A Tribute To Teachers!

A Tribute To Teachers!

As I walked into the store the other day…there was a stark reminder that summer will soon be over…say what!  It was always a little bittersweet sending my kids back to school; of course, it was fun to be a little more relaxed and spontaneous during the summer, but it was also nice to get back on more of a routine schedule.

A Tribute To Teachers!

“You know it’s time to go back to school when parents are singing….. it’s the most wonderful time of the year!”  Relatably.com

I am related by blood to many wonderful educators.  I also had many fabulous teachers during my 13 year stint in public education, as well as many beloved professors during my college years.  Sadly, I appreciate the talent and greatness of these wise people, who made a lasting impression and helped me realize my full potential, so much more now than I ever did then.  It’s never too late to recognize the influence of a good teacher…so here’s my tribute to teachers!

A Tribute To Teachers!

My dad, a brilliant teacher, offered up these words of wisdom often!

Reasons We Love Teachers!

1.  Teachers work hard!

Teachers don’t show up and sit behind a desk…they stand all day, talk all day, interact all day and learn all day.  Teachers are busy people.  Teachers know the work is challenging, but they’ve accepted the task and know they can be an amazing influence on their students by the sheer example of their own work ethic!  They may not be as prompt as you’d like at returning emails and phone calls, but the important stuff…the teaching…that’s what they’re getting done!

A Tribute To Teachers!

“Of all the hard jobs around, one of the hardest is being a good teacher.”  Maggie Gallagher       

2. Teachers foster a deep love of thinking and learning!

Even though every student learns at a different pace, teachers are devoted to making sure each one is learning and understanding.  Teachers don’t accept failure and try every angle and every strategy to help students learn and succeed.  Teachers gladly celebrate students accomplishments and although teachers know they only have their students for a short period of time, they are proud to see them succeed and move on.  I still remember my third grade teacher, Mrs. Larsen.  I don’t think I will ever forget how enthusiastic and full of life she was–even at 60 years old.  She brought so much joy into the classroom, and that’s a lesson that will stick with me forever; whatever you do…find joy in doing it!

A Tribute To Teachers!

3.  Teachers are creative.

In their own creative ways, it’s not unusual for teachers to suddenly sing, dance or take part in any assortment of silly activities just to show that learning something new can be fun.  Teachers are mentors, coaches, supporters and yes, even friends!  Really, what can’t teachers do?  And when they can’t…they’ll find a way!  Teachers are also very adaptable.  They are quick to change a lesson or an entire class on a moments notice–which definitely comes in handy when the fire drill or unplanned assembly interrupts.  CFCC2278-4409-4907-A9E2-A627C8C4FA6F

“Creativity is intelligence having fun!”  Albert Einstein

4.  Teachers are lifelong students!

Teachers are committed to being the best teachers they can be.  Teachers continually take outside courses and professional training development.  Teachers share ideas with one another and sit in various classrooms to learn new teaching techniques.  Teachers learn from their students too.  Every strength a great teacher possesses is a result of their desire to continue learning themselves.

A Tribute Teachers!

5.  Teachers love what they do!

Teacher have been trained in a field with low pay and very few tangible rewards!!  Teachers know how to make the most of a lesson plan with little money, no supplies and limited time.  Despite the challenges that come with being a teacher, teachers love what they do and try to do it better every day, because they know they are making a difference in their student’s lives.  The joys of teaching can be so overwhelming and far-reaching that teachers inherently know it is one of the greatest professions on earth.

A Tribute To Teachers!

“Let us remember…one book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world!”  Malala Yousafzai 

Student education requires team effort–so as kids get ready to go back to school, let’s all do our part to be involved…perhaps we can start by simply showing our sincere appreciation for teachers!

We love teachers because they make us love working with them and learning from them every day!

I’d love to know how a great teacher influenced your life!

–Love, Mary

College Bound!

College Bound!

I recently attended a social function where some of the other ladies sitting around me were discussing how they could best support their children, who had just started their senior year in high school, find a good balance between all the fun and excitement of that final year and making the necessary preparations required to help them make a smooth transition into college life the following year.  (Boy, how well I remember the angst that can be felt during that crucial time period in your children’s lives!)Quote on getting a good education.

No doubt about it, the final year of high school is filled with many exciting events as you celebrate the last hoorah’s of your secondary education, so focusing on your future college career oftentimes isn’t exactly a top priority.  Ideally however, students intending to continue their education after high school should start thinking about what college they would like to  attend as early as their junior year.  Making your choice early will allow for ample time to prepare all of your college admission requirements, and yet not make it seem so overwhelming.

The campus of Utah Sate Univeristy.

Tucked away in a corner of the Wasatch mountains is the beautiful campus of Utah State University, my Alma Mater!

A Checklist For Preparing For College!

I have a wonderful friend, Neola Jones, who is a well-versed college and career advisor at our local high school; she plays a crucial role in giving students guidance as they prepare for their future education.  Here’s her suggestions to help make preparing for college more streamlined.

College checklist.

•  Review your online graduation summary NOW!!   Most schools provide an online summary of all the requirements needed by graduating students.  Talk with your guidance counselor if you have any questions or concerns.  Not much use looking ahead to what you’ll need to do to apply for college if you haven’t made the cut for high school graduation.

•  Start earning college credit through Concurrent Enrollment and AP classes, or attending early college or technical school.  Many high schools offer classes that count toward both high school and college credit…sort of a two for one type of deal!  If you have already met the requirements needed for graduation, it might be a good ideas to get a jump start on your college career by attending early college.  Again, visit with a school counselor to figure out the best way to go about doing this.  (My son did this his senior year and loved it, but it definitely took some coordination and follow-through with the advisor for early college to make sure all the necessary paper work was completed correctly.)

•  Take or retake the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).  When you’re applying to college, you will most certainly need to submit a SAT score on your admission forms.  Many schools offer significant scholarship money based on SAT scores.  A wide range of companies also ask job-seekers for their SAT scores.  Be sure to check this website for further information.

•  Apply for a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Apply for FAFSA in January, or as soon as you parents file their tax return.  This is an online form that can be prepared annually by prospective and current students in the United States to determine if they are eligible for financial aid.  (All 18 year-old males should be sure and register for the draft–you’ll be ineligible to receive any financial aid if you don’t.)

And finally…

•  BE AWARE!!  Listen to announcements, read emails, pay attention when counselors come to talk in your classes!  If you have questions, go to your counselors and ASK!  Your parents can help you, but ultimately it is YOUR responsibility to take charge of all that is required for securing your future college education!

(You can find a more detailed monthly checklist here.)  

The earlier you get planning and preparing, the easier the process for college admission is going to be.  From experience, I found it helpful to make my own checklist to track the specific requirements and deadlines for each school I applied to; the same held true as I helped my children.  As exciting and fun as that final high school year is, it’s integral to prioritize your time and stay up to date on your current studies, since most colleges and universities will still look at your grades and work throughout your senior year.  This time like no other helps determine your future–so embrace the journey!

Good luck and remember… 

Graduation quote.

Any advice you’d give to a graduating senior to help make the college application process less stressful? 


Getting A Good Education–The Word On The Street Edition!

Getting A Good Education–The Word On The Street Edition!

Utah State University in Logan, Utah

One of my favorite stories that my father often told me about getting a good education was during his first year of college at Utah State University, then known at Utah State Agricultural College.  My dad initially registered his major in premedicine.

“I think there was not a more difficult course at the college than premedicine.  Each quarter’s work was carefully outlined and the teachers involved were some of the most esteemed on campus, but also some of the most difficult.”

“One teacher, Dr. Sherwin Maser, Professor of Chemistry, had students scared and buffaloed.  His classes were required for many majors and were therefore large in size, which he didn’t like.  He got smaller classes by failing students who weren’t scoring high marks.”

“I entered Dr. Maeser’s Inorganic Chemistry class fall quarter of 1932.  While I learned a good deal and studied hard, I didn’t measure up to his standard.  I got a failing grade in chemistry that quarter.  I was offended, angry and ready to pop Dr. Maeser over the head.  (I love that description!)  A couple of days cooled me off and I realized I needed to be a better student.  My level of performance during high school would not carry me through college.  I spent most of the Christmas holiday going back over every chapter and experiment we had covered fall quarter.  I then took the class over winter quarter and did very well; in fact, I earned all A’s and B’s in the 30 hours of chemistry which followed.”

“Dr. Maeser and I became better acquainted, and while I was not the top student I wanted to be in his classes, his social quotient was lower for a teacher than it ought to have been.  He was not a friendly person for most students to be around; rather, he was quite cold and standoffish.  Since I became a teacher later, it was good that I met and associated with this man, for he taught me–in a reverse way–the importance of being friendly and encouraging to students.  I have often felt that the first grade I received in Dr. Maeser’s class was one of the most important grades I ever received, in clear language, he said to me, ‘You’re not the student you ought to be and can be!’  I accepted his challenge and did what I needed to do to improve.”

–from history of LeRoy Jorgensen

Word on the Street! www.mytributejournal.com

It’s been a little over a month since the beginning of the new school year, (that’s about how long it took my children to establish a routine when they were at home) so I thought I’d check in and see what the “word on the street” is, so to speak, on how things are going for some of the students and teachers I know and admire.  Even though teachers may carry the heavier obligation for helping their students, like most things in life, getting a good education is a two-way street between both the teacher and the student, as well as the parents!

Sesame Street's Word on the Street! www.mytributejournal.com

It’s a funny coincidence, but the title of this post came about one afternoon when my two granddaughters were watching Sesame Street while they ate their lunch.  The segment, “What’s The Word On The Street” came on and “teacher” was the word of the day.  Silly characters on the street were asked what the word teacher meant to them.  By this time, Makena had been in school for a few weeks and readily commented that her teacher was nice!

Getting a good education--word on the street edition! www.mytributejournal.com

As her parents, my daughter and her husband are happy that Makena is liking school so much and that she seems to be developing a good relationship with her teacher.  In fact, when I asked Shane what attributes he liked in a teacher, his response was…

Getting a good education! www.mytributejournal.com

“A great teacher is one that cares more about the student becoming better than the grade on the latest test.  There are many teachers, both spiritually and secularly that have touched my life.  The great ones inspire students to want to learn, regardless of the situation or where the learning takes place.”

I hope Makena can have teachers each year that inspire her to be better every day!”

I have a good friend and neighbor who taught school for many years and is now a computer specialist for several schools.  Talk about superpowers!  Leslie told me that as a teacher, she recognized that children and parents had to both be active participants in the educational process!  The students that Leslie taught that did well in school often had the following traits in common:

Organization:  “Help your child learn to be organized.  Set aside time to take care of school work.  Before you go to bed each night, make sure you have everything you need for school the next day collected at a central location.”  Leslie told me that she would put things by her back door–that way she had to almost trip over it or pick it up to take with her on the way out the door!

Parents that value learning:  “Parents that are life-long learners tend to have children that enjoy learning new things.  Read to, or with your children.  Let them see you reading for your own pleasure or knowledge.  Discuss things you read.  Encourage kids to create and explore.  Curious students are delightful to teach!  They stretch a lesson plan or activity by their questions.”

Getting a good education! Mandi in 6th grade. www.mytributejournal.com

Leslie taught my daughter, Mandi, in sixth grade, and to this day she credits her as one of her most influential teachers!

Now that Mandi is in graduate school in New York City, she has had the unique experience of being a teacher at the same time she was a student!  When I asked her if that affected her teaching approach, Mandi said,  “It made me very aware of student’s schedules and how difficult it can be to get everything done.”

Mandi also told me that something one of her math teachers used to do that she found to be vert helpful was that he gave his students an extra day to redo any problems missed on an assignment.  Mandi said this gave her a chance to learn what she had missed and get a better grade too.

Mandi’s husband, Cole, said that in medicine teachers have a dual responsibility, both to the patient and to education.  Some definitely focus more on the patient care and lack in the education area.  “Good teachers are able to educate through patient care!”   

Getting a good education! www.mytributejournal.com

Even though another friend’s daughter could pass for one of her fifth grade students, (she’s in the middle with the bun) I assure you she’s wise beyond her years!  In talking with Stacie, Mrs. Rasmussen, about what she’s leaned as a teacher in her second year of teaching, she reiterated how important it is to have parents and children read aloud to each other!  Stacie also said that when parents work and are short on time, it’s a good idea to take real life situations and turn them into learning experiences.

Stacie also said that a valuable resource of information for teachers is other teachers!  All the teachers at Stacie’s school meet at least once a week with those who teach the same grade.  They can then share ideas with each other on how to implement lesson plans in a way that will best benefit the students!  I would imagine that having a little moral support makes you a better teacher too.  From the looks of the picture above, wouldn’t you just love to be a student in Stacie’s class!

Getting a good education! www.mytributejournal.com

When I asked what words they’d used to describe their ideal teacher, Kaden and Clark, two neighbor boys, responded with patience and a sense of humor, among other traits.  I personally think that if you have good work habits in other areas of your life, then being a good student seems to come more naturally!  (A huge shout out to Kaden and Clark for helping my husband haul all the dirt back to our flowerbeds after our yard construction–and this was after they’d been to football practice!!!) 

And finally, in response to my question about the role great teachers played in his life, my son, Jake said…

Getting a good education! www.mytributejournal.com

        “Teachers make all things possible!”

What I’m learning now is…

My father wrote in his history that he learned to not always chase after the “popular” teachers,  “…for often they were merely showmen and entertainers.  I have learned more from the teachers who were more commonplace, but showed a personal interest in me.  It’s hard for students to realize this however, for we all have our educational sweet tooth!”.  What I’m learning now is that no matter our age and regardless of the teachers we have, being good students of life only proves to help make many more “streets” readily accessible to us!

How did teachers make an impact on your life?