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Blessed Are Those Who Teach

May 13, 2015 01:10AM ● Published by Ron Wilkie

Caring; adjective displaying kindness and concern for others.

In life’s journey we encounter many souls. Some inherently good, some inherently bad and many others are just a blurry acquaintance. The people I remember the most are the ones that go above and beyond the call of duty.

You know like that person that took you under their wing when you arrived on a new scene. When we first moved to Beaver Dam in 2005 our girls wanted to water ski so we joined the Beaverland Must-skis as a family. Dave Bell took me under his wing and made me feel at home that first year. We’ve been fast friends ever since. Dave cared about my success as a skier and it has translated to many wonderful activities and memories.

As parents we send our children to school where strangers spend as much or more time with them as we do. It is this experience that helps to form their futures, so we should choose schools wisely. Along the way our girls were mentored by many caring people in the teaching profession.

It is easy to take teachers for granted, they get paid to do what they do, and we can mistakenly think that it is just their job. What we should never forget is that no one teaches for the pay check alone. There are many easier, less frustrating ways to earn a buck than by standing in front a room full of kids who want to be anywhere but where they are.

People chose teaching because they love to teach, or they love kids, or they want to shape future generations, or some combination therein.

What is easy to overlook is not the fact that teachers shape and influence our children. Our children sometimes shape and influence them too. How so? Case in point.

The school we send our youngest to organizes their pupils into Mentor groups. Each faculty member has a group of students from each grade freshman to senior that they mentor and guide through the High School process. The entire group will meet at scheduled intervals and they sit together as a group during school events like concerts, guest speakers and they have mentor lunch time. In addition to the group sessions each mentee will meet with their faculty mentor at scheduled times or when the student deems it necessary.

Our daughter has had the same mentor all 4 years she’s been at the school. James has guided her toward taking the appropriate classes for her desired college major, helped her learn to study more efficiently, listened to her frustrations and helped her to find her own way when things got tough, fielded dozens of concerns and questions from us and informed us anytime a red flag went up. James even kept an eye one her for us when she began to date her first boy on campus. As a father I was pleased to see a teacher go the extra mile. It all showed a special form of caring.

A couple of weekends ago we had our final parent teacher conference. James reflected back on Riane and 2 other seniors that will be his first 4 year mentees to graduate this year. He became emotional talking about how great he thinks our daughter is and he wants the very best for her and hopes she keeps in touch with her mentor as the years pass.

Tonight was her final High School concert and music awards presentation. We had the opportunity to talk to James after the concert was over and again he became emotional thinking about Riane moving on to college. I could not help but be touched by the fact that our daughter means so much to a person that is and has been a positive influence on her formidable years.

Thank God for those who love to teach, for those you love to share, for those who love their fellow man. They bless our lives simply by being themselves.

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