My friend Adam Turteltaub, one of the best dads and human beings I know, had this reflection in response to the column about the need for teachers to go “Beyond the Lesson Plan.”
Adam explains, “My least favorite teacher was my art teacher. He was famous for his long, grey hair and even longer, grey beard at a time when all teachers wore their hair short. He would give long lectures on the environment or whatever else he felt like. One day, bored out of my mind, I was absent-mindedly clicking open and closed my watercolor tin, and he pointed at me and announced to the class, “It’s idiots like this that make it impossible for me to teach.” It was way out of line, and after class, I asked him if he just called me an idiot in front of the class, to which he replied, “If the shoe fits, put it on.” Idiotic on his part.
“I told my parents who told the school, and the art teacher never looked me in the eye again.
“I related that story to a group of old elementary school friends on Facebook. It was fascinating to see the responses. Some, who had talent, were lavish in their praise of him and what he did for them. Others, who were untalented like me, were scathing. It made me think that a truly good teacher is one, like your Dr. Kleinz, who was as good for the good students as he was for the bad ones.”