled at my teammates, etc. Then I proceeded to throw my gym bag acroos the cafeteria (note–cafeteria and gym were connected together) and then as I was walking out of the school I pushed open the door so hard that it hit the other door. The only ones who said anything to me about my fit were my parents. For the next couple of games I rarely saw any game time. My butt was firmly parked on the bench. I didn’t know until years later that my coach was punishing me. He never said anything to me, but he told my parents. He wanted me to figure things out for myself. Sometimes his silence was golden. Thanks Coach Goza. Sadly I was unable to share my thoughts about him with him. He passed away several years ago.
Mr. John Shipley
I hated science (this can be attributed to Mr. Deputy). However, I was able to tolerate the subject thanks to Mr. Shipley. He was one of those hard ass teachers I was talking about. He wanted his students to be sucessful and never settle for second best. He gave everyone in his advanced classes a nickname…mine was Ameldine. I don’t the exact origin of the nickname, but I liked it. I don’t recall much of what I learned in his physical science or biology class, but I do remember learning how to take notes. I took biology in 9th grade. He would read from his notebook and we as students would have to dictate those notes into our spirals. At first we were all terrible at it. We were always trying to write down every single word. He explained the benefit of taking notes and also how to create shortcuts. I thank god every day that I have this skill. He is the reason I was successful in college. He took the time to get to know us. He would ask us how our day was going. He was also there when we just needed to talk. Thank you Mr. Shipley.
Dr. Barbara Allen
Words cannot describe what Dr. Allen meant to me. She wanted all of her students to be successful. She believed in all of her students. She hated it when students would waste their potential. Those were the ones she pushed the hardest. They hated her for it. She pushed me quite a bit, not because I wasn’t working hard, but because she wanted me to succeed. She was the reason I wanted to become a teacher. I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life. I wanted someone to look back on their life and say hey…that teacher made a difference. She passed away my senior year in high school. It devastated our little class (she was a senior sponsor and the senior class was about 20 in size). I miss her, but I still her voice pushing me to succeed. Thank you Dr. Allen. I know you are still watching all of us.

I did have horrible teachers. Teachers who didn’t give a damn and who were there for only the paycheck. I still to this day resent Mr. Deputy. He was so discouraging. He was mean and he played favorites. He is the reason I hated science for so long. I think I could have been an excellent scienctist Mr. Deputy. I found some interest in science in college thanks to some wonderful teachers, but by then it was too late for me. I missed out. I had one particular English teacher whose class I hated going to every day. She was lazy and she didn’t care. She cared only if you were her favorite. She didn’t challenge us at all. I resent her for that. She wasn’t a good teacher.

So if you are a teacher please be kind and supportive, tough and challenging, expect the moon and the sun from your students and give all those words of encouragment we as students need. You make a difference!

Thank you to all my teachers both good and yes, bad. Each and everyone of you have taught me valuable life lessons.

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