How Teachers Were Inspired By Their Teachers – Rachel blogs

For Teacher Appreciation week we asked teachers about a teacher who inspired them. How did that teacher tap into your natural way of learning? How did he or her change your perspective on the world?

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The first story is written by Brianna Owens, who is a Special Education Teacher at Albuquerque Public Schools in New Mexico:

My favorite teacher was Mrs. White who was my kindergarten teacher.  Although I don’t remember very specific instances of education in her classroom, I know she had a vast impact on my education and the person I’ve become.  After class each day (we had half day kindergarten at the time)  I would come home and play school with my dolls.  I even called myself “Mrs. Bright.”  Mrs. White was always kind and made her classroom a safe and warm place to go to! I couldn’t wait to go to class each day.  Now in my own classroom I strive to make my classroom a safe and inviting place where my students feel welcome and excited to come learn each day they come.

I was fortunate enough to start using SMART products in my classrooms in middle school with amazing and progressive teacher Mrs. Lemons.  I was very lucky to have technology my classrooms growing up which has led to my teaching with immense amounts of technology.

Rachel Long ist a teacher and Tech Consultant at Calvert County Public Schools in Maryland. Read her story about how her teacher inspired her to become a teacher herself!

In my 9th grade year of High School, I took a health class.  I was excited because I heard we would get to talk about taboo topics.  I had not had great experiences with school/teachers and I had an undiagnosed  learning disability.  My auditory learning was great, but reading and writing were difficult.  Teachers did not seem to know how to help me learn or that I had a disability, so I slid through school barely passing. When I met Mr. Covington my freshman year, he treated me with respect and kindness.  We had many great/heated discussions in the class, which were my strong suit.  He held high expectations for me and did not let me get away with doing the minimum.  For the first time ever, I began to like school!  I started to put in more effort into my work and was moved to advanced placement classes.

He inspired me to become a teacher to help reach all students, not just the students for whom school came naturally.  To this day in my classroom, I share the same techniques he introduced to me, with my first grade students.  We laugh, love, challenge, work as a team and treat each other with respect. Mr. Covington showed me that all students have a gift to share if we let them.  He helped me find my own gifts!  I went on to graduate in the top ten percent of my University class, when many of my former teachers had said I would not even make it into college.  If I had SMART solutions while I was in school, I would have loved learning.  Using the SMART Board for Video Clips, Music, and Gamification would have helped me learn and understand content in a way that was not possible for me in the traditional classroom.  SMART Amp would have allowed me to type instead of paper/ pencil writing and collaborate with my peers.  I love seeing the excitement of my students when they use SMART solutions.  For teacher appreciation week, two of my notes from students said: Thank you for making learning fun!  I could not have done it with SMART! Or with Mr. Convington’s kindness and respect!

What’s your story? We’d love to hear your comments!

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