The Life of Bon: Thank a Teacher day

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thank a Teacher day

My job is sometimes hard and rarely convenient and always unpredictable. 

Here's an example of unpredictable.  The second day of school I wrote about a boy who had made a mean comment about how I could "learn a thing or two" from his previous English teacher.  "How rude!" I thought.  I try to have thick skin, but the truth is my skin is paper thin so I moped around over the comment for a few good hours and even wrote about it on this blog because I just couldn't shake it.

That was last week.  This is this week.

This week the kid has latched himself right to me.  It's the darndest thing.  Before the bell rings as students are trickling in he asks me what my plans are for the weekend and why I chose to go into teaching and did I know he's going to a Black Sabbath concert on Thursday?  He comments on my shoes and he raises his hand in class to answer all my questions and it don't take no dummy to see that he wants me to like him.  I don't know why last week he felt that he needed to offend me when this week it is obvious that he is seeking my respect.  Today he told me about a friend of his who recently died in a car crash, and I shared with him about Shelbey and we bonded over the heartbreak of lives lost too soon.

I guess this kid just reminded me of how much I love my job.  It is definitely rough at times, but at the end of the day I get so much joy and satisfaction out of it that I can't imagine doing any other job.

Last week I heard about a documentary that is airing on Sep. 6 on CBS about education in America.  It poses: What Does it Take to Be a Great Teacher Today?  which I'm excited to see how it will be answered because there are a lot of really good teachers out there and there are a lot of really bad teachers out there.  I am really excited to watch it- I think education is a profession that is under thanked, under paid and over criticized.  The documentary addresses the problem of what's going to happen to the teaching profession in the next ten years when an estimated 65% of America's teachers retire.

I would encourage any of you who have ever thought about going in to the teaching, been curious about the field, or had experience with a great teacher to watch this.  You can also visit this site for ideas on how to keep education innovative and engaging in your community.

Lastly, if you or your child has had a fantastic teacher, PLEASE share it in the comments below.  Nothing would make my weekend like reading inspiring stories of the teachers you won't ever forget...  I guess it gives me hope that my students will value the work I put into teaching them in the same way.  And hopefully it will give some of you who are still on the fence about the teaching field a little boost!

Also, you know if you have any questions about teaching you can always email me up:

*This is a sponsored post by Participant Media.  All passionate opinions are my own. 


  1. It's good to hear that your new job is getting easier for you! Stick with it and you will feel at home in no time. :]

  2. It's funny when I was in high school I was use to having the worst teachers until my sophomore year. My English teacher Ms. Ostrander she was the greatest teacher I ever had, she gave us reasonable homework & actually helped us understand essays & actually taught us how to understand what we are reading. Most teachers just assume people know what Romeo & Juliet is saying but she really took the time to make sure we got it. I still to this day use everything she ever taught me, I hear her students complain about her now & just wish they would appreciate her more.

  3. I had the most awesome German teacher. She was able to cultivate one of those classroom environments where we could have fun while still learning a TON. We respected her and our class felt like a little family on campus. My classmates and I always said that she didn't just teach German - she taught life. I studied German from her for almost 3 years before we lost her to cancer. I'll never forget her bald head, cheesy smile, and how she sincerely cared for each of us.

  4. My kid has had some great teachers - her second grade teacher pops to mind first. That woman ran that classroom with precision and grace - we didn't realize until after we were no longer in her class exactly how well she managed it. She always had a smile on her face. Her elementary school art teacher who was able to pull amazing projects out of kids year after year, challenging them to be their best without them realizing it. Her music teacher whose love of music showed through to all the kids in their concerts. Her fourth grade teacher - while not considered to be the best by parents, quietly went out of his way to ensure the kids in his classroom who needed a little extra help got it by lining up tutors for kids falling through the cracks.
    She's also had some crummy teachers - always the year after some especially great teacher, so the let down was that much worse. Teachers who scream at their students, teachers who grade not on the student's work, but based on how they personally feel about the students, teachers who purposely do not give clear assignments because they feel that frustrating students is a good way to 'challenge' them, teachers who blame students behavior problems on other students - one teacher even tried blaming another student's ADHD on my child. (She is no longer teaching I would like to add.)

    Thankfully, the good teachers she's had far outweighs the bad. Teaching is a hard, thankless job and one of the most important ones out there. Thanks for trying to shape the future.

  5. I still remember my 10th grade English teacher. She was AMAZING. I had just made the switch from Private school to public. HUGE eye opener but I wouldn't trade the experience.
    Keep up the good work Bonnie! You change lives every day!

  6. I will never, ever forget my law prof from college. Judge Greenburg always had the BEST stories from his days as a judge and later a DA. His classes and tests were so hard, but he worked harder to make each of his students understand the material. I've learned so many life lessons from him. When I graduated, he offered to write me a letter of recommendation for law school. Now I'm kicking myself for not taking him up on that offer, because he passed away last year. I'm saving up money to get my paralegal certification, because I know that would make him proud. I know that my college's community, like myself, misses him every day. Thankfully, his legacy will live on at Eureka College forever!


  7. I have had some WONDERFUL teachers, and I have had some teachers that I cried coming back from their class every day. I will never forget them, regardless of whether they built me up or tore me down. But my favorite teacher of all time is/was my ninth grade Honors English teacher. She is amazing. She made us feel respected and smart and not like awkward teenagers for an hour a day. I love that woman. I loved her class so much, that I took her Folklore class my senior year just so I could have her again (and maybe also because we got to do cool projects in there like research pirates). She came to the party my parents threw after my college graduation and still keeps in touch with me and all her favorites. I will most likely invite her to my wedding. She is like an aunt or grandmother to me. I am a better person because of her. :)

  8. My favorite teacher was my AP Chem teacher, senior year. Our class only had ten people in it, so we were really close. Half the class was spent talking about our lives. I still miss him. He was a great teacher and exactly what we all needed at that time in our lives.

  9. Awwwww! This makes me so happy! I'm glad he's turned around. Teenagers just always amaze me. :)

    And I wrote about my favorite teachers from high school in the last link up. My band and choir teachers (and my band teachers wife). They were so amazing, and I know I took them for granted when I was in school. They gave much and AMAZING music education and helped me to believe in myself. They wanted me to do the best that I could and pushed me so I would get there.

  10. Hey Bon,

    what a great post!! thanks for wonderful stories that every one else has shared in the comments.

    In high school, I had a string of bad teachers it seems like but one that sticks out was my chemistry teacher. She was so nice and king and she would set aside extra time to help me on the homework. Her lectures were interesting and she loved helping students. The thing that she did that hurt me the most was that I was talking about being a christian and I had sent her a video with some christian music that I liked and she told me that she did not like that stuff and not to send her videos again. so that was hard but whatever, to each their own.

    I am currently in college and I have two great college professors. One is my main communications prof. She is so engaging and so willing to help students. I just love coming to talk to her and I feel safe when I talk to her. She helps me with my assignments and she is always really easy to reach by email. She really deeply cares about students and its so great to watch. she is also passion about her subject matter which is awesome. the second prof is my graphic design prof. The class started last night and I have to take the class as part of my major. I did not want to take the class because I was scared as to how much little computer knowledge I have. This man is the nicest man I have ever met. He cares super deeply for his students and addresses everyone of us by our names yes but also calls us friend like we belong and we are cared and loved for. He said that he prays for every. single. student. by name. every single day. The class was fun and engaging and I cannot wait to go back next week!

    I hope that your week is good next week and just think, you get off Monday so you only have 4 days next week! I am sure that your an amazing teacher and that the students will warm up to you soon. Just be your fun, cheery self and you should be all good. I am interested to see how the weeks go for you! Have a great LONG weekend!


  11. Sounds like that kid just had a little crush on you and started out being mean (like most boys do to girls they like) to get your attention, haha ;)

    I have had some great teachers over the years. My 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Sherman, stands out in my memory the most. My friends and I were sassy and loud and obnoxious, but she knew how to handle us and we all adored her. She was fun but still taught us a lot while still having fun.

    Now that I'm a mom and have my own kids in school, I get to see the teachers from a different light. They are saints (the good ones anyway) and for the most part we have had great experiences. There is one teacher though, Mrs. Grigsby, that will forever hold a special place in my heart. My one son never liked school until he was in her 2nd grade class. She helped him to see how much fun learning could be, she always encouraged him and helped him to see how smart he is. She saw what talents he possessed and helped him realized he could do more than he ever thought he could.

    Teachers are incredible, special, amazing people and thank you for all you do!!

  12. I am an English teacher too and agree on the: underthanked, underpaid, etc. comment you made. I did start something really cool last year that I felt helped me connect with students and their parents on a different level than ever before. It also raised some wonderful feedback from parents - each week, I wrote 3-4 parents about the different positive qualities their child possessed in my class. I did this on these little postcards my high school has, knowing the kids would see it too. I also wrote some positive notes to students themselves, which I've done in years past. I can be a pretty demanding teacher and at the end of the day, I felt like I wasn't giving enough praise to kids and writing the praise and making it official helped me focus on the good that is ever present in my job.

    An inspiring teacher I had was my high school English teacher who believed in my ability to write and write well. I loved her and became an English teacher with her influence in mind.

  13. When I was in middle school I had an awesome English teacher that I loved. She really encouraged my writing, which I've never forgot! I admire great English teachers like you!

  14. I've been lucky to have a number of good teachers.
    I had a hard time learning how to read and no one seemed to care until my second grade teacher Mrs. Tilly took an interest in me. She knew that I was smart and could do it, so worked with me one-on-one until I got it. She was ANCIENT when I had her, but she still cared soooo much about her students.
    My 4th grade teacher Ms. Pino was amazing. She was gorgeous, always smelled good and gave great warm hugs. She didn't let me slack. She pushed me into advanced math because she knew I could do it, I just needed to be pushed. She also recommended me for my school district's Gifted & Talented program. That program made a huge impact for the rest of my schooling.

    I had several great high school teachers, but the one that sticks out the most is Mr. Tom Marak. Mr. Marak was the head of the town's Gifted & Talented program and "taught" us Future Problem Solving, which is a nerd competition. We always did well, so the school budget allowed us FPS kids to have a class with Mr. Marak all 4 years of high school. Seeing a teacher every other day for 4 years really builds a bond. In addition to challenging us, he was also our confidant, our friend, our ally. This may sound a little snotty, but he allowed us Gifted & Talented kids to feel superior. A lot of us were on the dorky side, so having a space to feel "better" than other kids really allowed a lot of us to grow and become more confident. He also treated us like little adults. He's such a wonderful man and really made high school so incredibly special for me. A lot of people don't like high school, but I LOVED it. I loved it because my town's school was a good school, it was cool to be smart there, and I had teachers like Mr. Marak, who wanted nothing more than to see his students succeed and be happy. Thank you Mr. Marak!!

  15. Yay I'm super excited about the documentary too!!!


  16. My mama is a teacher and she just loves her job! So thankful for yall!
    Come link up with us today!

  17. So glad your student isn't trying to offend you anymore.

    I had a teacher senior year of high school who helped me through some really difficult situations with my home life. She would talk to me after class, sometimes when I was breaking down in tears. She was a really great person who really cared about all of her students as people which I thought was really important.

  18. I had a fifth grade teacher that gave all of us nicknames and years after we had him he would still remember then. He changed my outlook on math and he is the one who inspired me to become a teacher myself. The idea of changing at least one childs life seems amazing to me. I have gotten my teaching credential but have yet to get my first teaching job. However I am looking forward to when I do actually get my first teaching job. Thank you for being a teacher and all that you do for your students!!

  19. My freshman year for English I had the brand new teacher. He was in his mid-twenties, married. Needless to say I had a teacher crush. that aside, he was very passionate about English and anything to do with it. He made English fun. Through-out the rest of my high school years anything English I would come to him and have him proof read it. He became the drama teacher, and then in college I would come back with some friends to visit and help his class. It wasn't that I had a crush on him that made me enjoy his class, that was just a plus. I just really enjoyed how much he loved what he was doing. And how you could tell he loved it. Even though he did take my phone away once!! :( But he is such a great teacher, and became a friend. I would talk to him about my problems or anything really. He was upset when I didn't give him a wedding invitation in the first round. A good teacher has a way of becoming a friend. They are an even better teacher if you can be a friend, but also make it clear that you are the teacher. I love hearing your stories from teaching. It sure does take me back! :)

  20. My daughter started student teaching in Ogden last week. I'm always telling her "Oh you have to read what Bonnie had to say!" My daughter says to me "Uh, you know she doesn't know you exist, right?" Brat! haha but your blog is very inspirational for her soooo....thank you!! :)

  21. Okay, you asked me about favorite teachers, so I have to clue in. I also completely agree about all your comments on teachers, but it still stands that the BEST teacher I ever had was Mr. O. He taught my third grade class (and had previously for over thirty years!) He was the first authority figure I can remember that expected a lot of everyone, even though we were eight. He was "hard" on us in his own ways, chose to teach challenging material regardless of how much we complained, and was the first person that inspired me to write. I still think of him often and started crying when he had the chance to visit me the day before I left to go to college. I think he showed that you don't have to be the nicest or most up-to-date person to be a good teacher - you have to meet kids where they stand and take them where they want to go by inspiring and driving them. That's my schpeal! Thanks so much for this post, I was so glad I got to babble about him :]

  22. My dance teacher at school was the best! She helped me so much with everything and she really believed in me when we did solos which helped so much! It's great that your settling in to your new school!

  23. My Graphics teacher in high school (who was also my form teacher) was really one of the best teachers I have ever had. He cared about everyone, he knew what he was talking about, he made us feel like adults but also knew that we were children that needed guidance. I was so happy when I bumped into him the other day and him and his wife had had their first baby (unplanned but very much loved) and I was so happy for him as he will be a great Daddy I'm sure

  24. I have had some really horrible teachers but the amount of great teachers I ave had overpowers the bad. I'm a senior in high school this year which is kind of insane to me. I'm that kid who LOVED high school, which a lot of my classmates think is strange. I loved the football games, the dress-up weeks, but mostly, my teachers. I always tend to bond with my English teachers the most (maybe because English is my favorite subject or maybe because English teachers tend to be ridiculously awesome). I've had so many amazing teachers, from my kindergarten teacher that took me out for ice cream, to my English 9 teacher that always listened to my 15-year old troubles. Teachers really can make a huge difference in a child's life. I was blessed with some of the BEST teachers ever and I'm so thankful for them.