Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020
This is the second post from retired teacher and author Pete Springer and today he shares his visit with one of his students from twenty-five years ago, and the long term benefits of the teacher/student relationship.
My first class. I’m the guy at the top center who looks like he is about eighteen years old.
This week I got one of those reminders about what a blessing it was to be a teacher. I got the opportunity to visit with a former student, now forty years old, who I had the privilege of teaching more than twenty-five years ago.
It is not uncommon for these reunions to still happen as I still live in the same city in which I taught. As any teacher can tell you, catching up with an old student never gets old. It is one of the delayed rewards of teaching to discover what our former students are up to now.
I was not surprised to learn that he was doing well in his chosen career; he was a smart, personable kid. Not only was it a kick to hear what was happening with him, but he also reminded me of things about being in the class that I had long since forgotten. We shared a few laughs and made plans to get together the next time he is in town.
One of the things that made an impression on me was how quickly he rattled off his teachers from kindergarten through sixth grade. It reminds me of the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” While I remember some of my elementary teachers, some years are blank for me. I don’t know if that says more about those teachers or a guy with a failing memory.
One of the secrets about teaching is that the teacher/student relationship is mutually beneficial. While teachers are hopefully teaching their students academic, moral, and life lessons, our students are also making a significant impression on us. I was inspired each year by students from my class.
The world is an imperfect place, but I have faith in this generation and the next one because I have seen them in action. They are smart, kind, compassionate, and hopeful. Sure, they make mistakes, but so did we. Part of education is learning from those missteps.
For those teachers who are about to embark on another school year, let me remind you that for all of the challenges and hard days you will no doubt experience, there are also going to be moments of celebration and joy. Some child is going to succeed because of you. One of your students is going to believe in himself or herself because of you. You are going to tip the scale and make a difference between the child who stays in school or drops out. What an enormous responsibility and privilege!
©Pete Springer 2019
About Pete Springer
My name is Pete Springer. I taught elementary school for thirty-one years (grades 2-6) at Pine Hill School in Eureka, CA. Even though I retired over two years ago, my passion will always lie with supporting education, kids, and teachers.
When I came out of the teaching program many years ago, I realized how unprepared I was for what was in store for me in the classroom. My college education focused mostly on learning theory rather than the practical day-to-day challenges that all teachers face. Thankfully, I had some great mentors to lean on to help support me in the early part of my career.
I have made it my mission to pay it forward to the next generation of teachers. I was a master teacher to four student teachers, and I have several former students who are now teachers, including one who teaches at my former elementary school. That is pretty cool!
About the book
Who Will You Inspire Today? Teachers face this challenge and responsibility each day, but in the process, the author discovers that his students can also have a profound influence on him. Pete Springer takes you on his memorable thirty-one-year journey in education as an elementary school teacher and offers the many valuable life and teaching lessons he learned along the way. Get ready to laugh out loud at some of the humorous and memorable experiences that all teachers face, feel inspired by the inherent goodness of children, and appreciate the importance of developing a sense of teamwork among the staff.
Learn valuable tips for working with children, parents, fellow staff members, and administrators. This book is ideal for young teachers, but also a reminder to all educators of the importance and responsibility of being a role model. This book is a must-read for all new teachers and those teachers that need a reminder they are human! Mr. Springer educates others in his easy-to-read, story-like, first-hand manuscript. You will laugh, cry, and get motivated to be the best educator you can. After reading this, I have a better outlook on relationships with my colleagues and am reminded to savor every moment. -Tami Beall (Principal, Pine Hill School)
One of the recent reviews for the book
“They Call Me Mom,” by Pete Springer is a real gem! Don’t be fooled by its easy readability; this book is jam-packed with powerful advice. What makes “They call Me Mom” so special? First, Pete Springer’s passion for teaching lights up the entire book. His core values are clearly articulated. But the real treasures in this book are revealed through thoughtful, funny, and honest anecdotes from his 30 year career.
Springer’s book is divided into the main issues faced by both new or experienced teachers: how to organize your class, work effectively with students and their families, and work collaboratively with colleagues. The chapters on frustrations and humorous events are yummy icing on the cake.
Pete Springer is not just a great teacher, he’s a natural writer. “They Call Me Mom” would make a perfect Christmas present for your teacher friends (or your kiddo’s teachers)! His blog is also a great read, with news about his successful efforts to publish, volunteer, and support educators. He tells some powerfully encouraging stories of the many reasons to be grateful in the midst of difficult circumstances.
Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US
and: Amazon UK
Connect to Pete
Thanks to Pete for sharing this wonderful example of how early education and great teachers leave a lasting impression on both student and their mentors. Please head over to enjoy more posts from Pete’s archives. Thanks Sally.