Celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week

Posted by Tim Mikulski, May 04, 2011 0 comments

Tim Mikulski

Tim Mikulski

Just before writing this post, I started to think of one teacher who made a significant impact on my life.

As I took a minute to think about it, I realized that there have been many more than one who still resonate with me as I veer closer to my 40's than to my elementary school days. Although not all of them are arts-related, many of them are.

Going back to elementary school chorus, I can remember the excitement and pride I felt being selected for our fourth/fifth-grade mini-chorus. The eight of us practiced and practiced with Mrs. Hitchens during lunch for three weeks before singing a Russian folk song for our winter show.

I later joined our newspaper club, and Mrs. Carlin sparked my journalistic instincts as I conducted a few hard-hitting interviews with my classmates about leaving our school and going to the middle school.

In middle school, I can still remember playing 60's folk music on guitar with music teacher Mrs. Meiss (I wish I had a video of us playing "Bad Bad Leroy Brown."). 

As I grew older, my direct arts education class experience diminished a bit (thanks to my voice change), but in high school I returned to performing in a production of "Grease" as our three regional high schools combined each summer to produce a show.

My English teacher was a tough director and Ms. Hammond challenged all of us both in the classroom and on the stage. I learned to dig deep and get out my show-opening monologue perfectly as 'Eugene' after she had me perform it over and over again until I got it right.

Another high school English teacher, Mr. Sharon, allowed our inner beat poets to recite original or favorite poems every Friday. Thinking back on my original poetry topics, I can't believe people didn't throw things at me, but his encouragement definitely inspired a few of us to try it out and express ourselves at a time when we probably all could have used a chance to vent through the written word.

There are countless other moments in my education that I wish I could go back and thank a teacher for this week, in honor of PTA Teacher Appreciation Week, and maybe through a crosspost on my Facebook page, one of my thank yous will get to one or all of them.

What arts (or non-arts) teacher impacted your life? What would you say to them in honor of this week?

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