When I contemplated the identity of my most influential teacher, my initial thought was my favorite college art professor. His critiques of our art as well as his fascinating art history lectures taught me much about the arts. Then, I thought of another art prof whose teaching inspired literal joy with her interactions and descriptions of art.
Later, I traveled further back in time to my kindergarten teacher. She taught me to keep my box of crayons (labeled with my name) put away when I was finished with them. At the beginning of the year, a number of kindergarteners would be in tears the next day as a crayon box not in the proper place would “disappear”. After our day of only having a big, fat graphite pencil with which to color, we quickly learned to be neat and tidy.
Other Teachers Influence
When it comes to my most influential teachers, how could I not mention my parents? Mom taught me sewing and cooking skills. Perhaps that is why I prefer making home cooked meals. We also learned from helping her in the garden. Dad’s strengths were in farming. He showed us caring for animals was important. My favorite was feeding the bucket calves. These young calves were those for whom the mother cow was unable to produce milk. Of course, grandparents were an influence. One grandmother in particular stands out. I learned from her that pretty much anything could be made into a game. Having come from simpler times, it was a wonderful skill to possess. She also inspired me with her crocheting handiwork as well as her sewing prowess.
In thinking back to my classroom days, I can honestly say I learned from my students. I always displayed art history images we would discuss. The students would point out things they noticed or found in an art work. They would be thrilled when they would teach me something about it I had not noticed! It did wonders for their self esteem when my students could teach the teacher.
Powerful Teaching by Example
When I think about it, I can learn from anyone. Observing the positive attributes of others is an effective way to learn. That is why it is important to be around those whom we admire so that we may emulate their ways. …and yet, we may learn from anyone’s negative characteristics as well. These allow us to know what behaviors to avoid. Come to think of it, perhaps my most influential teacher is Lady Life herself. Who are your most influential teachers?
Here is a favorite song: Teach Your Children https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj8FlXGPcOQ. My post, Speaks with Sunshine shows what I learned from some delightful receptionists. Miracles and Other Antidotes details what I learned from our son from his pancreatic cancer journey.