So, in the past week I've told you twenty random facts about myself, my deepest fears, I've given advice to my 16 year old self, shared five things that make me happy, and explained why my dream job is my dream job.
And behind the person that I am, there are some people that deserve some credit. A lot of credit, actually. I know that I wouldn't be the person I am today if there weren't some pretty influential people to lead by example and inspire me to do what I do and be who I be.
That's what today is all about....a list of ten people that have influenced my life in some form or another....
1. My Mom.
We'll start with the obvious. My mother. A woman I swore I'd never end up like about 15 years ago because of all of her rules, but has influenced my adult life in so many ways by making me realize how much I wanted to be like her. While there are many traits I don't get from my mother... worrying too much being the number one thing on that list... I do get a lot of my parenting skills from her. I also get my hot headedness from her. I can get pretty angry pretty quickly from the smallest little thing sometimes...and that's a trait I get from my mom. But, I know that my caring, loving, will do pretty much anything for anybody if I could attitude comes from my mom. As well as my ability to laugh and make jokes and just have a good time - and those are some pretty good traits to get.
2. My Dad.
Duh. Another obvious one. As much as I love my mother and am happy about my traits that I get from her, I know that I'm just like my dad. In about every way. Except for being the quiet, not really social thing... don't get that from him at all. But, I get my not caring about money thing from him. I work hard to have nice things, and I don't dwell on saving pennies just for the sake of saving pennies. That totally comes from him. I get my ability to not act like stuff is bothering me, carefree, live life how it comes attitude from him. That's not to say that my dad (or myself) don't care about stuff...we just try not to let it eat at us or go on and on about the same old stuff. Do it. Live it. Move on. That's our motto. And my temper comes from my dad. Even though my quick hotheadness comes from my mother... my lingering, don't mess with me temper comes from my dad. But it's a trait you don't see very often.
3. Mrs. Oliver, my first teacher.
I spoke about her yesterday during my reason for wanting to be a teacher. What more can I say about a person that influenced my life? She's the person that got it all started... numero uno for my desires and passion of wanting to teach. To have the ability to touch the heart of a five year old and instill in her a future career that stays with her throughout her life is probably the biggest influence a person can have on another. There have been so many times over the past six years that I've thought about her and wished that there was some way to track her down. She has no idea how much she's done for me and my life.
4. Mr. Frowd, 4th grade teacher and assistant principal.
Third grade was the grade that I became obsessed with books. And I mean obsessed. So much so, that I got in to doing something terrible... I started stealing books from my teacher. I am still ashamed to admit that I did such a stupid thing - even though I was only 8 - but it's the year after that mess that had a lot of influence on my life. My 4th grade teacher, who also doubled as the assistant principal at the time, was a giant of a man. Tall, large, incredible booming voice. Enough to scare the pants off anyone. He knew what I had done in 3rd grade when I stepped in to his classroom... and he made sure I knew it. By taking me aside within the first few days and telling me that it didn't matter what I'd done in the past - that didn't define the person I was. He promised me that he'd help me overcome my previous "obstacles" in a much healthier way by giving me access to tons of books to borrow and read whenever I wanted. He gave me books that I loved for my book collection. He read to the class in the funniest most awesome voices...and inspired me to read in the same way. I owe many of my teaching methods and feelings towards those kids that have "strayed in the past" to this man.
5. Mrs. Dobogai, 9th grade Algebra teacher
No surprise there are several teachers on this list, right? I hated 7th grade math. Not because I hated math, but because of my math teacher. While I won't intentionally bash any teachers, I will say that my 7th grade teacher is one of those teachers that taught me how I never wanted to be should the day come I had my own classroom. But, thanks to Mrs. Dobogai, my faith and love for math was restored. She had the ability to make math fun... and I don't remember a single math class where I wasn't engaged and laughing through the lesson. She was the person to teach me the angle song that I shared with my class only a few weeks ago. She's one of the people I talk about when I just hear the world "algebra" from Peanut. In fact, she's the main reason I love algebra - and teaching it - today.
6. Mr. Swank, 10th grade Algebra teacher
Shocker, another teacher. And the male version of Mrs. Dobogai. It was no surprise to hear from him that Mrs. Dobogai had been his teacher and mentor. If my memory serves me right, he was a new teacher the year I had him. He used many of the same techniques and fun that Mrs. Dobogai used... but with his own spin. He was young, energetic, and emitted a passion for teaching that was contagious. While I owe my love of math and algebra to Mrs. Dobogai... I owe a part of my love of teaching and my strong desire to have fun to Mr. Swank.
7. Mrs. Bowen, 1st mentor teacher; Mrs. Wright, 2nd mentor teacher; Mrs. Chu 3rd mentor teacher.
My mentor teachers during my student teaching year. My, how I loved working with these awesome ladies. Their ability to let me step in to their rooms, teach me what they know, and then let me handle the reigns and treat me like I was already a teacher was exactly what I needed to make it through my senior year of college. Mrs. Bowen showed me love, kindness, and that 1st graders were more than capable of sitting through 45 minutes of writing workshop AND silent reading. Mrs. Wright taught me that after 30 years of teaching, there is still passion and fire there and the desire to teach and help students never dies. Mrs. Chu helped me through my biggest challenge: Kindergarten. She helped me face my fears, show me that kindergarten kids can be fun and exciting and not scary at all.
Let's take a break from the teachers for just a second, shall we? It wouldn't be right to construct a list of influential people and not include my P-Momma. Like my parents instilled many of my traits growing up... P-Momma has done a wonderful job of instilling some traits of her own. One of the most important being the lesson that family isn't just defined blood line. Family is defined by the people you love, people that are always there for you... through good and bad. She has taught me that you can never have too many people caring about you, or too many grandparents for your children. She has given me so much encouragement and advice and love and support that I just can't help but pass those things off to the people around me each and every day.
9. Cathy, College professor
I had many college professors that have somehow influenced my teaching style and how I carry myself in the classroom. However, Cathy is the only one that has remained in contact with me since college and continues to provide support and encouragement on a daily basis. She has influenced my passion for teaching and my desire to never be "good enough" but to always strive to be my best. She cares so much about the field of education that it has become contagious to my passion for education. I hear from her almost daily with little comments on my blog or my Facebook page, and she has no idea how encouraging it is. I will always keep my positive, I can do miracles attitude because of her.
10. Mrs. Fisher, 4th grade teacher and current mentor and Mrs. Brisco, 4th grade teacher.
Mrs. Brisco: One of the woman I have the utmost privilege of working with every day. She makes me laugh. Big, from my belly, bring tears to your eyes kinds of laughs. She has a way of putting any problem in a way that can be tackled and spun around in to a positive. She emits love and caring. Her students adore her, and I adore her. She influences my teaching and the way I run my classroom. While I often joke with her for being "too nice", there's really no such thing...and she's the perfect amount of nice.
Mrs. Fisher: Another big, from my belly, bring tears to my eyes laugh bringer. She makes my work each and every day so much fun. I am so blessed to have her as my current mentor, because she has a gift for helping, telling me like it is, and not sugar coating anything - and that's what I truly love about her. We are like two peas in a pod when it comes to classroom management and discipline. We are tough but fair. We are strict but fun. I have the perfect infusion of both Mrs. Brisco and Mrs. Fisher in my teaching blood...which makes for one pretty awesome, super enjoyable, wouldn't be able to find it anywhere else 4th grade team.
And there you go.... ten (technically more than that) people that have influenced my life and continue to influence it every day.
I have left many people off of this list - unintentionally - but I could sit here all day if I constructed an entire list. HA!