Monday, February 28, 2011

another death

Word just reached me of the death of a high school English teacher. Reading between the lines, I'm guessing heart attack.

Hindsight, as is so often said, is 20/ 20. I have a hunch that the year I had this teacher, he suffered from a very deep divorce-induced depression, and was very slowly putting his life back together. He taught us well, though not brilliantly, but I'm struck by the occasional flashes of amazing insight into Dickens and Wordsworth that stick with me several years later. A year or two earlier, a year or two later - I can only imagine what he must have been like. Beware the quiet and understated teachers who give you clever assignments...

I regret not having told him that I still quote some of the big classroom mantras years later to my own students. I really need to compile a list of great teachers and tell them now while I still can.

1 comment:

Harriet M. Welsch said...

I have actually started doing this in the last year. I contacted the violin teacher I had in England -- my second violin teacher, but my first real one (the first guy was a French horn player who got stuck with a string program). I think of her a lot when I'm teaching. And I contacted my G&T teacher from junior high when I was in the midst of lobbying for gifted ed for AJ last year. There are others I haven't tried to contact yet, but I still may. The ones you still think of years later deserve to hear what they did for you, I think.