Passionate, caring, learned, focused, stable, visionary , dedicated———  those special people who spend an inordinate amount of time with our children.   Some , even most,  give all , and , for that,  gratitude.   The journey is not an easy one.

Let me tell you about these people called teachers :  the good and the bad,  the lost and the found,  the bright and the dull.  Like all of us, they come in different flavors, and the good are very, very good and the bad ,  well,  they need to move on !

From my own experience at the high school level  ,  I pretty well nailed the passion and the caring !  It wasn’t particularly easy being the first female principal  (and only  one so far ) at Franklin County High School.  I had to prove myself over and over again and , in many instances, it was necessary to take a hard line .  But the passion and caring were always there.  When I failed or fell short ( and it happened more times than I care to remember ), it was a loss of focus or a misdirection from the vision, but never, NEVER , from a loss of passion or caring.

I can’t possibly mention all the outstanding teachers that I had the honor of working with for 25+ years.  I think back on so many elective teachers who stood strong in their mission to give our kids a boost in what they loved most.  And I think of those academic teachers who pushed and pulled and struggled to meet students at their own levels and find success.  And the value of  support professionals cannot be overlooked : counselors, librarians,  para-pros , office staff and others.   Some gave some .  Most gave what was needed .  Many gave all.

Some teachers are well-educated in their fields but the passion is lacking.  An example of that was a social studies teacher who walked by my office door on the first day of school each year until he retired and said,  ” Only 179 days left !!!!! “.    He  gave little.

A female teacher came to my office one day to say to me,  ” Why don’t you make that physics teacher  clean up his messy room ? ”  My response,  ”  When your students are as prepared when they leave your class as his are , come back to see me ! ”   Proving my point, one of his students , a cadet who graduated from West Point , wrote home his freshman year  :  ” I had the highest final grade in my physics class this semester  and my professor asked me what I credited that to.  My answer : my physics teacher at Franklin County High School in Georgia “.     The physics teacher gave all.

But on to the others, many others :

There was the one who reached out to our hearing impaired kids ( and others with special needs ) , offering the support and love that they so badly needed.   She gave all.

There was another who appeared in my office on a hot summer day , unexpected and unannounced,  explaining that she and her husband had moved from Atlanta to a farm in our area , and she needed a science job.  Remarkable teacher who was  “Teacher of the Year” ,  over and over again.   She gave all.

There were two who challenged our gifted kids to seek knowledge, look further, listen carefully, question deeply , and never quit following their dreams.   They gave all.

There were three  ( at least ) who came from other professions .  They offered a new world to students because they had  ” been there and done that “.   They gave all.

And this doesn’t come close to recognizing  all the after-school/before-school hours,   extracurricular activities,  individual student ” counseling “,   chaperoning,   parent conferences,  faculty meetings,  state mandates…………..and on and on.    Some gave all.

There are many others.  Some who gave stability and focus.  Some who gave vision and dedication.  Some who cared and nurtured .  Some who were passionate.


And then my assistants during my tenure as principal were amazingly balanced in their thinking and talents.  One, in particular, was always up-front and center in his reaching out, the caring part.  Another was a visionary, always looking for a better way.  Another was focused, concentrating especially on one area that needed attention.  And then there was the one who epitomized stability, always dependable and straight up.  Such blessings for this woman who lived the passion, but needed the slow-down, the logic, the other side.    They gave all ……….

It was a world I loved……….and a little piece of my heart still lies at Franklin County High School .


( I appreciate the comments and the shares, especially to other educators ).