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Two Sides of the Education Coin How Very Different Teachers Molded My Life
I was such a nerd growing up. While everyone else was dreading going back to school, I was itching to get back in the classroom. I was even nerdy about the aspects of going back to school that my friends loved. Take shopping for example. Sure, I loved going clothes shopping, especially for new shoes. I didn’t grow up with a closet full of options, so that was always a highlight. But what I really loved was going shopping for school supplies. Notebooks, paper, pencils, highlighters, and even the glue. I just loved the way everything smelled. Perhaps I was sniffing too much of the glue, but I couldn’t get enough of those darn supplies! We didn’t have backpacks when I was in school. You were left to haul your books around on your own. Maybe that’s why I have back trouble now. I remember my grandfather gave me a change purse, and that was the only thing I had on me. It was the kind you squeezed to open and get the coins out. He always put change in for me to use. The school had its own market, or commissary, where you could get ice cream for 10 cents, lunch for 25 cents, and other items as well. If you had a couple of bucks, you were rich. I always saved up my money for as long as possible until I could finally go to the school shop and get — you guessed it — school supplies. I told you, I was a nerd. The fond memories I have of school are because of the great teachers who molded my experience. I remember Ms. Straud telling me when I was a first grader, “You’re smart, and you’re going to do well.” It gave me all the confidence in the world. Kids spend more time with their teachers than they do their
I think it’s important to be conscious of what we put into kids’ heads.
parents. That’s one reason I view a teacher’s role in this world as being so crucial, but the other is the impact they can have on a child’s self-talk — both positive and negative. Ms. Straud may have had a positive impact on me, but some educators had an adverse effect on me. When I met with my high school counselor, I had every intention of becoming a vet. I’d never had a conversation with this woman before, but it was a requirement before graduation. When I told her my aspirations, she responded, “I don’t think that’s the right path for you. I think you’d make a good secretary.” That crushed me. The worst part is, my entire self-talk changed. I doubted my ability to be a veterinarian. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized the stupidest part about that interaction was the fact that I listened to her. How many other children go through that experience but don’t have the perspective or the grit to realize someone is wrong about them? I hold teachers in the highest regard, and most of them understand the impact they have on children. But I think it’s important to be conscious of what we put into kids’ heads. Sports coaches, teachers, and other role models play such an
essential part in the future of our youth, and I want that future to be bright.
My passion for teachers spills over into my current work with Homes for Heroes. This program often highlights veterans, but not a lot of people know it’s available for teachers as well. If you’re an educator and want to know how Homes for Heroes® can help you with your next home purchase, reach out to me today.
-Jamie Harrington 1 828.229.7877
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