October 5th is Teacher Appreciation Day?!?! Is this something that was always in place? I don’t seem to remember it growing up.  With the impact teachers have on our development you would think it would be made into more of a big deal, celebrating those that educate, protect, and inspire us.  With our current education climate, we must make this day special.  Whether teachers are educating from home or are back in the classroom, this past year has been trying and turbulent to say the least. Their skills, technology base, and patience have surely been put to the test. So let us celebrate and appreciate those that have taught us and those who are teaching our children. 

 

I have had many years of education K-12, undergraduate, my social work masters program, and my healthcare administration masters program. That’s a lot of teachers and professors to keep track of, and while I loved most of them, there is one that stands out. In fact, I enjoyed his classes so much, I took three of them throughout my four years at Quinnipiac University during my Bachelors in Psychology. Professor Webb also happened to teach my three favorite classes (whether this was topic based or his instruction I do not know): Sociology of Death, Grief, and Bereavement; Sociology of Aging; and Sociology of Health and Illness. 

 

By the time I had professor Webb his instructional style had changed, he had been diagnosed and survived cancer, he had faced death, and this experience had him look at his educational abilities on an entirely different level. There were no lectures, only class discussion and activities. We were asked to imagine our funerals, to write our own eulogies, and to say our goodbyes to loved ones. It wasn’t about memorizing dates, names, and facts. It was about living and experiencing (as much as you can in the classroom) the topics we were learning. I cried almost every class, was a snotty, red eyed mess. But I loved every second of it. To this day I use some of his instructions. I retain this information without hesitation, I talk about these classes in sessions with my clients, and I have used some of these exercises as parts of my client’s homework assignments. What was once taught to me over 10 years ago is now being taught to those I work with. While I may not be a teacher, I feel I need to impart these pearls of wisdom on to others, in any way I can. And I hope that others can do the same. Teacher appreciation is not just about gifts and acknowledgments in the moment, but it is about passing along their instruction and continuing their legacy.  

 

I thank you Professor Webb for all you have taught me, how you have impacted my life in class, and how you continue to come up regularly with my clients. 

 

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