My dad is a very special guy. He is one of the only people who enjoys listening to me babble on about history and then has something to add that I missed or did not know (and that is probably where I got my history lovin’ roots from). When he isn’t gabbing with me about history he is the strong, silent type. He quietly takes things in and makes observations, which he mostly keeps to himself. Because he is so reserved I feel like I am still learning new things about him all of the time. He seems to know a little bit about everything and often gets phone calls from my sisters and I asking for advice.
From the day I was born my dad has been teaching me things. He taught me how to fish and shoot a free throw (reach into the cookie jar!) My dad coached my basketball teams up through my sophomore year in high school, when I stopped playing due to a knee injury. He coached me in high jump during track season and rooted me on in soccer. He taught my History and Personal Finance classes in high school. In fact, my very first class in high school was with him. I was in his class 3/4 years and my senior year I was a TA for one of his classes. He has been there for me and taught me so much. But the things I am most thankful he has taught me are the unspoken things. The things I learned by watching him. He has taught me the value of patience, goodness and faithfulness. These virtues are demonstrated most often through his work as a teacher.
My dad has been working for the school district I grew up in for about 25 years. He has dedicated his life to serving the youth in a small coastal community. You better believe this took patience. He needed patience to endure the trials that come with educating hormonal teenagers, many who didn’t care about history or math (the subjects he taught). He needed patience to work with other teachers and administrators who didn’t share his vision for the school. He needed patience to raise and teach his 3 daughters. When he was asked to stop teaching math and start teaching history he gladly took the classes needed to make the switch. When he was asked to work part time at the alternative school in the district and switch back to teaching math he did it. When they finally asked him to move down to the middle school and teach 6th grade after teaching high school for 23+ years, he did it.
Not only did this take patience it took faithfulness. He was faithful to the school district through all the changes they were making. He accepted the changes because he was faithful to the students who he wanted to teach and inspire. He was faithful to my sisters and I, coaching us with a smile and encouragement, even when his life was changing all around him. He was faithful to our family and supported us through good times and bad.
My dad is faithful and patient, but mostly he is good. He puts others ahead of himself. He is smart and interesting. He is kind. He tells “make your eyes roll dad” jokes. He is a good teacher. He draws in students who need a little extra encouragement or just need a stable role model. He does this without trying. People know they can trust him and that he will help them. I cannot count how many times people have told me my dad is a “cool teacher,” that he was one of their favorites. He wasn’t their favorite because his personality is boisterous and loud. Students don’t love him because he is constantly trying out new “fun” assignments. They love him because he is calm, sometimes funny, encouraging, understanding; good.
I am so proud of my dad and I am proud to be his daughter. He has had a bumpy ride over the last few years and I pray that these bumps only reinforce the characteristics I admire. I pray that he knows how glad I am he is my dad and that he has helped guide me my whole life. This Father’s Day I pray he knows I love him. Happy Father’s Day to the best dad a girl could ask for!
Until next time,
I love you more than cookie jars and high jump bars,