Friday, April 25, 2014

Teachers Who Make a Difference

Odds are that most of you can point to a teacher who made a significant impact on your student self, back in the day. Miss Cayemberg was that teacher for me.

I grew up as the seventh child (of nine) in a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic dad. Although we were poor, I don't remember going hungry, but I do remember craving intimacy and (ironically) attention. Miss Cayemberg (later, Mrs. Bertrand) was a young teacher who showed me affection (back when that was allowed, thank God) and love. She made me feel special. I remember the day that I got hurt on the playground (rock to the eye, accidental) and came in crying, eye red and swollen; she pulled me into her lap and held me. She even took me out to eat once, and when I grew older, I babysat a few times for her children. Mrs. Bertrand was the first teacher who reached out to me on a personal level and made me feel special. She made me want to learn; to please her, honestly, but also to show that I was worthy of her love and care.  I'll never forget her, and I'm certain she's a reason I'm a teacher today.

I know there are teachers who go about their careers like factory workers, punching in and out each day, but I also know that there are many more who go above and beyond for students every day. Office Depot is partnering with Adopt-a-Classroom and Teachers Change Lives to recognize special teachers across the country. Brian is just one such teacher, whose special program is making a huge and lasting difference in the world. His high school students make prosthetics for people in developing countries! 

To help Office Depot in its support of education, you can donate to AdoptAClassroom or simply like and share their page on Facebook.

While writing this post, I was inspired to Google Miss Cayemberg/Mrs. Bertrand and learned that she once donated a kidney to a nephew. I'm not surprised. I wasn't able to find any contact information for her online, but I'm going to keep trying; I would love to find her and thank her for being an oasis in my childhood.

How about you? Has any of your teachers personally make a difference in your life or your child's life? I'd love to hear about it.

FYI, while you may see other posts that are sponsored for by Office Depot, this is not one of them; I just heard about the program and wrote the post to get the word out.

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