Each of us can remember (hopefully) at least one teacher who showed an interest in us and inspired us to grow. I am fortunate to remember several teachers from elementary, middle, and high school who were exceptional in their abilities to communicate knowledge and also wonderful mentors. Ms. Pringle (who I tracked down via Google and email last year–she’s still teaching!), my ninth grade algebra teacher; Ms. Wright, my eleventh and twelfth grade English teacher; Dr. Frutiger, my eleventh and twelfth grade history teacher, the first person who inspired me to pursue a Ph.D–all of these teachers were marvelous and made a crucial difference in my life.
Recently, Furman University offered alumni the opportunity to write about a professor that stood out to them in a special way. I wrote about Dr. Marian Strobel, my advisor. Here is the link to my tribute to Dr. Strobel. She still teaches history at Furman, and is an amazing teacher, mentor, and friend. We still keep in touch from time to time via email.
I hope and pray that I may be an inspiration to students. It is my goal as a teacher to light a fire in students’ hearts and minds, as well as to be available to them as a resource for whatever they may need. As much as I desire to be for them an original scholar and an effective communicator, I want to be a pastor to them also. I am thankful for the great teachers that God has placed in my own path over the years, and I pray that some of the students God has given me over the past twenty years may look back on me with some of the same gratitude.