By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
Friday marked the final day of Teacher Appreciation Week.
As you grow up, you oftentimes spend just as much time, if not more, with your teachers as you do with your own family.
Their impact on your development socially, emotionally, academically, and more, plays an enormous role in your future.
Some teachers are better at it — or worded more fairly, are more invested in your bigger picture than others.
And when your path crosses with one of those special teachers, or if you are lucky enough to have two or more cross paths with you, then it is like getting the golden key to the city because all doors seem to open.
I have written on multiple occasions that my career path was sparked by a teacher that saw my future before I did.
Mrs. Calcei, who was my senior English teacher at Rootstown High School.
After reviewing my senior writing project, she asked me, “Have you ever considered a career in writing?”
At that time, I had not.
I thought my future profession would be in science as an astronomer.
Her prompt eventually led to me considering the idea. Then exploring it. Then pursuing a journalism degree at Kent State University.
A path created by the suggestion of a teacher, and my trust in her suggestion.
I consider myself one of the lucky ones, because Mrs. Calcei was one of my many special teachers, a list that also includes Mrs. Shoemaker (4th grade at Immaculate Conception) and Barb Hipsman (Kent State University), among others.
Maybe there are names that immediately come to your mind.
Teachers that impacted you in a profound way.
Teachers that, even after many years and possibly even decades, you hold dear to your heart for what they meant to you.
Coaches are teachers, too.
Their classrooms are simply in a different setting.
And a good teacher will always make a great coach, with the perfect blend of patience, accountability, communication and discipline, but understanding there still needs to be urgency with the patience, freedom with the accountability, allowing communication to be from all involved and allowing questions to challenge inside the discipline.
Being able to introduce, manage and understand that balance — both with the coach and the player — can be challenging, to say the least.
However, a coach who genuinely cares for their athletes, the picture on how to accomplish that blending can be found in a much clearer way.
To all of my former teachers and coaches: Thank you.
I needed you.
To all of the current teachers and coaches: Thank you.
All of your students and athletes need you.
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