How Teachers’ Impact Outlasts Our Education

“The real winners in life are the people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better.” Barbara Pletcher

Teachers bring a special gift to the world.Think about your all-time favorite teacher.  In many cases, your teachers made an impact on your life that far outlasted your education.

Sister Stephanie was the best teacher ever. She was my sixth grade teacher and thinking about her today still makes me smile.  Her favorite joke was, “How do you make holy water?”  Answer:  “You boil the hell out of it.”  At a time when “hell” was spelled “H-E- double toothpicks” we thought it was awesome that a nun used this word around us (and in a Catholic School, too!)

Sister Stephanie made stamp collecting interesting and fun.  While in her “Stamp Club,” I learned about nations around the world simply by being interested in their postage.  Sister Stephanie’s most unique feature was her wooden leg.  She might have lost her leg, but she never lost her humor.  Whenever someone said, “Knock on wood,” she would simply knock on her leg.  Because of her, I learned not to take life so seriously.

Sister Stephanie was my hero because she made every situation better in school.  Even though she had a stroke and had to leave our school halfway through the year, I kept in touch with her.  She was determined not to let a mere stroke keep her down so she enrolled in a writing course.  Years later she sent me a story that she wrote with me cast as the main character.  She had me penned as a gum-chewing wise-cracking, teenager, with a big smile and a loud laugh. Yep, she nailed it.

What can you do today to make something better for yourself or for someone else?  Now that you’ve thought of it, the next step is to take the steps and do it.

Have fun,


Who is your Sister Stephanie?  Take a minute a silently thank her (or him).

The “Thank You Notes Workbook” is a great tool for developing your own gratitude practice.  Find it here:

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