A pink taxi

A pink taxi

April 10, 2012

A Good Teacher: A tribute

I gifted my son's first grade teacher my own golf prize: dinner for two at the golf club. He was the first person that came to mind when I decided that my diet didn't need a gastronomical experience. Good teachers merit even more! My eldest son pulled strings, on his own, to secure VIP show tickets for his fifth grade teacher for Christmas, in gratitude. Don't we all love our good teachers?

Good teachers are the ones that stand out from the standard ones in their passion, their involvement, their mentorship. Teachers are counsellors, coaches, tutors, instructors as well as the aforementioned school teachers.

I am an eternal student and I have had a good three decades of teacher-student relationships. Till this very day, I remember my 5th grade teacher's insistence on good penmanship and proper presentation of work. All the grammatical and literary analysis I owe to one French teacher who instructed me from grade 7 to 10. Not only did she encourage me to read more, but she also introduced me the world of theatre: I starred in her plays! Acting as a teenager built the confidence I need today to speak in public.

I could mention the Arabic teachers, the Economics teacher in high school, the LatinAmerican literature professor who drew me to major in her field, the Farsi professor at Harvard, the three advisors at the Ph.d level. They have all added an unforgettable token to my life.

Education hasn't stopped in the school yard or campus. At the pilates-bikram yoga studios, my instructor, that I have known for 7 years, has transformed me into a body-conscious 41 year old. I have integrated his instruction into my daily activities. Pilates is my style of standing, sitting, working out, dancing, driving and even thinking.

My preferred circuit-trainer has also altered my lifestyle by "demystifying" food. His insistence on a clean and strict diet has made me look beyond food, to the pleasure of feeling fit and healthy.

I could also mention the riding teacher who has to be reminded that he is going overtime, so involved he gets in instructing the smallest details and making sure that I enjoy the ride and smile, which sums up to one French imperative: detends toi! My children and I also share the same golf professional who gives us tips, personalises our grip and willingly listens to the litany of questions.

An eternal student I am, be it an academic one or a sports oriented one. I will admit to also being a seasoned tutor. I have taught countless relatives, of all ages and academic levels. When I teach, I make an amalgam of all the lovely teaching cues from the variety of teachers I like. This consists of discipline, rigour, regularity, good principles, encouragement and understanding. I try to make it interesting and personal. I give it all as I have seen these talented teachers give me: they are simply good teachers. Respect