In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week I’m going to write about the teachers and coaches in my life who inspired me in the classroom and on the field and court.
First and foremost, Don Lamb. He was one of my AAU basketball coaches from 5th-8th grade for Club Jayhawk. This man was intense. He coached basically for fun. He didn’t have a daughter on the team. Wasn’t a teacher. Pretty sure he worked construction if I can recall. But this man taught me the importance of fundamentals and giving your best. And I remember specifically one practice we were doing some ball handling and he walked by each of us and asked us, “Was that your best?” And he started with the newest player each time. And this practice… it was ME. And I made the stupid mistake and said, “Yes.” He looked me in the eye and said, “No. You can ALWAYS do better.” I’ll never forget that. A lot of my coaching tendencies when it comes to basketball (and even soccer) are attributed to him! A great man.
The next person who impacted my life and inspired me in my career would be my seventh grade science teacher, Ms. Moe (now Mrs. Fowler). It was in her class that I was first inspired to choose teaching as a career. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow she makes teaching look so fun! I wanna be a TEACHER!” And I never changed my mind after that day as a 13 year old.
The next year when I was in 8th grade I had the coolest PE teacher EVER! Ms. Harman (now Mrs. Bachtel). It was her first year of teaching. She was just awesome and outgoing. And she connected with me so well.
Besides the above mentioned, I’ve had sooo many amazing teachers and coaches in my life who have impacted the way that I teach and coach nowadays: Mrs. Parish (kindergarten), Mrs. Redding (1st grade), Mrs. Parker (2nd grade), Ms. Pyron (5th grade), Mrs. Theiss (6th grade), Mr. Fowler (7th grade Language Arts), Ms. Hamilton (sophomore English), Mrs. Drinkwater (Spanish 1 & 2 and tennis coach), Mrs. Diedidue (Spanish 3 & 4), Ms. Negaard (AP Lit & Comp), Coach Crowell (8th grade basketball and high school soccer), Coach Harrison (high school basketball), Coach Straub (high school soccer), Dr. Stahle (English professor), Dr. Pierce (English professor), Professor DeVore (Education professor and advisor), Professor Smith (Educatoon professor)…
I was blessed all through elementary, middle, and high school and even college in having soooo many AMAZING teachers and coaches.
I still keep in contact with a few of them, which is really cool! (#ThankYouFacebook)
These teachers and coaches made lasting impressions on me. Not necessarily for how they were in the classroom or practice area, but how they cared about me more than just as a student or player. It’s a constant reminder every day I step into the classroom for why I teach. I want to be THAT person that they were to ME.