“I want you to close you eyes for a minute and think about that classroom, or that teacher that made a difference in your life” said the Superintendent of Richland School district 1, Dr. Percy A. Mack. This inspiring speech lead us through Dr.Mack’s first grade classroom where he was one of five who stayed after school with his teacher Mrs.Harris, because they were in the ‘last’ reading group. This group were attended to after school by his teacher as she felt she did not have enough contractual time to spend with them. Dr. Mack lead us through an emotional journey which ends with where those five children are today. Dr. Mack of course, holds the highest office in one of our SC school districts, of the other four students one became a registered nurse working in an emergency room, another became a policeman, working his way up to lieutenant, also part of this group is a current secretary for a superintendent for another school district in SC, and lastly one is a three star general in the US Marine Corps and was a commander of US troops in Iraq. “Teachers believe this” said Dr. Mack “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish”. Dr. Mack pointed out how blessed the district TOY’s being recognized, and all teachers are for the service they give and the space they occupy in this life.
All district TOY’s in attendance were then presented with a beautiful print, poem and medal. This was not only inspiring but gratifying to realize that the work we do, day in and day out is recognized by someone.
Patti Tate our current State TOY went on to speak and talked about her life growing up and the influences who inspired who future path as a teacher. A banquet was set for all conference attendee’s and honored district TOY’s,everyone was very welcoming and friendly from all over SC. are the purveyors of all professions and should be more well recognized for their due diligence and the work they attend to daily, in my humble opinion.
However I too like Dr. Mack believe it’s not where you start, it is without a doubt where you finish, and although we may not have much control over our path in life, we are certainly given the choices that influence that final result. As I closed my eyes I saw my Primary school teacher Mrs. Miles by the rocking horse at ‘concert time’ giving us our solo moment to shine. I saw my 5th grade teacher Mr. Morgan playing guitar, reading stories and discussing history with us, and I saw My Flute teacher Mrs. Barratt. I shudder to think where I would have finished without these amazing influences!
Who do you think of when you close your eyes for just a minute?
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