English: This is a photo of George W. Bush and...

George W. Bush and Kimberly Oliver, the 2006 national teacher of the year. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

May 7 is National Teacher Day.

Who were your favorite teachers and how did they change your life?

What made your teacher good at their job?

When I was in third grade, I remember turning in a test paper by walking up to the front of the room and putting it down on top of everyone else’s papers.

But, as I was setting my paper down, I noticed, and started reading, the test that had just been turned in by someone else.

I guess, even at that early age, I had a proofreader’s eye.

The test paper I was reading had mostly blanks in the answer spaces.

And, even the answers that were right were often put on the wrong line.

Smug in my own answers, and prone to be a tattle-tale, I was about to tell the teacher about this.

She stopped me short.

“That is not your paper.”

“But, they….”

“You may return to your seat.”

As an adult, I now realize that this student might have been struggling for any number of reasons, ranging from a poor home environment, to learning disabilities, to low intelligence.

I also realize something else now.

It was none of my business.

I wasn’t planning to help that student.

I was planning to make sure they got a grade that was even lower.

It was my teacher’s job to understand the circumstances that helped or kept that student from learning.

It was up to her to be as creative as she could to reach that student and bring them up to grade-level, if possible, or at least to achieve the best they could within their capabilities.

But, she had taken on another job, teaching compassion.

Long before the days when privacy was a concern, she understood the need for and decency of protecting that student’s privacy and dignity.

And, I am the better for her lesson.


Do you remember any of your children’s teachers?

Have you met any of your grandchildren’s teachers?

What is your favorite teacher story?

To you and the life-changing impact of your grandchildren’s teachers.

 This post first appeared on grandmotherdiaries.com


Carol Covin, “Granny-Guru”

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma?



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