With the school year coming to a close, and summer right around the corner, I can’t help but reminisce. All those years I spent behind a school desk, all of the classroom experiences I endured, how could I not have memories? With each new year came new classmates. While strangers at first, by the end of the year we were like a small family. In the moment, I thought my friends and peers would have the most significance to me later in life, little did I know, it was really my teachers.

While I can only recall a handful of my classmates names from each grade, I can confidently name each and every teacher I’ve had since Kindergarten. REALLY. That’s including college professors which, I had at least 4, each semester until I graduated.

I’m no brown-noser, but I can graciously say, each and every one of these people made a major impact in my life. Either by education, life experience or extraordinary advice. These people helped mold me into the person I am today by giving me the tools, guidance and life experience that were crucial for my success; inside and outside of the classroom.

I think everyone has a favorite teacher. Right?

Mine is Mrs. Dailey. She was my math teacher for all three years of middle school. My 6th grade home-room was her very first math class. She, like most of her students (including me), hated math. Thankfully, that didn’t stop her. She did her best to make math as interesting and interactive as possible so our little brains could absorb and memorize all the rules and symbols.

Math wasn’t originally her strongest skill, but do you know what was? Her capacity to love each and every one of her students for the unique individuals we/they are. This woman’s heart knows no limits. I have seen her go above and beyond for complete strangers in the same way she would assist a dear friend. She treats her students like they are her own kin. Calling home to discuss grades and progress with the parents. Personally arranging extra tutoring time, after school, FOR FREE, just to help those of us who were struggling to adapt.

She offered kind words when I needed it most, and reined me in when I began slipping. The woman saved my life more times than I can count, and she probably doesn’t even know it.

She knew us and she cared.

Now that I am older, I find new significance in the simple quotes she used in class. Especially the quotes that conveyed life’s lessons in the nicest way possible. Its been 15 years since I was in her class, and I still hate math, but this woman’s teachings still impact my life. Had I not been blessed with her as my teacher, I feel my future would have been much dimmer. Maybe, I would have become some kind of a drop out.. or possibly worse. Thankfully, that was not the case. Instead, she joined me at my high school graduation to celebrate my first major milestone in life. To me that day was a big deal, as I am the first in my family to graduate high school and complete college. I am honored she was willing to share it with me.

To all the teachers out there who feel like they don’t make a difference in their students lives, I am living proof that YOU do.

You are so appreciated! Your greatness and sacrifices deserve to be acknowledged more often. Thank you to all the teacher’s out there! You are the real MVP’s. Here is hoping you have a relaxing summer, and that you will return in the fall well rested!

Lacey Burch

I'm your typical desert mom; surrounded by cacti, while navigating the treacherous landscape called parenthood. I'm always up for a good challenge and making new connections with those who enjoy expanding their mind just as I do. My most over-used statement would have to be,"Life is too short to settle."I am definitely a work in progress, but who isn't, right?