The Moak Law Firm May 2019

Remembering the Greats Teacher Appreciation Day

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480-755-8000 www.TheMoakLawFirm.com

D id you know Tuesday, May 7 is Teacher Appreciation Day? If there’s anyone who deserves more recognition and appreciation, it’s our teachers. Between elementary school and graduating from law school, I’ve known some pretty good teachers in my time, but the three that stand out the most were from my years in high school. The first teacher to come to mind is Mrs. Jaynes. She was my speech teacher, but she also handled the senior school play. Every year, the senior class would put on a play, and because I was heavily involved in the thespian club, I looked forward to being in that play. We put on “Bye Bye Birdie” for my senior year, and I was the lead! Being in the play was a lot of fun, and I’ll never forget how hard Mrs. Jaynes worked. She was a tough teacher, but her toughness came from a desire to see her students succeed. She would encourage her students, helping and coaching us so we could be the best we could be. I never saw her get frustrated or give up on anyone. It made me really admire her. When Mrs. Jaynes believed you could do something, you found the confidence in yourself to believe you could do it too. Another great teacher was Mr. Taylor, my sophomore world history teacher. His class made me fall in love with history, a passion I carry to this day. Every time we began a lesson in a new time period, Mr. Taylor would start with a story. These were real stories about real people. He would always remind us that “History is spelled his-story. ” It’s the stories we tell that make these long past times really come alive. Another teacher who left a big impact on me was Coach Garland. He was my football coach in high school as well as my homeroom coordinator. Here’s a fun fact about Coach Garland: He was in a movie called “The Pistol:

“... They really cared about the subject they were teaching.”

The Birth of a Legend.” This movie was about the basketball player “Pistol” Pete Marvich, and Coach Garland played Pistol Pete’s coach in the film. But his acting chops weren’t what made Coach Garland such a great teacher. For me, Coach Garland was great because one day, out of the blue, he said to the class, “Everyone pay attention.” Then he called me up and said, “This is the smartest guy I know at this school.” Being a high schooler at the time, naturally I was completely embarrassed, but at the same time, his words were really encouraging. I never thought of myself as especially bright, but hearing a teacher I respected compliment me and tell me I was smart — that was amazing. I saw myself in a different light after that. something in common: They really cared about the subject they were teaching. They shared that passion with their students, which made us love the subject as much as they did. I didn’t know it at the time, but the work these teachers put into their classes and the time they spent helping me meant the world to me. Over 40 years later, I still remember how great they are, and I wish I could thank them all again. If you know a great teacher in your life, be sure to thank them this month. A great teacher stays with us long after we’ve walked out of their class for good. –Walter E. “Pete” Moak Mrs. Jaynes, Mr. Taylor, and Coach Garland were all very different teachers, but they had

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May 2019

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