My mother, Merle Levine, was a high school social studies teacher for many years before she became a high school principal. In a recent Tip, I mentioned that she was the one who first introduced me to Dr. Madeline Hunter’s Mastery Teaching Model, which had an enduring impact on my philosophy and approach to training.
I have always known that my mother is an incredible teacher- creative, caring, dedicated to bringing history and culture alive for her students through role plays, field trips, literature, debates and all of the interactive and challenging avenues through which excellent educators introduce and teach critical thinking.
This week, I received a message from someone who had been trying to locate my mother. When she googled my mother’s name, it brought her to that Tip, so she wrote to me. In our correspondence back and forth to give her my mother’s contact information, the writer had this to say:
“I was a student of hers (Wheatley ’73) and think of her often… She is the main source of many of my fond memories of [high school].”
It must be a common dream of most educators to have an impact on their students. Imagine one of your students remembering you and thinking of you “often” for over thirty-three years!
When William A. Ward wrote this sentiment, I’m certain he was thinking of my mother and of all the special teachers who make an indelible positive impression on the lives of their students: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”