Opened a small door, I hope, for community members to send their thanks and appreciation to today’s teachers by doing some grassroots networking and giving a speech over lunch for teachers.
To support teachers, please consider a donation to the Beaverton Education Foundation’s “1 Campaign”. You don’t have to live in Beaverton to say “thanks”.
We all have been inspired by someone. For me, it was my teachers.
Over the next several days, I’m going to bring attention to various teachers in my own life who inspired me, challenged me, and supported me.
Roger Emmert, Mathematics, Perry High School, 1985, Perry, Iowa
In 1984-85, I took my first calculus class. Mr. Emmert was my teacher. Ironically, I did pretty lousy, as did most of us. It was a class of only about 6 seniors, and I think that it is fair to say many of us didn’t do so well. Maybe it was senioritis.
It was one of the first classes I ever struggled in, as school had generally been pretty easy until then. It was my first look at being challenged and I didn’t hold up particularly well. But through it all Mr. Emmert always came to class with a smile and willingness to help us. The next year, I went on to ace my first year of university calculus. I owe Mr. Emmert a specific debt of thanks for pushing me hard in that high school class.
I remember the phrases, “Let’s do this, just for Funzees”, which he liked to use in spite of the students (ahem) less than polite use of the phrase. I remember the green chalkboard and the ever present sound of the chalk whacking away followed by explanations and answers to questions, some of which I actually understood.
I remember seeing him about town, always running. I remember his support of local libraries with his wife Donna, which continues to this day.
And I remember him always having a smile for me, although I rarely knew what to say. I remember how the watch I lost one day mysteriously turned up, and how I found out later it was Mr. Emmert who found it and returned it.
In his classes, he taught me how to think logically. But in his life he showed me how to smile and to give back.
Thanks Mr. Emmert!