To help celebrate Thanksgiving, the TVP Comms team is coming together on the blog for a Week of Gratitude. Stay tuned for our daily dose of reflection and thankfulness as we consider our education, our industry, our company, and our lives. Today we’re grateful for transformative teachers, professors, and educators who helped shape us into the people we are today.
I’ve been fortunate to have many great teachers throughout the years, starting from elementary school all throughout college. I will give special thanks to two, however—Ms. Mac, my high school journalism teacher, and Dr. Gower, who taught some of my favorite classes in college and who’s been a great resource ever since.
I’ve been lucky to have had a lot of truly remarkable teachers in my life, but the one that stands out above all is John Lanci, a religion professor at Stonehill College. I was fortunate enough to experience his greatness my very first semester as an undergrad in a required honors seminar. And quite frankly, he blew my mind. Within minutes of that first class, I was convinced that college was what had been missing from life. He made me think about (and seriously question) religion in new ways—but it was more than that. He truly made me think about life in new ways. Beyond being brilliant and hilariously funny, he could make even the most mundane topics seem awe-inspiring, and even more than many of the English professors in my major, he helped me become a more thoughtful reader and better writer. He was my advisor until I declared a major, but even after that he was a mentor for me. I took courses with Professor Lanci every chance and I had. In fact, I had so many classes with him, that my parents sat me down one day concerned I might become a religion major. I didn’t! But I do count my years at Stonehill among the most transformative of my life and I know Professor Lanci played a major role in that. I am so thankful to have met him and learned from him.
In high school, the two standouts were Mr. Kates, my Latin and English teacher, and Mr. Vitagliano, who oversaw the school newspaper. Both of them were excellent teachers and taught me a lot about writing, language and communication.
I have had some awesome educators in my life, in and out of the classroom, and I credit all of them for my love of learning. I’m so grateful for all my elementary and middle school math teachers, because they stuck with me during my struggles without a calculator and challenged me to be confident in my relationship with numbers. I’m grateful for all of my English teachers during my teenage years who not only read my angst-ridden poetry and assignment journals—in sixth grade I literally wrote and passed in an essay about how much I wanted my crush (now my husband) to like me…yikes—but who also challenged me to not settle for easy As and to work to my full potential. I’m grateful for my high school science teachers for opening my eyes to how the world works, literally. And while I could write an epic poem on my gratitude for my college professors, I’ll spare you for now and just thank Robert Cording at Holy Cross for helping me come into my own as a writer, a reader, and a thinker.
Teresa Valerio Parrot
I’m most thankful for Ms. Fite—my high school biology and earth sciences teacher. She had a magical way of making all of her students think science was cool and we all wanted to be a part of this magical world she shared with us. And I had a great professor, Dr. Harvey Nichols, who taught me to ask critical questions about the status quo. I was also lucky enough to hear Dr. Al Bartlett‘s talk about personal responsibility to preserve the Earth.
Do you have an educator who you’re thankful for? We’d love to know—please leave a comment below or tweet your gratitude to @TVPComms