Appreciating Teachers

Today I take time to remember the teachers who influenced me during my days as a student in elementary school and high school.

  • Sr. Therese Kathleen SSJ – this kind first-grade teacher was gentle even when my behavior was not.
  • Sr. Roseathea SSJ – this elementary music teacher first ignited my love of music.
  • Sr. Alice John SSJ – this 7th-grade teacher thought outside of the box and formed a jug band in class, teaching me that school could be fun in unexpected ways.
  • Sr. Clare Andrew OSF – this HS English teacher helped me find the writer within.
  • Sr. Clair Immaculate OSF – this Senior English teacher first published my writing.
  • Mr. Eligio Rossi – my first and best string bass teacher pushed me to be better at each and every lesson
  • Dr. Michael Giamo – the conductor of the Philadelphia All-City Orchestra gave me an opportunity to perform with the best on stage at the Academy of Music and fueled my passion for strings.

This June will be 50 years since I graduated from Resurrection of Our Lord grade school in Northeast Philadelphia (YIKES!). Then I spent four years at St. Hubert Catholic High School in the Tacony section of Philadelphia. These years certainly had their ups and downs, successes and failures, friends and foes, but in all those instances there were teachers who helped me navigate my childhood and adolescence and shepherd me towards young adulthood. I am sure if I spent enough time on it, many more would come to mind, but right now these are the ones my 60+ brain can easily remember. I appreciate them all.

I am also thinking about the teachers who have been my colleagues over the years. I don’t want to start listing them because I will undoubtedly miss a few. This is my 36th year teaching, and I never stop learning from the teachers with whom I work. Some started out as colleagues and ended up as life-long friends. Know that I appreciate each of you.

Last by not least are the younger teachers who are struggling in the trenches right now. I see you. I understand. Hang in there if you can. You matter! Someday after your career is long over, one of your students will be writing a list of the teachers who impacted their life, and you will probably be on that list. You make a difference! I appreciate that your chose this profession.