I don’t know what it is about going back home for a football game, but it’s incredible how much they feel like home – even if I’m finally on the other side of the fence, or counter. I don’t know what it is, because lately I’ve found myself missing the self-induced stress of working concessions.
I miss the little moments when we hit a slow time and could spare a few minutes to laugh together. I miss being so tired after working a shift that I couldn’t see straight.
Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a game and a half – and it’s the best thing I’ve done since I became an alumni of the Newton High School Business Professionals of America (BPA) chapter.
The first time I went back, I only made it in for half of the game – but I had the opportunity to surprise my friends and my advisor. The reaction is one that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
I didn’t have the best experience at my alma mater, Goessel High School, but nothing that happened there seemed to matter when I was with BPA.
It didn’t matter how bad my day or week had been when I went to a BPA meeting or competition. I didn’t have to worry so much about making myself likable- because my fellow club members like, and still like me for who I am. I’m not perfect, but for them I don’t have to be.
I remember having a conversation with the teacher that I had for eighth-grade computer applications (he had taken a job at Newton High School starting my freshman year) before my first BPA regional competition. It means something to have teachers who are willing to maintain a relationship, even after they have you as a student.
I was given the opportunity to surprise my Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) teacher at the beginning of the school year with a t-shirt to commemorate our first trip to National Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Conference. It felt good to know that I made her cry happy tears when she figured out what was going.
I suppose that shows how invested these teachers are in their students. No matter how much ‘trouble’ we give them. These are the kind of teachers who want to hear from students after graduation. They are the teachers who aren’t afraid to tell you that you need to work harder or put more effort into something, whether that something is a class, an assignment, or any type of relationship. These are the teachers that you write, or wish you could write a letter so that they could know that they really did have an impact on you.
This article is coming out exactly two weeks after World Teacher’s Day. I encourage you to take a moment after you read this article to email, text, Facebook message, or otherwise reconnect with a teacher you haven’t spoken to since graduation. I can almost guarantee that doing so will make their day that much better.
I chose not to name teachers mentioned in this article because I don’t need to. I know who these teachers are, and they likely do too. I don’t need names to prove that we all have at least one high school teacher that has impacted us as an individual.
The ball’s in your court now. I dare you to reach out to at least one teacher and tell them how you are doing. Even if you think you don’t know what to say. Saying something is better than saying nothing.
Rachel Lyons is a Newton freshman studying business administration