Fantastic Friday: World Teachers’ Day

October 5 (Monday) was World Teachers’ Day. If I wrote everything I had to say about inspiring teachers, it would take up much more than the scope of one blog post.

The first teacher to inspire me was my mother. I remember watching her take home papers to grade, and I used my imagination to run my own “classroom” with my sister and my stuffed animals as my students. What I was modeling was the encouraging way teachers foster thinking, guiding students to an understanding of new material.

To me, teaching is like planting a tree—it’s an act of hope. A teacher dedicates his or her time to helping others learn with the hope that the new generation will go on to do great things, and perhaps in this way, humanity will continuously be better than it has been.

Though I’ve certainly had some scary teachers over the years, most of them have been warm and encouraging.

Several elementary school teachers encouraged me to write, telling me they expected to see my name in books and magazines when I grew up.

Several music teachers unleashed the musical part of my brain, which I am convinced opened up a realm of creativity that would have otherwise remained dormant.

In high school, a handful of encouraging teachers helped me to navigate the confusing years known as adolescence and find my voice.

I’ve written to and about many of my teachers in various letters and publications; and as I continue to write, I know that all my favorite teachers will show up disguised—in one form or another—in my books over the years.

Today, I’d like to use my Fantastic Friday post to celebrate teachers. It’s too easy in the news to read about the bad teachers or the strange cases that raise eyebrows. But the reality is, there are thousands of teachers out there making a difference every day. They aren’t making headlines, but they’re diligently doing their jobs, and around the country, classrooms full of students are all the better for it.

If you’d like, share a tribute to a special teacher below—or better yet, if they are still around, reach out to them and thank them!