It was a super busy day in our ICU. Just as we were admitting a new patient, my colleague walked out and saw his wife. I heard her say, "Mrs. ....., you were my elementary school teacher. You have no idea how much you influenced my life. " Being witness to that experience reminded me once again of the impact teachers have on one's life. They inspire and sometimes may be the only ones who believe in you.
It takes a village to raise a child, and teachers are a significant part of the village. For many teachers, it is never about the paycheck. It is about passion, dedication and wanting to make a difference.
I reached out to one of the middle school teachers, Martha Ostoich -Tesich, who recently shared this post on social media, to learn more what it takes to make an impact on someone's life:
Here is Martha's post
"I received a phone call out of the blue from a former colleague today, who is now Asst. Principal at the High School. Much to my surprise, she informed me I am being honored by one of the Top Ten seniors as a teacher that had an impact on their life. I will have to wait until May 8th to find out the student who was so gracious as to remember me, three years retired, as someone who made a difference. Such an honor. I am really overwhelmed."
In my dialogue with Martha, I found out it was her 3rd time to be nominated. Here is what she shared about her teaching experience:
"I love teaching. I chose to go into teaching because of my 6th-grade teacher Mrs. Larson who has made a difference in my life.
Most of my years were spent teaching in middle school. A lot of people would look at me and say "you are nuts" , but for me, "they come in as babies; by the end of the 7th grade ~they know everything (or at least think so) and by the end of the 8th grade you know this kid is going to be ok."
People don't' give kids enough credit.
Before I retired I was honored twice in Top 10 high school, and now that I am retired I just got recognized again. When you see them walk across the stage, you are happy and proud.
They stay with you. You are with them when they have good days and bad days, and they are with you when you have good days and bad days. They touch your life and you touch theirs.
What would be the key message you would want to share with all the students now:
"Be a leader. Be who you are. Don't follow. Make your own choices."
To Martha and all the other teachers who continue day by day to make a difference in our kids' lives,
With the deepest gratitude
P.S. Please comment and share your own personal story about how the teacher(s) influenced your life?
My daughter had the great fortune of having Martha Ostoich Teshich for her 5th grade teacher. It was the only year she taught in elementary as she was moved back to middle school the next year. Mrs. Teshich kept in touch with my daughter and was very instrumental in seeing that our kids had gifts a couple of Christmases when their dad lost his job and we went through an extremely time. We kept in touch as our kids went on through high school and when our daughter graduated in the top ten in her class in 2015, I believe that she was the first of the three to select Mrs. Teshich. She I’d truly a warm, wonderful and caring human being and was an even more incredible teacher. She so deserves every accolade she is given!
Just finishing up my 13th year in the greatest profession after being inspired to become an educator by Martha. To teach is to touch a life forever. I remember and instill the same values in my classroom today that I learned from her. Martha, your passion for helping children succeed and your love of learning are always glowing.