“Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, caliber, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honour for me.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
I was thinking about all the teachers that have contributed to my life. One of my best teachers was my fifth-grade teacher. Her name was Mrs. Feick. She made learning fun and she challenged us daily. She knew we could do more than we thought we could. You know what? She was right.
Other memorable teachers came during my college studies. I pursued technical degrees and really enjoy programming, databases, and solving problems. One of my teachers taught databases and it was so interesting interacting with him. He showed us so much. I think the best thing he taught us was how to think. He would always have us think through what would happen when we wrote a query or tried to manipulate some data set. He would have us think through what would happen if we did this or that before we wrote any scripts. It was awesome!
A good teacher will always motivate you to look at things in a different way. A good teacher will show you how important it is to really get out there and investigate things, read things, come up with your own viewpoints. They challenge us to challenge them and their ideas. A good teacher is always looking for students who will argue with them (tactfully and professionally) to hone our own ideas while they will refute and try to convince us of there ideas. It is a terrific exercise. The dialogue is where the learning takes off.
Some of my best teachers have also been in the business climate. I used to be a technical recruiter. Technical recruiting is a challenging career. One of my managers passed on little tidbits of wisdom here and there. One of these things related to competition. He said, “You know, Dave. You don’t have to do too much to beat your competition. You just have to do a little more.” He was right. If you always do just a little more, you’ll beat most of the competition in your field that is unwilling to do a little more.
I am grateful for the many teachers I have come across that really cared about their students. I am grateful for the many mentors I had coming up in technical recruiting. I am also grateful for the many scholars and authors I continually learn from by reading their books. There is so much to learn and so many people you can learn from.
Take some time today to be grateful for all of the people who have taught you something that has served you well throughout your life. You’ll be amazed at all of the people who have had a dramatic effect on your life’s trajectory. I know the teachers I have had impacted my life in so many ways. I will be forever grateful for those teachers that spurred me to think, to continue learning, and to challenge the ideas of others.
Until next time…