Greeley Endodontics - May 2019

THE ROOT ISSUE

970-515-6332 | GREELEYENDO.COM

MAY 2019

THE MOST UNDERAPPRECIATED PROFESSION: The Value of a Caring Teacher

Photos by Matthew Lowry

A less acknowledged but extremely important celebration takes place this month: National Teacher Appreciation Week. While the origins of this observance are murky, the National Education Association credits Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge as the one who prompted this countrywide appreciation of public servants in the early 1950s. Woodridge apparently implored Eleanor Roosevelt, who then persuaded the 81st Congress. Thus, Teacher Appreciation Week was born. To honor the hardworking and often underappreciated teachers in our local area, the church my family and I attend hosts an appreciation dinner where the high school seniors from various schools in the area invite and honor a teacher who has made an impact in their lives. Some will acknowledge a high school instructor, a church leader, or even an elementary school educator who managed to maintain contact through the years. At this event, the student and their chosen teacher will walk up to the stage and the student will present the teacher a certificate explaining their decision and how that teacher served as a mentor and made a difference in their lives. Afterward, the teacher can say a few words about the student as well. This year, my son, Matthew, had the opportunity to participate, and he invited his photography instructor, Mrs. Dellwardt. Listening to him present his certificate of appreciation was a truly eye-opening experience for Liz and me. Matthew explained how Mrs. Dellwardt

always pushed him to reach the potential she knew he had. She was encouraging

and uplifting but never demeaning or ambivalent. After Matthew presented her with the certificate, Mrs. Dellwardt spoke of how talented a photographer Matthew had become and how wonderful it was to get to see him grow from a scrawny, awkward freshman to a confident, influential young man. As parents, this was a particularly amazing exchange to behold because Liz and I know how Matthew has struggled with school in the past. His Tourette’s prevents him from being able to concentrate for long durations, which, as a result, has caused other teachers to brush him off. We knew that Mrs. Dellwardt was the opposite; she was one who saw his potential and really embraced him. Witnessing their mutually impactful relationship reminded me of my own favorite teacher, Mr. O’Hare. Similar to Matthew’s experiences, I also found schoolwork quite difficult. I was in fourth grade when I met Mr. O’Hare, and in previous years, teachers had told my parents that some subjects really seemed to stick, while with some others, I just couldn’t quite seem to figure things out. But Mr. O’Hare took me under his wing and encouraged me to keep pressing on to become the best person I could be. Until his

passing recently, we managed to stay in contact, and in fact, I had the opportunity a couple of years ago to pull him aside and

thank him for the profound influence he had on my life back then. It is one he continues to have all these years later. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week and Mr. O’Hare’s memory, I made sure to pull Mrs. Dellwardt aside and thank her for believing in my son the exact same way my phenomenal fourth-grade teacher believed in me. Teachers often really are the ones who make the biggest impact on each and every individual, but their work sometimes goes unnoticed and underappreciated. If there is a teacher or two who positively influenced you, make sure you take some time this month to let them know. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it!

– Dr. Scott Lowry

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