_ It is March and today is the fourth. March Fourth, which sounds the same as “march forth.” A date (3/4) and a command (go forward; continue on). When I was in high school there was an inspiring science teacher named Clark Schultes. Although I never had him as a teacher, I felt his influence tangentially through peers. I know that his life and his teaching had a positive effect on thousands of students. Sadly, he lost his battle with cancer at a young age. He inspired in life, and in death; he died on March Fourth. At the “celebration of his life” (he forbade a funeral) someone made the point that Clark’s message for us was that we were the ones who now had to “march forth.” Of course, this message was meant to be interpreted by each person in their own way, and so it has.
These days I am working with pre-service and in-service English teachers and I am inspired by the positive influence they have, or will have, on the lives of so many young people. And, today as I think back to that time, twenty-three years ago, I think about Clark and other teachers who have inspired me (directly and indirectly), what characteristics they had, and how they worked their magic. I’d like to hear about a teacher who inspired you and how she/he did it.
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