We have all heard of and maybe even experienced “Puppy Love” and can certainly understand and appreciate the love we have for our family and friends, but have you ever thought about what I fondly refer to as “Teacher Love”?
I was volunteering in my daughter’s gym class the other day. Her teacher was braving a unit on roller skating where he rented roller skates for every child and had them brought into the school. He then transformed the school gym into a skating rink with cones, pads on the walls and groovy music.
Between praying that no one would break a bone and worrying that the skates had been cleaned and sanitized in between each use, I noticed something interesting.
My daughter is in sixth grade (if you have a sixth grader or know of one, you can sympathize). Her homeroom teacher is male. Now before you think you know where I am going with this, let me describe him: balding, pocket protector, chalk on the back of his dark blue dress shirt like he had leaned up against the chalk board and was oblivious to the fact that the day’s science vocabulary was being displayed. In a nut shell, he is far from a heart throb.
When he sat down on the line with his students to take off his shoes and put on his skates, though, the excitement and pure joy that his student’s expressed was genuine. As they skated around the “rink” his lack of roller skating expertise became clear. His students picked up on this right away and instead of poking fun and laughing at him (which was my expectation of sixth graders), they lent their support, encouraging words and even a hand when he looked like he was going to go “splat.”
The disappointment in the room could be felt when he had to leave the rink to take care of teacher business. The conversations amongst the small pods of kids skating centered around how “cool” it was for their teacher to skate with them.
He made an impact on his class that day. He became a little more human. He taught a life lesson that you can be really good at certain things and simply stink at others, but what counts is that you try and have fun. He also interacted with one of the toughest bunch of prepubescent youngsters there are.
What an impression he made on me.
If you are a parent, my advice to you would be to foster the relationships your children have with their teachers. If you are a teacher, get down and dirty with your students! Take the opportunity to become human! Take the opportunities as they present themselves, you never know who you will reach and who is watching.