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Whew, it has been one busyyyyy week around California Casualty. This week is both Nurses Week & Teacher Appreciation Week. And around here, we pretty much see Nurses and Teachers like this…

Superhero Status.

As you can imagine, trying to show how much we appreciate superheroes has been a slight challenge. I mean… where to start?!? (And don’t say with spandex. I asked around, no nurses OR teachers want spandex jumpsuits…)

Leading up to this week, I have been trolling the web, searching for articles, quotes, and gifts that our nurses and teachers would appreciate. (You can check out–and judge–the fruits of my labor on our Pinterest account, our Nurses twitter, or our Educators twitter).

While scouring the web, I found this quote by Henry Brooks Adams about teachers…

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

And guys, it got me thinking.

So in this blog post, I’d like to talk a little bit about a teacher who is still influencing my life, 15 years after we met.

Growing up I was that kid in the classroom.

I always got my work done, was a good student, but man was I annoying.

Chatty is an understatement. I was that kid who finishes her work then distracts everyone around her who is trying to finish. That kid who hides the hermit crab in her desk to play with when she’s bored. That kid who, once silenced with a final warning, starts passing notes.

My poor teachers. 

But then I had this teacher, Mrs. Setter, who took the glue, hermit crabs, and gel pens out of my grimy little hands and replaced them with this:

… and boy was it beautiful. It had my name on it. Written in hot pink, perfect teacher handwriting. It was just for me.

The deal was I could use this pass whenever I finished my work. I didn’t have to ask. Just show it to Mrs. Setter, and down the hall I went.

The best part? The librarian let me pick any book I wanted.

Didn’t matter what age level the book was intended for. If I could handle it, and the content was age-appropriate, it was mine.  And off I went, back to class, book in hand. And while everyone else was finishing up their math sheets, I would read, read, read… and Mrs. Setter? She got some much-deserved silence outta me.

peace was found. 

Fast forward 15 years…

And to this day, I’m a book junky. I still fill my spare time–whether it’s time spent on the train or sitting in a waiting room–with a book in hand. I still think the only way to judge a good book is by how sad you are when it’s over… because there’s no more left to read.

And when I think back to the roots of my literary obsession, I come back to Mrs. Setter. Here was an overwhelmed, underappreciated teacher who took a kid with too much energy and channeled that into something that would occupy her hands, silence her mouth, and completely rock her world.

Her creative problem solving led me through the magic wardrobe into Narnia, sent me afloat with Huck and Jim, and introduced me to Alice and the Queen of Hearts.

She led me to a world that once explored, I never left. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

So, on this Teacher Appreciation Day, be sure to thank your kids’ teachers.

You have no idea what worlds they are opening up for them.

But also take the time to remember the teachers who have influenced your own journey, just like Mrs. Setter did mine.

 

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