This past weekend I actually had the chance to go fishing (for real, not just in the metaphorical sense). For the 2nd year in a row, a group of RHHS staff members got together to go rock fishing out on the Chesapeake Bay. Some pics from our trip appear at the bottom of the post, but first, let me tell you a bit about fishing and teaching.
Being on a boat with six other educators, I couldn’t help but think of the quote above. Someone definitely taught these guys to teach because they were reeling in some monster rockfish (I ended up pulling up two fish on one line, but that’s another story). Anyway, in that metaphor of teaching and fishing, there is a basic truth that forms the foundation of what we strive to do every day at River Hill. We aim not just to fill students’ minds with knowledge, but to help them develop the desire and ability to do so for themselves. We strive to instill in students the value of being a lifelong learner.
As we celebrate teacher appreciation week this week, I praise and celebrate all of the outstanding and dedicated educators at River Hill who help students realize their potential, achieve their dreams, and inspire students to find their potential and dreams when they don’t think they have any. Since it’s not really appropriate to mention any specific RHHS teachers by name (wouldn’t want to play favorites), I’ll give a few shout outs to teachers from my own educational journey–the folks who taught me how to “fish:”
* Thanks to my parents, my first teachers, who taught me more than I realized at the time. It’s only now that I have a son of my own the foundation they gave me in speaking, listening, reading, writing, etc.
* Thanks to Mrs. Rick at Fort Washington Forest Elementary School for being my first teacher in the United States. Although I went to school for a year or two in England, I have to admit I don’t remember it much. Mrs. Rick made me feel so welcome as the new kid (it didn’t hurt that everyone loved hearing my English accent–where did I go? Yes, I, too, wish I still had it).
* Thanks to Ms. Smalls, perhaps the hardest social studies teacher at G. Gardner Shugart Middle School. She made me realize how important it was to study for tests and quizzes and just when you think you know it—study some more!
* Thanks to all of my science teachers at Oxon Hill High School–Mr. Tschirhart who taught me AP Chemistry, Mr. Belanger who taught me AP Biology, Mrs. Jones who instructed my Research Practicum in Biology course, and Mr. Creveling who taught Anatomy and Physiology. They all did an excellent job preparing me to do pre-med at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
* Thanks to all the English and History teachers at St. Mary’s who gave me such a warm welcome when I realized that I didn’t want to major in biology/pre-med. As I stood in the lab pipetting chemicals into beakers, I couldn’t help but be jealous of all the students playing frisbee and having fun outside. Those folks, I learned were the English and History majors. I ended up double majoring and benefitted from the great instruction of Professors Jing Li, Herb Winnick, and Christine Adams in history and Robin Bates, Michael Glaser, Donna Richardson, Jeff Hammond, and Andrea Hammer in English.
* Finally, thanks to the great professors at UMCP where I earned my Masters in Education. They were all outstanding, but the two that stand out are Dr. Joseph McCaleb and Dr. Jeremy Price. Through that program, I student taught at River Hill High School and the rest is history.
So who are the teachers that made a difference in your life? Let me know in the comments (and enjoy the slideshow)!