Responses to the "My Two Cents" blog often throw teachers under the bus for the financial problems schools have across Wisconsin. But today, I am going to praise teachers for the difference they have made in my life. This is National Teacher Day after all.
It all started with Sister Clara in first grade at St Mary's school in Clarks Mills. She encouraged me to read to the class and to take on extra credit work doing third and fourth grade level math. She made it okay to be the smartest kid in the class-and didn't require me to work at the pace of the others.
I also remember Mr. Kavanaugh at St Mary's--who fostered my first interest in politics during the 1984 Presidential election--and who played a great weekly Current Events contest that got me watching the nightly news and paying attention to the news on the radio in the morning.
I can't forget Mrs Alexander at St John the Baptist School in Howard who was allowed to teach the Big Bang Theory and Evolution at a Catholic school--opening my mind to the real scientific source of our universe and our species--and rescuing me from the confines of religious teachings.
And finally, my thanks to Mr Schadewald at Bay Port High School for furthering my interest in politics--especially those on the local level--and for organizing our trip to Europe--which gave me great perspective on how great it is to live in the US.
I'm sure that all of us who took our education seriously have a teacher who made a difference in our lives--and who we would never consider to be "overpaid", "lazy" or "greedy". Why not think about them today and give them a silent "thank you" for their efforts.