The MONTHLY Smile
A THANK-YOU TO TEACHERS AUGUST 2019
Reflecting on School Memories
The transition from the dog days of summer to the beginning of the school year is upon us. Many students in our area head back to school this month. As some of our younger patients come in and share the excitement of the new school year with me, I can’t help but feel nostalgic for some of my own school memories. It probably comes as no surprise that science was always a favorite subject of mine. There is a particular order and certainty about science that has always appealed to me. With science, there is a process to everything — a series of logical steps. I always enjoyed all of my science classes, and I was fortunate to have several fantastic teachers who helped fan the flame of my enthusiasm. Two of my most memorable teachers were Dr. Bill Wolfe and Dr. Tom Toney. Both Dr. Wolfe and Dr. Toney served as academic advisors for me during my years at Georgia College & State University. Dr. Wolfe taught my undergraduate biological processes class, and I later took his entomology class in graduate school. In fact, as part of his entomology class, I spent three days with him and my fellow classmates on St. Catherines Island catching and studying a wide variety of insects. While entomology was definitely not a field of study I planned on pursuing long term, Dr. Wolfe’s unending passion for the subject made the experience fun and memorable. As my academic advisors, Dr. Wolfe and Dr. Toney became my biggest cheerleaders during my undergraduate and graduate years. They inspired me to work harder, push myself, and explore beyond my comfort zone. They saw something in me — a glimmer of who I could become — and challenged me to continually reach higher, never giving up despite the challenges. Both professors wrote letters of recommendation for my dental school applications, and I still keep in touch with both of them to this day. Their influence has left an indelible mark on my life and career.
Dr. Jamie with her entomology class on St. Catherines Island.
It has been said that teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops. Honestly, outside of their own home, one of the biggest role models in a young person’s life is the person who stands at the front of the classroom.
So, as the kids head back to school in the coming weeks, I just want to thank the teachers. Thank you for showing up every day and influencing the lives of your students for the better. There’s no telling the extent of the impact you will have on each young person who walks through your classroom door.
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