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Your Views: Great teachers provide us more than just academics
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Wondering over a sprig of verbena, I dove right into Kathleen Parkers editorial, prepared to disagree, as I often do. Instead I found a heartwarming article about a teacher who treated his students with respect and his subject with passion and made a positive difference in someone's life.

As Parker suggests, I often think back on my teachers whose actions were a turning point in my life. Like the first-grade teacher who criticized me in front of the class because a manufacturing error shortened the paper on which I had completed my work and I didn't realize it until it was too late to redo. How dare my family buy cheap supplies!

Or the high school geometry teacher who, even though I scored 100 on every assignment and test, refused to give me a 100 on my report card, instead making up grades from 97 to 99 and back again. How dare I learn the subject perfectly!

Or the high school teacher, not one of mine, who threatened to have me black-balled from the Beta Club unless I cleaned the desks in her room after school one day. How dare me think my mother, waiting to pick me up for an appointment, was more important than her desks and that Beta Club was an honor society, not a weapon to be used for forced labor!

But I really am one of the lucky ones. I had Mama and Daddy at home. GP and Mary McCollum taught me that life isn't always fair but we do our best regardless of how others treat us. That we always treat others with respect and kindness. That grades are not what matters in the end, but learning something new everyday is a delicious way to live life. That being budget minded is never wrong. That hard work is its own reward at the end of the day. That God loves me, just as He made me, and sent His Son to die for me.

I did have two great teachers and I thank God for them! Oh, that we all would be that kind of teacher to the children God places in our path.

Rhonda Gladden