My favorite teacher retired recently from the profession that he loved.
Having grown up in a house where education was of utmost importance - in fact it was what kept the house I grew up in paid for - I have great admiration and respect for all teachers. That being said, I can count (thanks to teachers) on one hand the special ones that have touched me on a deeper level. The truth is, we all have those kinds of teachers.
For me, there was Mrs. Ramsey in first grade that helped open up my love for writing. She helped me enter a school wide story contest where I won my first (and probably last) writing award. I couldn’t forget Mrs. Kehler, one of my high school teachers who helped me discover what it meant personally to be a leader. However, this piece isn’t necessarily about them.
The teacher I’m referring to taught me educational skills, but more importantly lifetime skills. I’ve learned from him what working hard, hustling, getting dirty when necessary, taking responsibility for my actions both good and bad, and always giving my best really means. He’s taught these things not only to me but to probably thousands of others throughout his career.
I’ve just been blessed enough to have him in my life every day.
At first glance, an outsider looking in could see his teaching methods as unconventional. While books are used, his primary teaching tools have always been wood, leather and dirt. He’s taken people time and again, rubbed them the right way with the result shining like a diamond, many times shining on the diamond as well.
This teacher has never wanted nor asked for any accolades or spotlight on him, although it is well-deserved. Instead, he would always make it about his students, a true sign of a great teacher.
My favorite teacher has always been proud of the ability of his students on the field, but has always been more concerned how his players have conducted themselves and the legacy they have created off the field.
After 42 years in the game, my favorite teacher has retired from the profession he loves. I could not be happier for him. He’s taught me and countless others so much about the game of life through the game of baseball.
Dad – I love you and thanks for everything. I couldn’t be more proud to be your son.
|Me, Dad, Mom and Kyle in Baltimore a few years ago|