My mother was told once by a professor that she should pick a profession other than teacher because she wasn't "teacher material".
Her first teaching assignment was in a small fishing village in Alaska where she taught indigenous children reading, writing and arithmetic during non-harvesting seasons.
Throughout the years, my brothers and I have seen our mother go from Middle School Science Teacher in Rainer, Oregon to a leadership role at the Education Service District in La Grande, Oregon.
She then got her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction and became an Assistant Professor in Teacher Education at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX where she was also one of the first to create and implement curriculum for online learning and an online learning pathway to teacher certification.
She spent over a decade implementing a Teacher Education program at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates and currently is the Department Head of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
What I have learned from my mother's journey is two fold:
1. Teachers play a huge role in shaping who all of us become. We all remember at least one teacher we have had either a negative experience with or a positive experience with, or both.
2. When you encounter what you think is a "negative" experience with a teacher, is it possible that that negative experience will be the catalyst to the life's work that is ahead of you.
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
This week we celebrate one of our own: Dr. Robin Hipp- Dada