This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. We don’t celebrate this holiday with too many presents or special songs, but I think it is interesting to consider the role that some of my teachers played in my future. I know that the teachers my kids have now (and ones they have had) are making a huge impact on their lives. Both kids absolutely love their teachers this year and have learned so much under their watch.
I had a few wonderful teachers that shaped me, but probably my all time favorite teacher was Mr. Hilton. We had some weird transitions and chaos as East Hickory Elementary merged with Tionesta Elementary, but I received a huge benefit as I had Mr. Hilton for both 4th and 5th grades. He inspired my curiosity. We did all sorts of interesting projects on physical and earth science. I remember spending all sorts of time in the science room where there were closets and shelves and shelves full of formaldehyde-filled jars with creatures of every sort. There were containers of chemicals and bottles of mysteries. We didn’t recklessly play with stuff but were taught to investigate. We learned about economics (he used a token system to reward behavior and hard work) and greed and power struggles and how hard work pays off.
Later on in high school, Mr. Hilton became Coach Hilton. I played soccer in high school and he was my soccer coach. We weren’t always the best team but he encouraged us to do our best and to have a lot of fun in the meantime.
Finally, I worked closely with Mr. Hilton’s son and daughter at the bait/sporting goods/grocery/movie/ice cream/general store where we all worked. His son and I, in particular, had a tremendous amount of fun and a little bit of trouble. I deer hunted with he and his family and came to enjoy his company apart from school as well. It’s not common to have a teacher who can also be a friend as well as a mentor, but Mr. Hilton accomplished much of that for me.
So, here’s to you Mr Hilton! Thanks for being a great teacher! I still appreciate your hard work!
Ok…I have to stop or he may get a big head if he reads this. But I do sincerely hope that you had an awesome teacher somewhere in your growing up that inspired you. If you can, let them know. I am sure they will appreciate it!
And now, our next candidate for teacher of the century…