Sometimes when I begin to bake my “pie of the day” I don’t know who will be the recipient. Today, as I prepared the crust and filling I felt that I was waiting for “inspiration” or some kind of message. It seemed as if the pie itself was uncertain as to who it would be taken to. As I finished the pie and popped it into the oven the owner of the pie was still unknown.
I began to think of the people I still wanted to thank and began jotting names down. And then I wrote down “Andy Burt” and I knew I had the answer. Andy was my son’s teacher for three years in middle school. He was steadfast and honest and willing to be himself with his kids everyday. He helped the ones that needed it and even those that thought they didn’t. Remember, in middle school you think you know it all. A Mark Twain quote comes to mind, “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he’d learned in seven years.”
My son was fortunate to have Andy as his homeroom teacher. Andy cared and showed it but he would also call his students out on behaviour that was not acceptable. And while parents have to do that all the time, sometime it takes a person outside the family to really have an impact. As a teenager, you may think you are fooling your parents, but when another adult looks at you and makes you think that you can be somebody, well, maybe you can begin to think it too.
Today I honor another teacher that helped my son on his journey to the person he has become. Andy, I am forever grateful for the effort that it took and hope that you know what a difference you made.