by Tillie Elvrum
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week and naturally I am thinking about the teachers that made a difference in my life and the teachers who continue the good work in the lives of the children I love.
Former Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry once said, “A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.”
I was blessed with many teachers that inspired hope, ignited my imagination, and instilled a love of learning and without their guidance during my high school years I wouldn’t have a passion for education and life-long learning.
Mr. Wolfe was my high school Chemistry teacher who made me love science. I was not a student naturally drawn to math or science, but he made Chemistry fun and exciting. So much so, after I completed Chemistry I and II, I signed up for a third year of independent study. He taught me that you could love learning even when the subject was challenging and out of your comfort zone.
Mr. Lujan was my high school French teacher and he easily ignited my imagination. I attended a rural public high school – there were less than a hundred students in my graduating class. Many of us couldn’t imagine life outside our small town, but through foreign language he opened the world to us. He made learning French about so much more than grammar exercises and more about understanding people and cultures different than our own. My classmates have gone on to travel the world as tourists, and work internationally, and I can’t help but think their wanderlust was sparked by Mr. Lujan.
Mrs. Provenzano was my high school English and Literature teacher. These classes were where I felt most at home and she nurtured my love of good books and a good debate. She also inspired hope in me to keep pursuing my education amid many challenges after graduation. I knew she believed in me and that made such a difference in my life.
I am so grateful for the educators that guided me along my journey and my hope has always been that my own children would experience the same in their educational journeys.
To all the teachers out there working daily to inspire hope, ignite imagination, and instill a love of learning in their students, we thank you. You are making a difference!