Before I explain this weeks challenge, I wish to give thanks to the several who participated in last weeks challenge. The participation level has humbled me, and I thank everyone who took part.
We saw a participation from some of the previous week(s), as well as some new additions. I'm already beginning to get a better feel for some of those who've participated more than once, our familiarity from such sharing deepening our bonds and understanding. Which is really what social blockchain is all about. Knowing, learning and understanding one another. And if one is lucky, a growing sense of caring and appreciation as we begin to see one another more clearly.
Here Are The Entries From Last Weeks Challenge.
There is still time to read and vote for these posts if you've not had a chance yet, although some of them are close to the point of closure. A huge thank you to all who are participating and curating these challenges. So, now for this weeks challenge. I hope that many of you will find it compelling enough to participate.
My Favorite Teacher.
This weeks challenge is to write about your favorite teacher. Tell us how this person impacted your life, what made them so special for you.
School is often difficult, both due to learning our way in navigating the often cruel dynamics of social situations coupled with teachers who often don't care who are tasked with presenting dry boring presentations.
However, I think it not uncommon for us to have that one teacher (perhaps even more) who shined for us. Who really cared, and went out of their way to see us. Who decided to take that dry presentation and make it intriguing. Or as mineopoly discussed in a recent post, to personalize the learning experience.
So here are the rules.
- Share with us what made your teacher so compelling to you. Please be as thorough as possible. Such an examination given enough depth illuminates not only what made the teacher shine, but the dynamics that compel such a bond between mentor and student.
I Will Only Guarantee The First FIVE qualifying Posts Linked Here In The Comments Will Receive A Full Upvote From Me. I say this as a precaution. For two weeks in a row I've had six entries and all have been upvoted. This is just in case at some point this challenge dares become more successful than my expectations. My commitment to those of you participating is strong, my gratitude immense.
I'll Also Be Upvoting Great Comments On These Posts. If The Comment Is Such Quality It Could Be A Post Itself, Don't Be Surprised If It Also Receives A Full Upvote By Me. So Don't Be Discouraged I Can Only Pick The First Five Qualifying Posts. I would like to add that I hope as the weeks go on, that we see more participation in the comment sections. One of the main drives of these challenges are to spark bonds that tie us together. Please don't be hesitant to comment on one anothers posts. And if you have been sitting on the sidelines not ready to participate, please don't be shy in interacting with the authors. They are opening themselves up for all of us. Acknowledgment for such daring and trust is an act of edification that not only gives affirmation to the author, it also reveals your sense of community.
The Tag beingsocial Needs To Be Used. Hopefully It Will Make The Posts More Easily Findable For Others.
Copy pasting from other sources defeats the intent of this challenge. That will result in a disqualification.
I can for whatever reason decide your post doesn't qualify. However, I don't foresee this happening.
Please just try to have fun with this. Don’t allow fear of any stigma normally associated with such revelations deter you. It is through exploration we make self discoveries, and shame on those who would deter you from such knowledge.
Now For Who My Favorite Teacher Was.
In order to give a proper context for my favorite teacher, its necessary you know a little more about who I was when I was lucky enough for my path to cross with his.
From an early age, when my dad left my mom, my life was one filled with violence and anger. Born with a natural love in my heart, my kindness was often mistaken as weakness as well. Due to both external and internal circumstances, I found myself the recipient of much violence both in the home and out.
Much of this was due to my mothers anger at my dad leaving. Her hatred of him gave her a vendetta that saw her willing to use myself as a weapon against him. Coupled with her marrying my extremely violent stepfather who was quick to beat, my views as I began aging became jaded. I had begun running away from home when I was seven to escape my stepfather, to escape the war my mother had against my father. Of course I was always dragged back by the authorities, who viewed myself as the problem, not them.
By the time I reached the sixth grade, my anger had grown from smoldering to hard to contain. It was during this period that my distrust of medical experts had solidified. My mother used doctors as one of her weapons against my father, as he was court ordered to pay for them. I probably saw more doctors between the ages of four to this point than many of you will in your entire life. You will see shortly why this is pertinent to the sharing.
Enter Mr. Peters and the sixth grade. By the time I met him, my boredom with school, coupled with my disdain for most adults who left me powerless in my path was strong. I had begun lifting weights and practicing martial arts, my plans to stop being a punching bag outside the home now a strong flame within me.
I was immediately drawn to him. From day one he was engaging with the class. He had a humor to him, a patience that not only allowed one to be themselves, but encouraged it.
I had been quite an avid reader from when I was very young, and once he recognized this in me he seemed to take a special interest in me.
My father had taught me to play chess when I was around six, and by the time I met Mr. Peters was actually already quite good at it. Mr. Peters loved chess as well, and during recess he would offer to play us students. If we could beat him, we got our pick of a candy bar from the assortment he would bring in. I beat him several times a week.
But even if I hadn't, playing against him was very entertaining. He was such a fun personality, and engaging as he was quick to compliment yet slow to criticize. If you made a mistake, he would use the situation to explain alternate ways one could have went about it.
He had this thing he would do. If you were to get him with a joking insult while he was lecturing, he would come over laughing. He would congratulate you verbally as he would smack you in the back with some force. It would sting a little, but the way he did it wasn't malicious. Several of us boys would try several times per week to get him good enough to get one of his congratulations.
As winter began setting in, I got him really good with this. Wearing my heavy coat, I put my schoolbooks under it. I got him good, and he came and smacked my back in congratulations. His surprise at his hand stinging from the books made everyone laugh. Even him. He thought it was hilarious.
Now I must qualify before moving on with this. I was still a horrible student. In so many ways I was apathetic towards so many things, school being one of them. I learned more from the many books I began reading at an early age than school was teaching me. School was boring, the books in the libraries I had access to not so much.
So despite my intelligence, my grades were pathetic to say the least. I simply didn't care. I had given up on the world, and what it proclaimed was important.
Now we have the foundation in place. I can begin describing the intensity that made my relationship with him so memorable.
During the first half of the sixth grade, my mother had begun consulting with a specialist regarding a supposed leg defect I was born with. Always able to find medical people who would aid her in fleecing my father (water rises to its own level), my regular doctor put her in touch with this specialist.
It was decided I would have major leg surgery. Consisting of cutting my bone off at the knee, extracting a small bone out of my ankle, turning the shin bone slightly and stapling it back together so it would grow back together.
It was quite a painful procedure, and I was in the hospital for weeks.
Mr. Peters didn't want to lose me as his student due to this. Despite my apathy, he saw something in him that made him want to go the extra mile for me. When my mother had told him I would be missing so much time it would cause me to need to repeat the sixth grade, he volunteered to come to the house and teach me there so I could finish the sixth grade on time.
He came to the hospital several times to see how I was. Bringing candy and magazines. And then, once I was home, he began stopping by the house after school to teach me. He would usually stay for an hour and a half to two hours.
After our studies and any quizzes or tests, he would get his candy bars out and we would play chess.
Without the other children as a distraction for myself, my pathetic grades went from low marks to all A's. Now that the education was one on one, he was able to tailor his teaching just for myself. Making it so very interesting, as we were able to discuss things in depth without interruption. Able to discuss things he might otherwise not be able to in the presence of others.
I will forever be grateful to this man who saw something in that angry lonely child who felt much hurt and anger at the world. It didn't stop me from continuing down an angry path for the next several years, didn't stop me from becoming an expert at fighting and finding fights long after there was no longer a need for this. But it gave me a lifeline.
Restored my nobility in some ways, that it wasn't foolish to have a kind nature. That I wasn't alone in such nature.
Once our time together became one on one, my education became more personable, allowing me to learn what I refused to before. All made possible because he wanted to teach me more than what was in the forced curriculum. Wanted to teach me that Caring and Kindness are admirable, and that two people can build a real bond even though so many in the world abhor real connections.
He was a remarkable man, mentor and friend. We stayed in touch on and off through the rest of my teens, when I wasn't in trouble. And when I got married the first time to my sons mother, he honored me by coming to my wedding.
I reminisce about him over the years. So many lessons he taught me ones I realized well after we lost touch with one another. Examples from his conduct that grew to have meaning for me in ways I was unable to verbalize at the time he taught them. A true teacher, his dedication to children, to REALLY TEACHING because he came from a position of caring made him a true hero. A true friend, which I suspect the best teachers need to be.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you have found my sharing on Mr. Peters to be compelling. Every now and then someone comes across our path who creates defining moments for us, sometimes in an awesome way such as Mr. Peters. This challenge is meant to acknowledge these great men and women, so we can all see that they are around us more than so often seems the case.
I look forward to reading of your experiences with a teacher that left a mark on your life, and helped shape you in a great way towards being a better you. One could say that as rycharde would reference them, they are silent heroes. Unknown to most, yet so powerfully known to those they bring love and understanding to. Compelling examples of what could be if we understand their motivations and actions. Choosing to emulate the very ways that made them special. That were such a blessing for ourselves.