I have a daughter in Kindergarten at Evening Street (this is the daughter that got to school without shoes a few months back). Last weekend she and I went to breakfast together for a nice sprinkled doughnut at Tim Hortons. (Buckeye sprinkles, breakfast of champions!) Our decision to go get breakfast together was last-minute and thus she dressed herself for the day. As we were having breakfast she says to me “Dad, I look just like Mrs. Evans today, except my hair is curly.” I thought, O.K., but how exactly do you look like Mrs. Evans? Luckily, she kept talking: “I’m wearing a scarf today. Mrs. Evans wears a scarf almost everyday.”
Charles Colton once said that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” My daughter’s excitement about and effort to look just like her kindergarten teacher Mrs. Evans supported that quote. As a school district administrator it also reinforced my belief that what teachers do in the classroom each day matters. Not just what teachers, teach, that obviously matters, but what they say, how they say it, what they wear, when they arrive, when they leave, our kids are watching every little detail and they’re learning both good and bad from every little detail. I believe this is true for our kindergarten students, like my daughter, but it is also equally and possibly more true of our middle school and high school students. They miss very little and are incredibly perceptive.
For our teachers this is the awesome responsibility. It means that they have chosen a profession where they have the ability to have a lifelong positive difference in the lives of their students. It also means that they have to really be certain of who they are when they think no one is looking, because someone is always looking and learning good or bad from your words, actions and deeds.
In the case of Mrs. Evans, I’m really happy she is a role model for my daughter. In 1997 I was a fifth grade teacher at Evening Street. Mrs. Evans and her twin sister were sixth grade students at the time. I never taught Angela in school but she was hard to miss and the fact that she has chosen to come back to the school that she herself attended, and to invest back in the community she received great benefit from, is a testament to her character. In fact she not only teaches for us but coaches girls soccer at TWHS.
When we send our daughter to kindergarten not only are we certain she is getting a first-rate education but we are certain that if she chooses to imitate her teacher, that is a good thing. It’s an awesome responsibility for our teachers to have. Mrs. Evans is certainly up for that responsibility.