Monday, March 8, 2010

My Dad, the Teacher


On Friday night I had the chance to meet some of my dad's former high school English students. These were women he taught probably 15-20 years ago. They excitedly shouted to each other, while pointing at me, "This is MR. WILLIAMS' DAUGHTER!" And then I was pleased to hear several personal accounts of the things he had done to teach and guide and develop their 14 year old souls. One of them talked about a 5 page paper that she had written about the angst and despair she was feeling at the time. Then she said, "I wrote 5 pages all about it, and he wrote me 10 pages in return. I still have it."

Another woman who wasn't in his class, said, "So, I guess he's the kind of teacher that changes lives?"

And the whole room said in unison, "Yes."

Dad has been quietly changing lives in freshman English classes for 35+ years. He studies and plans more than any teacher I know. Even after teaching for this long, he writes out full lesson plans, constantly changes his curriculum, and stays after school late making preparations. He puts his heart into it. And I was so happy to hear that he really does and has and will continue to change lives.

I'm one lucky kid to be Mr. Williams' daughter.

12 comments:

Rachel said...

Oh Megs, you should have been in his office yesterday while he was interviewing Levi for his baptism. I'm sorry to say I was very immature and giggled almost the entire time. Priceless....Levi's responses.

As for an English teacher, Brennan has him this year and really likes him, despite the fact that he is Brennan's bishop. :D

jwise said...

I bet your dad is one AWESOME teacher!!! He would just have to be. I can't imagine him being anything else. (I LOVE that picture, by the way, even though I've seen it before!)

{Erica} said...

I know I've told you this before but your dad was one of my favorite teachers. I looked forward to the poems he would write on the board every day and how we'd analyze them and see how excited he got about them. I kept most of my papers I wrote for him because I really felt like he made me do my best and his notes back were WONDERFUL!!

It was because of his class and the love of English writing and literature that I almost majored in English.

I will ALWAYS remember your wonderful dad and how much time and effort he put into teaching. It was very apparent he loved what he was doing and dedicated a lot of time to teaching students.

He's amazing!

RhondaLue said...

a good teacher makes a difference. A GREAT teacher changes lives. How lucky his students are!

The Betitas said...

Is he teaching again?!!! Awesome. He is and will forever be one of my favorite teachers!!

Tia said...

I'm right there with you, one of the best! I remember most reading aloud Romeo and Juliet in his class.

Tiffany said...

Ditto to everything that's been said. I loved his class- even if I was caught talking on a daily basis. I would take it back if I could.

K said...

Yes. You are lucky. He's a pretty good man, your dad. And you know what else? His genes get passed along almost IN TOTAL - and not just through one generation. You could have shown me that picture and asked who it was, and I might have guessed any one of at least three names. Such a quiet person to have such a resounding impact.

Sharlyn said...

He is a great teacher :) In a lot of ways I would like to take his class again and do a better job. I think looking back he knew I could have done a better job, would he take an online student?
;-)

Pam Williams said...

Reading the description of how your dad still writes out lesson plans, changes curriculum, etc. reminded me of another English teacher I know named Mr. Williams... the one I'm married to. Middle school kids aren't as articulate as high school kids when describing the impact of teachers – "yeah, he was cool" vs. actual examples – but good experiences in school will always rise to the top of the memory banks when adolescents morph into adults. There's great comfort in that because teachers hardly ever see immediate fruits of their labors.

Amanda D said...

I bet it was 15-20 years ago that he was my English teacher! I was a freshamn in 1994. Holy cow. I'm old! How has it been that long??????

Marilyn said...

Amen! I loved your dad's class too. I still remember many of the poems-of-the-day, and I can't read Dickens without blessing your dad for introducing me to how FUNNY he is. What a great man (your Dad, not Dickens) (Although I'm sure ol' Charles was a good guy too)

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