In recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week, here are TLSP staff reflections on their memories of a favorite teacher.
Alicia: A teacher for whom I give thanks often is Mrs. Feuerbach, at Zion Lutheran School in Wilton, Iowa. Mrs. Feuerbach was my kindergarten teacher, but so much more. She was my choir director, my volleyball coach, my friend’s mom, and my cheerleader. She was loving and kind, but firm. Mrs. Feuerbach made her classroom a place I wanted to be, full of music and laughter. She showed me what it means to be “all in” with ministry- giving your time, talents, and treasures. She encouraged me as a student, but has also been a kind encourager during my own years in ministry. Thanks, Mrs. Feuerbach!
Jon: I still have my strongest “warm fuzzies” for my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Schwartz. Why was she my favorite teacher? That’s a hard answer to pinpoint; she was funny, she was fair, but most importantly, she was caring. You know she and her beehive hairdo cared for every one of us. Looking back with 40 years of hindsight, she seemed innovative (at least to me) in that she was the only teacher that had tiered spelling, reading, and math groupings for the students so that kids with like skill levels in those areas learned at the appropriate paces (I was a “Gorilla” in Math and Reading, but an “Orangutan” in spelling. If I only had spellcheck back then…). And she seemed to be able to do everything, from creative Halloween decorating skills to patiently directing the third grade play. If third grade/8 or 9 years old is when you start seeing the world for what it is, she made reality enjoyable and understandable, and encouraged us to do great things. All in all, as a 2nd grader, you usually prayed to get into Mrs. Schwartz’s class the next year. I was one of the lucky ones.
Jessica: Mr. Henry Foote was my 6th grade teacher. I was new to the school and also new to the Church. In his class I learned a lot academically, but I also learned a lot about the faith having just been baptized that summer. I especially remember him playing kickball with us at recess and making up crazy stories during our Spelling tests using that week’s word list. I had always wanted to be a teacher, but it was Mr. Foote who showed me what it was to be a Lutheran School teacher. It was through seeing him volunteer as coach, pick up chairs after events, and do all those extra little things that come with being on a faculty at a Lutheran School, that I saw what it really meant to serve. It was Mr. Foote and his wife Karen (also a Lutheran School teacher) that really encouraged me to attend a Concordia and become a Lutheran School teacher. Now here I am; a Lutheran School teacher married to another Lutheran School teacher. I am now blessed to call Henry and Karen friends as they continue to teach and encourage me as I continue in my own vocation. I try to play kickball with students when I can but I have yet to really master those crazy Spelling test stories……
Mark: Stecker, Lau, Schumann, Tarble, Kopischke, Henning, Martens- those were my Lutheran elementary teachers in Marshfield, Wisconsin. Add to the list Pastors Messerschmidt, Krueger, Murray and Jansen. It was Pastor Messerschmidt who encouraged church work for me (he prodded me toward being a pastor though). But the teacher of note and not listed above- my Dad. Dad loved teaching. Dad loved music; he was choir director and church organist. He worked long hours but I never heard him grumbling. And he certainly loved (and loves) his Savior (83 years old, teaches Bible class and is the financial secretary of his church). Do I have stories? Sure do! Pull up a chair with me sometime- we’ll talk. For the record, the fad of “loud socks” was started by my Dad!