Thursday, May 2, 2013

Teacher Appreciation: An Unlikely Metaphor

In the merry month of May, my thoughts drift toward my dad, now gone from the earth about 1 1/2 years. His birthday occurred in May, as did my parents' wedding anniversary. There is also a week in May designated "Teacher Appreciation Week"  that I probably only know about because I am a teacher. At any rate, during this week I tend to reflect on the great teachers I have known as well as the source of my inspiration to keep teaching. My dad taught me a lot about teaching through the passion he had for learning and encouraging others. So, this post features a bit of inspiration from my dear dad.

This free-verse poem, titled "Remembering" was one I chose to read at my dad's memorial service because it was like him, both funny and profound.  This week, it reminds me that our role as teachers is often just supportive, not noticed until we aren't there any longer, and hidden so that our students' can look good... much like the object in my dad's metaphor.


by H. Eugene Herr

Joe Montano is recalled with a football.
That was this thing, his tool.
Michael J and Isaiah T- a basketball, hoops.
C. S. Lewis- writing and The Inklings
A fellowship of pub and pen.
For me, I want to be remembered as a bra.
On a street in Pittsburg decades ago
Walking to the downtown Y for Employment Anonymous
Kerwin Flannery said to me, "Gene, you are just like a good bra.
You give me a lift."
I'd like to encourage the minds and hearts of family, friends, and foes
to give a lift to what is really there
to help the shape of what is inherent in personality and grace gifts
A bra is hidden, undercover of dress or blouse
and yet its quality is realized
unconsciously there but consciously important
And so I try to pray, to support.
An occasional note, a presence
I need to heal my own heart
To find my fresh spring in Jesus
I need the lift.
I'd rather be--yes, just a bra, in the attire of God's own.

Dad, thanks for the wisdom ... and for being just like a good bra. I aspire to the same.


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