Thursday, May 9, 2013

Teachers Week...Thank one will ya?

"Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere"
This is a good real life example of my 8 years at St. Mary's Star of the Sea - South Side of Chicago
Teachers of my best memories of school was when I was trying to get into the hardest Catholic high school at the time in Chicago and I didn't think I stood a chance to get in and would end up in the Chicago public school system. But I had a teacher, Mrs. O'Conner who believed in me and worked with me to take the entrance exam. She went out of her way to meet with the academic advisors on her own time to go to bat for me. At the time I had no idea she was doing this at all. I knew she told me you need to go to this school and told my parents that. I remember the day I opened the acceptance letter and couldn't believe a kid like me coming from where I came from would be offered this.
But looking back I really only wanted to go there because I wanted to make the boxing team and play football (yes I had to make the teams not everyone made the team). After my first month the school dropped it's boxing program and I was only 4'11 and 97lbs as a freshman and I was used as a tackling dummy for a few months (think of the movie Rudy). My thoughts of playing football for Notre Dame were dashed. I realized quickly I better focus on the books since my parents were paying for this and we weren't wealthy by any means. After I graduated going to this school was the best thing I ever did. It set the tone for my life. And it was because of a caring teacher and parental units.
So when I hear about my friends who are teachers and they have parent meetings and the parents are yelling at them for this and that it makes me very angry. Maybe I'm older and it's a different time but when I went to school for 12 years I had two teachers...the ones at school and the ones at home..MY PARENTS!.  It wasn't the teachers fault ever, it was my fault because I didn't buckle down and hit the books and my parents made sure of that. 4 years in high school I never went out on a school night. Never. I could hear my Mother yelling at me to put the pie and baseball mitt down and read the classics. If I didn't there would be hell to pay both at home and at school.
Growing up I never admired sports stars, Hollywood stars or Santa Claus. Teachers were the ones I admired. I don't know how they do it every day, I really don't. With all their education, patience, and people skills they still get paid less than a garbage man in Chicago. If you see a teacher this week buy them a cup of coffee or call one that helped you and thank them. They make differences in lives one child at a time. Don't know many other people who do that and don't know where I would be today without one.
This is my friend Jill 1st grade class when she returned to teach after the Boston Bombing. The kids were worried about her because she was at the 2nd Boston Bombing location waiting for her brother and myself to finish the race. Now that's a great teaching moment.


  1. Dave, you are so right! I know of a young man who is doing poorly in school and the person messing him up the most is his mother. She yells at the teachers when they try to discipline him . . . and takes him to the beach instead of doing homework. Really???? I don't get it. If parents don't teach their precious children good values, what's left? The television? God help us!

    1. Indeed it's all about the easy way out. Let the teachers take care of this, let's go to the beach, watch more video games, more texting...That's America we lost our way a long time ago and are no longer the same hardworking country we once were.