Monday, May 4, 2015

Teachers I Appreciate

It's teacher appreciation week and many people are sharing with the world the teachers that influenced them.  I thought I'd give some quick shout outs to a few key teachers from my life.

Mrs. Pine (Kindergarten)  She was young and fun and gave me a great first introduction to school.  She left at spring break when she had a baby but I'll always remember her!

Fred DiFillipo (1st Grade)  Mr. D will forever be remembered as the teacher who always had a jar out filled with various things for us to guesstimate the amount of and for showing us The Letter People.  Later, I found that he went to Xavier University just like I did and whenever I'd visit during college he'd give me some money so I could bring him Busken cookies the next time I was home.  Oh, and lets not forget that he was in one of the best bands ever... The Skinny Boys!  Along with Mr. Hovan (the sign language interpreter) and Mr. Curtain (the gym teacher who was later our principal).  Man could they wail on the Taft School Shuffle.   In honor of Mr. D here's my favorite letter:

Kim Vivolo (2nd Grade) I believe I've written about her before.  She instilled a love of reading in me and I credit her with all my oral reading skills.  She showed me how to add inflection and use voices when reading aloud, a skill I value to this day.  Just a great spirit too.  So happy and friendly and energetic.

Colleen Feighan (3rd Grade)  This was the year we got to read Charlotte's Web my favorite children's book.  We also raised chicks (I just found my book all about their life cycle).  My egg never hatched (Tinkerbell) so I got to share with my friend Tara.  Our chick was Yum-Yum.  I also remember learning about different artists because she had an art degree as well.

Mrs. Kirby (4th grade)  Mrs. Kirby loved pigs.  I love pigs.  We were meant to get a long.  I loved her class and even got to go to her house for lunch once!  She was such a fun lady.

Julie Tabaji (6-8) band. Julie set me on a 11.5 year journey of playing in band.  Because of her I have the best memories. She taught us to improvise and love polka.   Her energy was and still is contagious!

Mrs. King (8th grade) Social Studies and language arts.  She had lots of creative lessons and high expectations.  I wrote my first 5+ page paper for her.  Oh I wish I could find it.

Ms. Schwartz (8th grade)  Science.  This was one of two years in my life I enjoyed science.  It was so hands on!  She was another full of life teacher with a great sense of humor.

Gail Meinke (9th grade) English.  I loved this class.  I'll never forget writing on chart paper in the hallways and creating zines.  This is when we really started analyzing literature instead of just reading.

Jamie Cure (10th grade) English.  I will forever remember this humanities themed course where we used an old school textbook.  We kept track of all the allusions to things we'd read that we saw out and about.  To this day I see something and think "10th grade allusion."  She was tough but smart and I probably learned more in that class than most of the rest of the classes I took that year combined.

Holly Schafer (10-12th grade) Homeroom and AP gov't.  Schafer was young.  I'm now past the age she was our senior year which really hits home.  She was so energetic and excited about teaching.  Our homeroom had SO MUCH FUN with her.  My AP gov't class was just 10 girls and she taught us a LOT.  I also remember her giving us advice about relationships and scheduling classes in college.

Dave Hille (12th grade) FUN Physics.  I only needed one more science credit so I took the lowest level of physics I could.  Best decision ever.  Just like my 8th grade science class I loved it because it was hands on and interesting.  Mr. Hille was also a young teacher and had great ideas to keep us engaged.  As an inclusion class a couple of my friends and I got the opportunity to help others who needed more assistance which was cool too.

David Gannon (9-12th grades) Drama, Communications & Media etc.  I took Mr. Gannon for several classes as well as performed in several shows he directed.  Every time I hear "Scaramouche Scaramouche will you do the fandango" in Bohemian Rhapsody I think of him and the lesson he did on the Comedia del Arte  (did I spell that right?).  His classes introduced me to students I didn't normally get to interact with and really gave me a lot of knowledge that I wouldn't have gotten in just my core classes.

I'm sure I'm missing a few- and there are some teachers I appreciate for showing me what not to do now that I am a teacher but I'll leave them nameless.

I have been beyond blessed in my life to have these amazing teachers.  I truly don't think I'd be where I am now if any of them hadn't been present in my life when they were.  I'm lucky that I'm still in contact with at least a third of this list.  So teachers, if you read this-- Thank you.  Oh, and I apologize.... I now realize though I was never the "bad" kid I was probably the overly talkative, bother you before class when you're setting up, never let you breathe kid.  Whoops.

Thanks for reading! And don't forget to take a second and say "thank you" to the teachers who influenced you in your life.

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