National Teachers’ Appreciation Week, May 2 – 6

Okay, some of you sharp-eyed math geeks will point out that a week has seven days not five – point taken. Of course, one week out of the year isn’t enough time to show our appreciation for our teachers – nine months would be appropriate. Have you ever noticed that the school years of nine months is the same amount of time it takes to give birth? Coincident? I think not. I’m sure to many teachers it’s hard to distinguish the difference. I had a teacher friend who taught seventh grade – the start of junior high school. She said the kids arrived in September scared to death and by December were madly in love. Here’s my salute to our teachers.

I think movies and TV shows have inspired many of us to appreciate the teachers that influenced our lives and formed our minds; even the fictional shows. Of course many movies did portray real teachers. Here are some of my favorites:

I studied karate during the 60’s and 70’s. Every lesson was terminated early so we could watch Kung Fu starring David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine. His mentor or teacher was a blind monk named Master Po. Master Po’s wisdom formed the basis of Kwai’s beliefs on life. It also taught the viewers a thing or two. All karate students nationwide became “Grasshopper”.

In the same vein, there was also The Karate Kid, the story of a karate student by the name of Daniel LaRusso, who mentored by his instructor, Mr. Miyagi. Many of us had a Miyagi in our lives.

Mrs. Arbuckle was my Miyigi my freshman year of high school. She was my English teacher. I arrived late in the beginning of the year when my father moved us to Fort Lewis, Washington. In order to learn more about me, she asked me to write a biographical essay about myself. In my egotistical way, I wrote nine pages while other students wrote one page. However, she did encourage me to write. I think she was the first one to ever make me believe I could write.

Of course, some of the movies about teachers were non-fiction. I’m thinking of the movie, The Miracle Worker, the story of Anne Sullivan. She was a teacher who was visually impaired, and she was hired to teach the young, deaf, mute and blind Helen Keller. If you haven’t seen it, please do this week.

Other movies were inspirational as well; movies like Stand and Deliver, Dead Poets Society and Lean On Me. An inspirational TV show was the hilarious TV series, Welcome Back, Kotter. While it was a comedy, it always had a moral to each show, and was worth watching.

Please show your appreciation for your teachers and the teachers of your children.

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