All twelve or so teachers were in a spirited conversation about what aspects of ionic and covalent bonds they should include in their 8th graders science class. My first thought was, "Holy crap, I didn't learn what a covalent bond was until junior year or high school!" The pace at which students are learning more complex material is increasing year to year. As we learn more as a world, we extend that knowledge to the newest generation. We pass on what we know in the hopes that those younger will surpass us and keep the world changing for the better.
After I moved on from the pace of middle school science nowadays, I began to realize how in depth the conversation was. Each teacher had well-grounded thoughts on how much or little to include in the lesson plans. But in the end, a trust in the students to learn won out. The teachers decided to go with a more complex explanation so they could expand on this later, and students could have a chance to go above and beyond.
As the teachers came to a conclusion, I began to appreciate that we sometimes forget our educational roots when stuck in the ivory tower of graduate school academia. Where would I be today without a solid explanation of ionic and covalent bonds so many years ago? I probably wouldn't be in a position where I can postulate my own research hypotheses about environmental components and human health effects. My creative skills today would be nonexistent without singing, acting, and writing experiences throughout school. I certainly wouldn't have the confidence and drive to pursue a career in a public realm without the teachers who put in time inside and outside the classroom for speech team, choir, and sports. The lessons learned from my teachers early built the foundation to propel a career. These amazing men and women provide us with the tools to chase after our dreams.
So take time today to appreciate a teacher that helped you get to where you are today. Maybe it was a specific subject that lit a fire in you. Maybe it was an extra circular that opened the door to a passion you never knew existed. Or maybe it was someone who simply believed in you when others didn't. Thank that teacher and always remember the importance of these integral leaders in our lives.