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I used to want to be a teacher. It was the first thing I had ever wanted to be as a child. Then it became that I wanted to be a missionary first and then a teacher.

I have always thought that teaching is one of the most noble professions along with farming, plumbing and garbage removal. All of these jobs are of utmost importance in our society, require a lot of energy, perseverance and humility. And, they can come with such little recognition, praise or appreciation.

I’ve had some pretty great and some fairly rotten teachers in my life.

I thought I would take a look back and see how many I could remember, what I remembered them for and whether, or not, they had a long-lasting, positive impact on my life.

Instead of naming names, I will use grades/subjects, etc.

Kindergarten: My teacher here was female, cheerful and rotund. In fact, she was exactly like “Merryweather” the fairy from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. I remember nap time. I had an awesome homemade quilt that had hippopotami on it and I was always extremely proud when it came time to take it out. I also remember singing “Teddy Bear Picnic”.

Grade 1: This was a tumultuous year for me. My family had moved from our home in the country to town and my parents’ marriage was on the rocks. This was when i started to steal. I would steal things from other kids in my class. My teacher in that grade was extremely patient, kind and just. She was an older lady and very petite. I remember that she used to chew gum all the time, mouth open, rolling it around and making crackling noises. I thought it was so cool.

Grade 2: Another female teacher. She was very tall and very slender. One of my favourite teachers of all-time. She had this inner peace and strength that made me feel like everything was going to be ok. She was funny and had an awesome laugh. There always seemed to be a bit of mischief in her eyes, which was probably why I liked her so much.

Grade 3: This was around the year my parents divorced. At the very least, it was the school year leading-up to it. It’s funny, because it’s the only year of school that I can’t remember who taught me. I do remember the librarian during this year, however. Sadly, she passed away last year. But, to this day, she was one of the kindest, softest, sweetest, most pleasant and peacemaking people I have ever met.

Grade 4: My teacher this year was a man. He also happened to be a local radio DJ at night. Awesome, I know. I remember he let us dissemble computer hard drives, radios, etc. just to explore what was in them. He also let us do air-band competitions. My friends and I did “She’s Got the Look” by Roxette and the Joyrides. I played keys. This teacher always had a sweet smell about him like a fresh pad of paper and scotch tape got together and had a baby. He introduced me to Sinead O’Connor and taught me that it was ok to think outside the box and be different. You could tell he loved all the students and that he truly cared about us and was in our corner. He is now my mom’s neighbour. I recently visited his house and watched an old video he had of my class. That year, his class, was one of the most life-transforming years for me. I still refer back to the lessons he taught me when I need a little extra guidance.

And, I still listen to Sinead O’Connor.

(Teachers-Pt. 2, continuing tomorrow. And, believe me, there are some good ones coming)