Did You Know Teacher Appreciation Week Starts Sunday?

Article excerpt

It's almost here, and I didn't even know it existed.

Teacher Appreciation Week begins Sunday, and I'm embarrassed.

I was totally oblivious to this special event for teachers.

Maybe I have been spending too much time wondering if there was going to be a Sports Writers Appreciation Week.

How will our area high schools celebrate a national teachers' week? Or will they?

Will they make daily announcements over the entire week and recognize teachers' achievements?

Does Hallmark even have a card ready for this one?

As somebody who truly respects the marvelous profession of teaching, I should have been on top of this May 7-13 event.

Maybe there will be something in the Daily Herald or other newspapers over the next week.

Maybe TV actually will skip a crime story to concentrate on the work of a quality teacher.

I didn't have a clue about this national week until a publisher mentioned it while sending a copy of the book "To Honor a Teacher: Students Pay Tribute to Their Most Influential Mentors" (Andrews McMeel, $14.95).

Jeff Spoden of Concord, Calif., a high school history teacher, put together the book because he felt almost everyone can recall a special teacher who left an imprint that will stay with them the rest of their lives.

Spoden collected inspirational stories and poems by students about their most significant teachers.

I think it's appropriate today, two days before the start of Teacher Appreciation Week, to share some of their thoughts and make you think about your favorite teacher, past or present.

Phillip Ziegler, a psychotherapist, wrote about Jim Livingston, his high school literature teacher.

"Until my senior year I had terrible grades and hated school," Ziegler writes. "Jim Livingston's teaching lit a fire under me. I loved the discussions he always kept lively and fresh.

"He awakened me to a love for learning and reading that still remains. He demanded that we keep looking deeper into the material and into ourselves.

"His personal support for me as a troubled but capable student brought me from a sense of inadequacy and failure to a belief that I was bright and competent."

Ziegler went from a C and D student to an A student.

Martha Ley, a writer, editor and photographer, remembers the first words she ever heard from Ruth Limmer, her creative-writing teacher.

"I won't teach a creative-writing class this big! Who wants to leave now?"

The teacher wasn't smiling after she burst into the room.

Limmer then insisted she would weed out "the faint of heart, the runts of the litter. …