Friday is Teacher Appreciation Day. I'm not usually one for things like this....but let me tell you this is something I can cheer about! Think about it, someone, somewhere along the line took the time to teach you something you know now. While you figured that you'd never use it again (hello algebra) it made the wheels upstairs turn. Even if a teacher got you to open a book, or do a paper on any topic....it created in you the ability to look further and not simply take the default answer. Everyone of us who work in the field of technology probably has someone you can think of who taught you to see answers. (Do you really think the ability to understand IP Subnets just came to you?!) I know from all of the questions I get about "Oh yeah, Kai? Well what's Microsoft going to do about <blank>?!" See....you simply didn't get that inquisitive on your own. Someone taught you to seek knowledge and seek answers. Even the skills required to study for exams was taught to you. Many CISSPs and MCSEs have a teacher to thank.
"So Kai....what teachers impacted you?" Great question. Here's a few that come to mind:
- Mr. Grant - My Industrial Arts teacher in High School in Maryland. Not because I grew up with a desire to make chess tables, but because I saw Mr. Grant hold people accountable for their actions. Showed up late to class? You better have a good reason, and be able to prove it. He really took the time to explain to the many kids in class, that someday, when you became an adult, you'd be responsible for your actions and your words. His background in the military also didn't hurt. I heard that after I graduated, Mr. Grant went on to become the principal at my old high school. Well deserved. I can't thank him enough for teaching me the importance of integrity and honesty.
- Mrs. Wilson - High School AP Biology. Boy, I sure didn't think I liked biology, but Mrs. Wilson's class was always a good one. Many years after her class, I found myself sitting through Anatomy & Physiology classes while attending the Special Operation Medical Sergeant course. The study skills I learned in her class, paid off, as the SOMED class had an 87% failure rate. I was lucky enough not be dropped and graduated with flying colors.
- Professor David Higgins - Finance professor - You know all that financial stuff like ROI, IRR, NPV, that I spent talking about here a few months ago? That's all the fine work of Professor Higgins at the University of Dallas - Graduate School of Mgmt. Like many of you, I got my undergraduate degree in MIS, which is part of the business school. During my undergrad courses, I suffered through the business courses. I just wanted to get through the C++ classes and get a job! I hated endless discussion about stock valuation, capital budgeting, etc. Professor Higgins really helped me (and ultimately you....through my blog) understand why this is important to business. He even managed to crack a few jokes along the way.
Maybe you had a teacher or an instructor somewhere along the line that you'd like to give a shout out too. Feel free to throw in a comment! No way we get anywhere on our own.