It should perhaps not be surprising that this week's Advocate Top Teacher was nominated by a student who's 13 years removed from the teacher's classroom.
Teachers are in a unique position to shape so many lives so dramatically, their impact can be remembered above all else for a lifetime.
I'm reminded of teachers who provided the gift of LOVING learning to me: Mr. Meek, a literature teacher with infectious passion; Mrs. Michaelson, a history teacher in whose class I sat on the edge of my seat, clinging her lively history stories; Mrs. Potter, who introduced marketing in an endlessly fun and challenging way; Mrs. Martin-Webb, who spent so many hours preparing me and believing in my theater abilities.
Then, there's Mr. Blecke, who I could see myself seeking to honor 13, 23, 103 years after I left his classroom. Mr. Blecke was a rebel kind of a teacher who cared about nothing more than revealing the wonders of the Spanish language to his students. Mr. Blecke wrote my letter of recommendation when I applied to study abroad, and I made sure he knew HE was the reason I ever considered what turned out to be a life-changing adventure.
His (sometimes inappropriate) stories about studying abroad truly shaped my future. His unorthodox teaching methods showed me I could grasp a new language, and his encouragement gave me all the confidence in the world - a gift a sometimes self-conscious high-schooler like myself could never repay.
I'd give anything to again remind Mr. Blecke how thankful I am for his role in making me who I am. Wouldn't you like to do the same for a teacher who's shaped your life?
You can submit a nomination at this link, or click on the "FEATURES" tab on the top of our website and click "TOP TEACHER OR STUDENT."
And if you happen to see a Chad Blecke, maybe somewhere in Missouri, tell him I said, "gracias."
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