Every one of us has had at least one teacher during our childhood and adolescence that made a difference in our adult lives. I can only name a handful of mine, but for the good or bad I remember them well. Do you have a teacher that comes to mind?
Honoring those special individuals that spark something positive within our children is important so, I decided to feature one I kinda, sorta know, my good friend, co-writer on 50Roads.com and cousin Mr. Taylor. Yes, he was and remains a bit of a class clown.
You might hear kids call him Mr. T. or maybe Batman, while walking the halls of the Elementary school where he teaches 5th grade.
Even if you have never met him in the classroom, chances are you've heard him on the radio. He worked for 20 years as a DJ on for one of our most popular stations right here in Utah, has a passion for music and is a bit of comedian too. He performed on occasion at Wiseguys, which from my experience gave him the preparation he needs for handling 5th grade hecklers.
While he enjoyed his job in media, he decided he wanted to make more money, so Mr. T. rolled up his sleeves, went back to college and became, of all things…. an elementary school teacher. He tells me that with exception to missing all the cool summer concerts and meeting an occasional famous person, he doesn’t have an ounce of regret.
Well, it seems that Mr. T. has figured out a way to utilize his passion for music as a teaching tool. When you walk into his room on any given morning you will find a room full of students listening to the song of the day and watching as Mr. T. lip syncs to it. A history lesson of what event was occurring during the times of said song will likely follow this daily morning ritual.
While learning US history his class has discovered the musical stylings of Chuck Berry, The Beatles, Chubby Checker and even The Muppets. At the end of the year the kids vote for their favorite song and then they create a video production that must include the song they selected.
You may be asking yourself why music? What could the Backstreet Boys have to do with teaching kids? I asked him that myself and his reply was inspired.
Part of the reason I use music in my teaching is that music is part of our being.
The second this song starts, the students light up. I mean, how else would I be able to get 25 students from different levels of self-confidence to complete such a task? It's an amazing video that they created. I am so proud of them and their hard work.
Okay, disclosure here, maybe I am a bit partial because I know this clown, but as I've been following my loony cuz on Facebook this year, and have seen the enthusiasm he approaches with his students, as well as the creative methods he employs so they can see the relationship between what they are learning and real life, I personally have been inspired.
I've watched as this father of five put his own money into the classroom. I’ve seen the time he's spent putting lessons together that would hold their interest. It has been inspiring as well as taken me down memory lane thinking of some of my own influential teachers.
As we close out the school year I thought it would be fun to give you opportunity to honor a school teacher that has touched your kids lives this year.
So, lay it on me. Nominate a teacher and let us honor them with a $100 gift card to help them start off next year.
To nominate a teacher just fill out the form found here.
I personally want to thank Mr. Taylor for reminding me of the good on this earth, if he does that for me, I can only imagine the impact he's making on the kids. And, thank you to all teachers for all your dedication and for giving us memories that will last a lifetime.
Have a great summer!
Nominations will close on July 31st. Teachers must reside and teach in the state of Utah. General contest rules apply.