A Tribute to Teachers

Off hand I can’t recall much I learned in high school. I suppose if someone quizzed me I might be surprised what all I did remember. But forty-five years later, I certainly remember two teachers.

Mr. Blakely was a very intellectual and savvy sort of guy. He taught International Relations with a flair. We had great class discussions about current events. There was no other class or teacher that did in my high school back in the day.

I remember giving an oral before report and the rowdy class. Rather than allowing me to struggle through the whole thing, he quickly regained total control of the exuberant teenagers and they listened intently to me. Okay, at least, they shut up. I don’t even remember what the report was about.

What I do remember is a very intelligent, passionate teacher who on more than one occasion managed to encourage a young, impressionable me.

Mr. Wells was a real character. He had way more enthusiasm for his subject matter than common sense. He once shot himself in the foot, literally. He was my advanced biology teacher who often wore a lab coat along with a mischievous expression on his face. Yet, he took me into a scientific world that I would not have been interested in otherwise.

That class was one of the few that ever had field trips. Mr. Wells or Dr. Wells as we called him because he reminded us of a mad scientist had some great ones.

We trudged along the Missouri River in our city video taping raw sewage running into the river. Also, we traveled to a wildlife refuge to capture wounded geese so they could receive treatment and be banded for study.

Here’s the interesting thing, I still keep abreast of current international events and I still have love and interest in nature. Both were sparked by two passionate teachers I had when I was a teenager.

Now my daughter is a teacher. It’s an increasingly difficult, but still noble profession.

We never know when a simple little interaction will have a lasting impact on someone.


Photo: Lafayette High School, St. Joseph, MO  Photo credit. Creative Commons.

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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