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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Teacher Hero

I think most teachers can look back and remember at least one teacher who led them to where they are today. Can you?

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When I was in elementary school, I hated math. It was this series of random steps, it wasn’t creative, and I just plain had to work harder at it than any other subject.

Looking back, I wasn’t “bad” at math- but I thought I was.

In 7th grade, I started pre-algebra… and I was worried. To a math-hater, algebra is a scary word- and my teacher was pretty old-school.

We had timed tests to learn decimal equivalents of fractions. He taught mainly through lecture at the board. But Mr. Wall was more than that.

He pushed us to think and to see math as a puzzle. We weren’t following rote steps, but we were using what we knew and trying to problem solve. And it was okay if we weren’t getting it right so long as we were THINKING.

Maybe the best thing about Mr. Wall was that he knew us, and he made it clear he was there for us. If we were stuck or wanted help studying for a test, all we had to do was ask- and he would come early or stay late to help us study.

By the middle of the year, he had me- this previously math-shy kid who is NOT a morning person- arriving at school an hour early every Friday morning to work on math problems that felt near-impossible as part of MathCounts. I did it by CHOICE- because he’d made tackling a difficult problem and struggling through to get to an answer FUN.

The donuts (which I’m sure he bought with his own money) helped, too.  : )

He changed my view of math. I went on to learn math as high as calculus, and probably would’ve gone further if I had stayed a science major. And even better? I didn’t hate it anymore. I saw math completely differently- and I saw myself differently. I didn’t believe I was “bad at math” anymore, and learned that it was okay for something to feel difficult at first. And now when I teach math… I teach it so differently than I was taught.

And it’s all thanks to Mr. Wall.


I had MANY great teachers as a child, and I firmly believe that TEACHERS ARE HEROES. Does it mean we’re all perfect, or even all good? No. But I’ve known many, many teachers- and the vast, vast majority give so much more than they’re given in return. If you’re reading this (a teacher blog, most likely on your own time)- you are one of those heroes who goes above and beyond for kids.

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Thank you…

for giving hugs and encouragement and love to kids who might not otherwise get it.

for going in even when you’re sick because you don’t want to do sub plans.

for doing grading and planning on your weekends and snow days.

for thinking about your students when you’re off the clock.

for teaching so much more than academics.

for everything you do for the kids.

Someday, at least one of those students is going to remember you as their teacher hero. And even if they never write a blog post about you, you will be part of the reason they are who they are- and that, my friend, means you have absolutely made a difference.


TpT wants to thank you today- and I’m joining in. All items in my TeachersPayTeachers store Luckeyfrog  (including March’s Text Detectives Jr.) are 20% off.

You can save an extra 10% in any TpT store with the code HEROES.

It’s not enough- but I know this money usually comes out of your own pocket, and I hope this sale helps you pick out something to make your life a little easier!


For a little more inspiration, read about some of my friends’ teacher heroes- and share the inspiration with your teacher friends who need a little reminder of how awesome they are!


  1. Thanks for hosting this, Jenny. I was very quick to get this post together, but the teacher I chose made it that way. I still smile when I picture him in his lab coat! I hope to come back this weekend and read a few of the posts. I think encouraging posts like these help inspire us to be better. Have a great week and thanks again for throwing this together!

  2. This link up is a wonderful way of sharing tales of inspiration. I really appreciate your call to action at the end. :) Gotta love giving people a mission! Thanks for having such a great idea!

  3. I loved being able to share my story about my teacher hero- thanks for hosting!


  4. Jenny,
    Thanks for this fun linky! What a fun way to share about those that encouraged us get to where we are now! This was a fun reflection! I loved reading about your math teacher-Mr. Wall. Donuts always make things better, even math...


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