Q Strategies joins the nation in celebrating Teacher Appreciation Day, in recognition of these public servants who have touched all our lives.
I made my first visit to Maple Street Biscuit Company this week – meeting a client for breakfast. As we ordered our fried-chicken-and-maple-syrup-homemade-biscuit-goodness, the young employee typed our order into the computer.
“Will that be all?” he asked cheerfully.
We laughed and said if we ordered any more, we’d have to take a nap before lunch.
He flashed the patient grin of someone who hears corny jokes too many times a day, but is too courteous to show it.
“And what was your favorite teacher’s name?” he asked.
I stared at him blankly. My client didn’t miss a beat. “Mrs. Keene!” she said warmly.
As a veteran of the Maple Street way, she whispered, “Instead of just putting your name on the order, they ask a different question every day.”
We filled our cups with steaming, maple-flavored coffee and found our way to a table in the corner. Sitting quietly for a moment, we watched employees fill the counter with biscuit dishes, calling customers to pick up their orders.
We heard a dozen names called, and watched smiling patrons hop up to grab their food, no doubt reliving memories of their favorite teachers.
When you see a 60 year-old man name his favorite teacher from five decades ago, it’s staggering to think of the hundreds and even thousands of other students whose lives were touched by that one teacher. How many adults still carry that name in their heart, confident that their own lives are better for being lucky enough to sit in a desk in that teacher's class for a year?
So much of our work at Q Strategies is about helping our clients tell their stories. And all of our stories have been shaped by special teachers and mentors from our childhood.
As we celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week, I will be writing a note to my favorite teacher – Mrs. Walker. Her kindness and humor and impossible standards made me a better student and a stronger person, and I will never forget her name.
If you can track down a teacher who impacted your life, take a moment to reach out and express thanks. And if you can’t, find a way to give back to one of our local teachers and schools. Here at Q, Kelly Allen is reading to students at East Lake Elementary every week, Cynthia Fagan is supporting a playground construction project at a school through Kiwanis Club, and I’m volunteering at Calvin Donaldson Elementary.
For a list of schools around Hamilton County, visit www.hcde.org. Find the school in your neighborhood, call the principal and ask how you can make a difference. They will connect you to the people and projects who need your help.
And maybe one day, someone sitting in a biscuit shop will hear your name and wonder what you did to change a life.
Who was your favorite teacher? Tell us in the comments!
Topics: Q Strategies