Mr. Frazier was my 4th grade science teacher. I always meant to thank him for teaching me about DNA. As the school year winds down, this IS going somewhere for your child’s health and well being so
Thank you, Mr. Frazier! You are one of my favorite school memories. You believed in our 4th grade class’s intellectual curiosity, and you believed that teaching DNA and RNA was not the exclusive right of college professors. (Remember, this was 1973… and please, readers, resist the temptation to do the math and calculate my ever-increasing age…) Thank you for leaving me with the indelible knowledge that children can learn important stuff before the textbooks and the academic machine thinks they are “ready” to learn it.
Every download of this doctor is supposed to be a thought provoking idea, an ‘offer up’ of parenting wisdom. So … who was your Mr. Frazier? Who was the educator who believed in you, who inspired you in school? Who gave you the love of learning by broadening your view of the world? Who was the professor who took a special interest in you and your unique gifts and talents? Could you tell that story to your family? Could you write it, and save it for a later time when your babies will need to hear it?
There is no greater gift we give our children than the respect for knowledge and the wisdom to seek new ways of understanding the world. My own children remind me that it’s important not to overlook the reality that it IS still school, and school is hard to love sometimes. “School is sort of the enemy of childhood freedom,” I’m reminded. But summer vacation will come soon enough. As the school year winds down, parents have figured out one of the perks of a good educator. My favorite is knowing that when the beloved teacher (be it kindergarten or 8th grade) says the same thing I’ve been suggesting, it somehow sounds different…smarter…more wonderful. I used to resent this; now I just smile.
And in the end, anyone who teaches important values to my children is a welcome player on my parenting team. Mr. Frazier was telling the boys to wear deodorant and the girls to stop wearing ‘those’ outfits and ‘that’ make-up. More importantly, he was telling us all that we were smart enough to learn stuff that the college professors were teaching their students. What more could a parent ask of a child’s teacher?
As the school year is begins or as it winds down, honor educators with a grateful note. Instead of another apple paperweight, gather your thoughts and say “Thank you, you made a difference in my life, in the life of my child.”
Thank you Mr. Frazier. You made a difference in the life of THIS pediatrician. I’ll always be a child-at-heart. You remind me every time I think of fourth grade…that we all change the world by what we teach the children.
by Gayle Schrier Smith, MD