Great Teachers

Great teachers don’t necessarily aspire to be great, but they do have lofty goals. They are the game-changers of education. They question bureaucracy and challenge things that don’t make sense.

I had a couple of great teachers in my life. That is kind of sad when you think about all the teachers I have had, but I am so thankful to have had them nonetheless. They were the ones that taught me to write creatively and helped me think visually.

They painted word pictures when they taught. I wasn’t just reading about Washington crossing the Delaware. I was in the boat with him, heart pounding, the wind blowing in our faces as we wrote history. I did not just read about Julius Caesar. I was there with him and his inner circle, listening to the whispers of those who wished him dead.

Great teachers are not just good story tellers. They don’t just engage the mind. They develop relationships. They make you want to do well in their class. I instinctively wanted to do my best…and I did. Their praise and encouragement were the fuel for my fire. They ignited my creativity, my drive, and my desire for excellence.

Every teacher has greatness in them, just as every student does. For a teacher to step into greatness they have to dive in the deep end of the pool. They have to shed their fears and learn to swim as fast as they can. The beauty is, one great teacher can affect thousands of lives. Every child they teach has a positive ripple effect for generations to come.

I hope you give your best every day. I realize there are days where you just don’t feel like teaching.  That is what separates the best from the rest. When you can give all you have, love the kids, teach the curriculum, encourage and guide them….all while your head is pounding and you just want to lay down somewhere, those are the days that reveal your true character.

I think some days are like playing Survivor. You have all these crazy things to get done…and you just need a piece of chocolate and a coffee to help you through the day. To all the teachers who consistently give their best: Thank you!


Dan Skognes

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