Wednesday, July 14, 2010

list 20 - teachers that changed my life

(20 lists down, 32 to go... thanks to Hula Seventy for the list inspiration)

Mrs. Krankowski - Second Grade -
I was a dorky second grader in a blue & gray plaid Catholic school jumper & ridiculously cute black & white saddle shoes. I thought I ruled the school, or at least the second grade, & took pride in the fact that I was a reading champion.

The biggest bummer in my life was the fact that I had constant headaches which made school more of a headache than it normally is. Surgery was the only fix to my headaches, as they were a symptom of a condition I had since birth.

It wasn't the surgery that bothered me, but the missing school & not being able to wear my normal school uniform afterward that did. Yet Mrs. Krankowski & my parents made it all okay. School work was managed; cute, frilly dresses were worn; & Mrs. Krankowski even allowed someone to sit in the classroom with me every day to eat lunch while I was still recouping & unable to navigate the crowded lunchroom. Once Veronica Mars & I spent the lunch hour not eating, but replaying "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel over & over until we had all the words down. Important work for second graders.

Mrs. Krankowski gets an A+ in my book for making sure I didn't fall behind when I easily could have. And having an awesome last name.

Mrs. Blaha & Mrs. Robinson - Fourth & Fifth Grade -
They get a joint shout out, since I had Mrs. Blaha in fourth grade & then both of them in fifth grade in what was actually a fourth/fifth grade split class (I think I understood the dynamics of it better than. But how two adults could control 45 10 & 11 year old's was beyond me. Brave women).

Both were (maybe still are) excellent teachers. They were the kind of people that parents dream about having for their kids. Kind, but stern. Patient, but just to the right amount. They helped me through some tough times in my personal life & both cried the day I left for my three-week exchange student trip to France (boy is that another post in itself!) & made the class send me an Aerogram on my birthday overseas.

Mrs. Blaha gets an A+ in my book for being the ideal elementary school teacher - TWICE.

Mrs. Robinson gets an A+ in my book for boosting my confidence in math (which I am still horrible at) & feeding my love of reading & books.

Ms Wood - AP English, 12th Grade -
I don't think Ms Wood has ever had a student - or at least an honors or AP English student - who would not say that she is one of the best teacher's they ever had. She was loved by everyone.

I still feel guilty about not reading "Doctor Faustus" (the whole class rebelled & did not read for some reason. This was not a coordinated rebellion though). I still remember everyone's reaction to my diorama of the book "A Walk to Remember" (gasps around the room at the crazy attention to detail. What comes out of my mouth? "Well, I guess this is what you get when you have no life." Classic.). I still remember the hug she gave me when I told her I couldn't complete a project on time because of some personal drama interfering with my school life - she told me everything would be okay (& it was). And I still have the poem she gave us on the last day of school tucked in the back of my yearbook.

Ms Wood gets an A+ in my book for making every. single. student. feel special.

Ms Robbins - yearbook advisor -
I graduated from high school ten years ago & still keep in touch with Ms Robbins. How could I not? She was so much more than a yearbook advisor to me, & to a lot of students over her career. She was a surrogate mom when I needed one the most. She made me confident in myself, in my leadership abilities & in my creativity.

Heck, she taught me how to type 80 words per minute.

How she put up with us, with all her yearbook students, for so many years I am not sure. But my Solleret is still one of my proudest achievements & I have her to thank for that & so many other things.

Ms Robbins gets an A+ in my book because she sent me an email yesterday asking when she's going to get to be a surrogate grandmother :)

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