Thank a Teacher!

The first two weeks of May, schools, students, parents, and restaurants are gearing up to show their appreciation to teachers. Students and parents are thinking up cute little presents to give their teachers, something that will make them laugh and know that they are appreciated. Restaurants send out emails and Facebook alerts for BOGO burritos, or free sandwiches, etc for teachers to show their appreciation.

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Our teacher appreciation week was this last week at Carver. Our principal came up with some great ideas for the festivities of the week:

Free Jeans Passes all week…. Best thing ever! Getting to wear jeans all week long!

Monday- breakfast in the teacher lounge ( bagels, fruit, powdered and chocolate donuts, and the Keurig).

Tuesday- A 10 min massage!!! Even though it was only 10 min, it was amazing!!!

Wednesday- A special gift was delivered to our rooms! It’s a cute Carver T-shirt!

Thursday- May the 4th be with you…. Appetizers in the teacher lounge! They were amazing!!!! We had little smokies, meatballs, spinach artichoke dip, buffalo chicken dip, a sausage dip, chips, a vegetable platter and fruit, bread and a bunch of sweets!

Friday- The Fantastic Basket! (This is something that my principal literally does every Friday, but it really makes me feel awesome and special). She even did it the Friday that she took a rusty piece of metal to the foot after trying to sturdy a sign in the front of the school in her heels. Her dedication really impresses me!

Thank you, Dr. Powers and Carver for making your teachers feel loved and appreciated!

What teachers made an impact in your life? 

I had some amazing teachers!!! I was truly blessed every place I moved to have teachers that really truly cared for me and my learning and me as a person. They asked me questions about myself and really wanted to know me and what I loved. I already wrote about my violin teacher, Judy Koster, in one of my previous blogs, but she really pushed me and inspired me to be a better musician. She held me to a really high standard and would many times make me play passages over and over until I had the notes completely in tune. Although it drove me crazy at the time, it has helped me have a better ear today! I now follow in her footsteps as a private violin/ viola instructor!

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Another teacher that greatly impacted my life was Steve Berg, my piano instructor. After moving to Kansas City, my parents were able to find a husband and wife that both taught piano at their homes and Steve’s studio had some availability. i learned so many things about playing piano and the technique, but above all I learned more about myself and I had someone to confide in. He was like my grandpa and I felt like I could ask him life questions and he would give me great feedback. I would many times be so excited to go to lessons to just talk with Mr. Berg, tell him about my life and what things I had coming up. If I had a dance that night, I would tell him about it and show him what I was going to wear and how I would do my hair- I don’t know if he really enjoyed those talks with me, but he sure did keep a smile on his face and act interested.  Another really fun experience that I remember was having the opportunity to play Christmas duets from Manheim Steamrollers with him and a couple other piano students at the Mall and at the Christmas festival in downtown Parkville. It was always something I looked forward to over the holidays! Thank you, Steve Berg for being such a wonderful teacher and caring about me.

Then there was my orchestra teacher, Valerie Bell. I had her for seven years… my whole education in Kansas City.  I loved having her for seven years.. she really got to know all of us kids and was always there to encourage us and push us to do better. She inspired me to want to Image may contain: 1 personbe an orchestra teacher… getting to be around music and teach music all day long! We had lots of fun times in orchestra whether it was playing music or just hanging out with each other and Mrs. Bell would laugh with us and have fun! That mean’t a lot to us and to me. I always get so excited to see Valerie whenever we have teacher workshops in Missouri but I was very happy to see her this last April as she was a judge for the middle school solo/ensemble contest. It was a really cool thought thinking about how I had once been her student, and now she was judging my students as they performed… It’s a circle! She told me that my students were doing really well and I had taught them well… that mean’t so much to me! Thank you!

Then there were teachers that were not within my schools, they were the people who influenced my life through Church. Jill Cullen will forever be one of my most beloved coaches/ teachers. She was my drama instructor at Church and a leader in the youth group. She encouraged us, pushed us, led in a Godly manner, was super fun and is still someone that I look up to and admire. I don’t get to see her to much other than just the normal Facebook posts and my once a year time of evaluating at Fine Arts. I always look forward to that weekend for many reasons but one reason is that I know I will see Jill and Dave! She was a prayer warrior and would pray over us at church and many times over our futures and wisdom for us as we journeyed along. Her and her husband are two of the most passionate and creative people you will ever run into and their heart for kids and ministry is incredible!  I am glad to be able to call her my friend now.

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Another wonderful coach that I looked up to and love was Karen Wittman. She was my worship team coach and she was and is so uplifting. She is so much fun and spunky too!!! She always made you feel important and listened to and she pushed all of us students to be better and to work hard. I appreciated her heart for God and that before we began worship team practice whether it be for Fine Arts or for a church service, she would lead us in prayer and allow us to have our own quiet time for about 10-15 min before we began. This not only helped shape who I was and allow me to grow closer to God, but it also made me think about the leader I want to be; Someone who draws close to God, invites him into their lives and their practice, and shows students how to enter into prayer and time with God.  I was blessed to have her in my life and have her invest her time into who I am today- And I am blessed to call her my friend.

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Pastor Barry and Pastor Jesse- My youth pastors- invested so much time and energy into my life and the other students in Fusion. We were so blessed to have them as our pastors. Both were so much fun to be around, had hearts to serve, and were incredible speakers. So many of their sermons really made a lasting impact on my life and who I am today. They were never too busy to talk or to do something for the students at the church and being on youth staff, I got to see the ins and outs of who they were and what was happening behind closed doors and both had integrity! One of my favorite statements within a dating sermon series that Pastor Barry gave was ” Whenever you go on a date, you should put your bible in the middle of the seats and if the guy passes Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, you give him the Acts (Ax). ”  I know he was joking abou the bible thing, but it really helped me picture that and I always remembered it throughout my dating life.  I was so lucky to have both of these wonderful pastors in my life.

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There are a lot more people who have made a HUGE impact in my life and the person I am today, but these are some of the most significant other than my parents! My parents were by far the best example to me of what it means to be a Christ follower, and a loving parent and wife/ husband. Thank you to all of you for taking the time to invest in me, to teach me what was right and wrong, give me sound advise, pray for me and the other students, and continually pushing us to be better and work harder- You are appreciated beyond what words can say!!!!

Thank you Dr. Dissmore and Dr. Hays for instructing me on violin during my college years. Thank you to Dr. Quebbeman for allowing me to be his Graduate Assistant and teaching me so many valuable lessons. Thank you to Dr. Kolstad and Dr. Honie for you influence. Thank you!!!!

What teachers made an impact in your life? Do they know… have you told them? In an age of technology, it is a lot easier to tell those teachers how much of an impact they had in your life… I challenge you to do that! I’m sure it would make their day.. no matter how old they are, how long they have taught, or maybe even how long they have been retired.

Tell them today how they impacted your life!!!! 


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