800 South Washington St., Afton, WY 83110 (307) 885-4337 | www.drlivingstondds.com
Life With Livingston Dental
e G e n
Lifelong Students and Teachers
That’s the power of education. Educators instill confidence and knowledge in students that follows them into adulthood. Mr. Anderson, my high school chemistry teacher, did this for me too. He was very detailed, thorough, knowledgeable, and dedicated. Another science teacher opened up the idea of a health profession for me with his passion for microbiology. If it weren’t for Mrs. Grahams, Mr. Anderson, and the other great teachers I’ve been lucky enough to have, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Education is one of the reasons why people come to Wyoming. According to research on the quality of school systems all over the country, only one state east of the Mississippi was in the top 10 for performance: Wyoming. I’m grateful we make it a priority. Teaching and learning is something I enjoy now with my grandchildren. In our recent visit with them to Hoister National Park, we all had the chance to see and learn about the local wildlife. They had lots of questions! You have to be on your toes with such curious minds. When it comes down to it, we’re all lifelong teachers and students.
For the duration of the year, I worked hard to improve my penmanship. At the end of the school year, we had an awards ceremony that included Mrs. Grahams awarding the top two students in penmanship. As she pulled out the first coin, she called the name of a girl in our class. When she pulled out the second one, I waited anxiously, hoping to hear my name — but then she said the name of another girl from our class. I felt totally dejected. But then Mrs. Grahams pulled out a third coin and said, “I don’t know why I’m doing this, but it was a really hard decision. There is actually a third student who demonstrated excellent penmanship this year, and that’s Jim.” I couldn’t believe it — she’d chosen me for a third silver dollar! I was so excited. Mrs. Grahams’ recognition of my hard work helped me realize that I enjoyed detailed work with my hands, and that confidence boost helped me find my way into my career.
As a kid, I dreaded going back to school after summer vacation. I was a decent student — I did well enough to pass my classes and go to college — but I couldn’t understand why we had to have homework. In class, my goal was to use my time so efficiently that I’d never have to take any work home with me. Despite my attitude, I had some wonderful teachers growing up, including my first- grade teacher, Mrs. Hudson, who was very dedicated to her profession. In second grade, I had Mrs. Grahams, who taught me how to write in print and cursive. She put on a clever contest that year that even inspired a student like me to put in all my effort: She offered to give two silver dollars to the top two students with the best penmanship. Mind you, these coins were 99 percent silver, so you can bet they got every student in our class practicing penmanship.
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