Children spend a fair portion of their lives in a classroom. It is where they learn not only important language, math and science skills but also skills for life. They learn how to be friends, citizens in their community and to respect the world they live in. An excellent teacher helps guide them through these lessons by giving them the tools they need to guide them along this journey.
My parents registered my siblings and I in the York Region Catholic District School board and it was one of the best decisions they ever made for us. I spent fifteen years of my life in a community of support and engagement. I still remember all of the art shows, fun days and after school activities we were able to participate in. It was the amazing teachers working behind the scenes that helped to support the engagement, participation and good will spirit in our schools. It is only as an adult that I can truly begin to appreciate the amount of work and devotion they put in to us students!
When I was in high school, I found myself debating whether or not I should continue in the sciences. I wasn’t sure if it was a good field for me and even if I fit in. Sciences were dominated by males, they didn’t make you feel like the odd one out but you still felt strange in class with more boys than girls. It was my Grade 10 (and later on 12) teacher, Mr. Smith who cemented my decision to continue in the Sciences and later on attend McMaster University for Kinesiology. He used humour in such a way to make us feel engaged, want to learn more and to even better understand the course work. There wasn’t a day that went by that he didn’t have us in tears from laughing so hard. He truly loved his students and wanted them to succeed. Under his guidance, a group of us participated in the Aventis Biotech Challenge. This found us working at Sick Kids Hospital for several months in their laboratory, putting together a presentation and poster board to present our findings. We came in fifth place that year and it was all to the amount of hours Mr. Smith helped put in for us. He was there to help us practice our speeches over and over again, with great tips, he gave guidance on what a poster board should look like and how to make our group stand out. He made us proud to be a part of something bigger. He even joined us at Aventis later on in the month for a tour that we were awarded as part of our coming in fifth place. He taught me to always push myself harder and further – to never box myself in by fears. This has been one of the greatest life lessons that I was blessed to be given.
When I became a Mom, I knew that this was the environment I wanted my children to grow up in. A community of teachers who loved teaching and seeing my children succeed as much as I did. Teachers that would guide, show compassion and understanding and encourage the children to push themselves to do their best every day. I could not wait to register my boys fully knowing they were about to embark on a journey of education, faith and friendship.
My boys take after me quite a bit – from my shy ways to my perfectionism. It can take a lot to draw them out of their shells and no one did this better than my son’s teacher, Mr. Rocchi. My son truly came alive under his guidance. He loved going to school every day – he excelled in all of his classes, he made new friends in different grades, he was learning about respect and time management. Mr. Rocchi encouraged him to always do his best but to do so with humility and respect. It wasn’t always about winning but the journey along the way. Mr. Rocchi coached my son after school for flag football and although my youngest is seven years younger, he let him play along, gather the flags and “coach”. He made one young child’s year with his kindness! Mr. Rocchi is an incredible teacher, guide and example for the children in our boy’s school – I have kept my fingers crossed that our youngest is in his class!
Ontario Catholic Teachers have an excellent opportunity to teach our children more than just math, language and science. They have the opportunity to teach them important values and goals that will help them become stronger members in their community. I am proud to have not only been one of their students but that my children are students now under their guidance!
Teachers play an important part in your child’s life, what has a teacher done that has gone above and beyond your expectations?
Disclosure: This post is part of the YummyMummyClub and Ontario’s Catholic Teachers #CatholicTeachers sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.