Most of the teachers I had were good teachers. My parents were very wise, and when they didn’t like one of my teachers, they didn’t let on. They taught me to respect my teachers. In a couple of situations when I had a bad teacher, I just had to work hard and try to get through the class the best I could. My parents helped me when they could, but when I almost failed trigonometry, they couldn’t do much to help me with my homework!
Fortunately, most of my teachers were very good at their job. It’s probably why I went on to become a teacher myself. Several years ago, I wrote this essay about a teacher I had in 7th grade, and I’m sharing it with you again.
I had this teacher once. Mr. “R” was not considered a “cool” teacher. He didn’t play favorites. He taught. He showed me how to find the various innards of an earthworm, taught me math and literature, and instructed me in the fine arts. I learned about pointillism and ringing handbells. He also insisted that if we didn’t get something right, we had to try again until we did get it right. When I went up to his desk to ask him a question, he would look at me as if I should already know the answer. I was probably supposed to know the answer, but I had been daydreaming when he had given us directions. Mr. “R” was a tough teacher, which made him a good teacher. Strict, yet kind.
Mr. “R” was also the church musician and so years after I had Mr. “R” as a teacher, he was my choir director. I was able to get to know him as an adult. I always had fun rehearsing with Mr. “R”!
It was during this time that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. While I valued all the cards and letters I received, I especially treasured the letters Mr. “R” sent me. “The news of your health has haunted me for these past few days…” he wrote in his beautiful script, the same handwriting I had read long before on the papers he had graded. “Along with depressed moments during these dark days ‘have no anxiety about anything…’ Philippians 4:6.” His kind words encouraged me and gave me hope.
A few years ago, Mr. “R” passed away from cancer himself. I have kept his letters in my “cancer scrapbook,” and they bring back fond memories of him. I wonder, did he know how much his letters meant to me?
And so, Mr. “R”, I send you a much belated “Thank You” for so much encouragement during a dark time in my life. You are an inspiration to me as I strive to encourage other women who are in similar situations. I just hope I can be as encouraging to them as you were to me.
“But encourage one another daily…so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13
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3 Replies to “Remembering Mr. “R””
Aw, I love your belated letter to Mr. r and definitely did sound like he was not only a great teacher, but also a truly kind and caring man, too.
Janine Huldie recently posted…The Voices Needed An Answer – Explaining Death to Young Kids
Thank you for sharing your story about Mr. R. He sounds like he was a very kind man.
This Busy Life recently posted…Getting Organized At Home: Recipes
Mr. R. sounds like a great teacher! It’s weird to make that transition from knowing each other in the classroom to knowing each other outside the classroom, but it sounds like you had no problem doing that with him!
A.J. Cattapan recently posted…Spin Cycle: Teaching and Writing