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A hope note

Two professions vie for top spot on my most-respected list. One is teaching.
Yes, I know about teachers who are flat-out incompetent. I had a few. All of our children, unfortunately, had a few doofuses.
For decades now I have lived with a woman who is both a career teacher and my wife. I have seen her donate everything but her bone marrow to motivating students. I have witnessed nights up until 4 a.m. preparing for the next day, weekends spent preparing for the next week, and out-of-pocket small fortunes spent on supplies, gifts, decorations and rewards.
Good teachers get satisfaction from knowing they gave it their best.
Their ‘hallelujah’ payoff, however, is when a former student pops up years later to say: ‘You were simply the best! Thanks forever.’
In his autobiography, world-class journalist David Brinkley tells of the profound disappointment he was to his mother from the day he was born. When he first showed her some of his fledgling attempts to write, she wadded them up and threw them in the trash and told him not to waste his time on ‘such foolishness.’
But one day in English class, Mrs. Barrows Smith said: ‘David, I think you ought to be a journalist.’
Brinkley writes that at that moment, ‘a world turned for me.’
Educator Horace Mann wrote: ‘If you attempt to teach without inspiring, you’re hammering a cold iron.’
Is there a teacher living who significantly inspired and encouraged you, or nudged you at a critical moment in your life in the right direction? It might mean the world to put that in writing and pass it along.
One day it will be too late.

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