Thanks Teach

Matthew - Madison, Alabama
Entered on June 27, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the teacher. Yes, I mean my third grade teacher, but I also mean my college advisor, my friends, strangers, and my family. The role of a teacher is one we will all take in life, for better or for worse.

My teachers in school have taught me everything from grammar to multiplication, from the musical scale to opportunity cost. These skills are how we measure our knowledge and intelligence. Can you find the optimal solution? Do you the difference between a manager and a leader?

Friends are perhaps some of the most influential teachers in your life. When I was in pre-school, it was a friend who taught me the bunny ears technique to tie my shoes after I simply couldn’t mange this around tree and in the hole concept. I learned from my best friend from the 7th grade what happens when you drop out of high school. I learned from another friend the benefits of being studious as I watch him prosper in the beginnings of his career. My friends taught me how to skate, how to drink, and how to do a doughnut in my car. Friends have entered my life, and left my life but I have learned from every one of them.

I have learned important lessons from complete strangers. Jesus taught me to love my neighbors. Beethoven taught me the power of music. Rilke taught me the power of inspiration. These people, strangers in one light, are my most cherished companions in another.

Perhaps the most important teachers in my life are my family. My siblings taught me more about what not to do as a child than what to do. Do not have a party while Mom and Dad are out of town and expect to get away with it. Never expect that Mom and Dad will be gone as long as they said they would. Never get within two car lengths of the car in front of you while driving to school. However, as my siblings matured into men and woman, they became people who I long to emulate. As adults, they have taught me more about the devotion to family than I ever thought possible. My parents taught me right over wrong, good over evil, compassion over hate. My parents are the ones who molded me into a person that was able to make decisions for himself. They never tried to form clones of themselves; rather, they encouraged me to follow my heart, my passion, and my inspiration to create my own identity.

I believe that the teacher is the most important role I play in life. I feel it is my obligation to share the knowledge I have gained from my experience with those around me. I believe in the power of surrounding yourself with great teachers. Great teachers in my life have formed me into the person that I am, and will continue to shape my existence for the rest of my life.