By Suzanne Rent
My favourite teacher ever was Mr. Parker who taught social studies when I was in junior high. Mr. Parker was what you’d call “old school.”
He was serious and walked around the classroom with one of those long rulers in hand, pointing to maps or notes on the blackboard. He wasn’t like my friends’ favourite teachers.
They were often younger and my peers liked their youthful style and exuberance. But I preferred Mr. Parker’s style. In Mr. Parker’s class I felt smart and wanted to learn, which is a bit of a liability in junior high. But Mr. Parker encouraged and expected students to be smart and get the job done. I excelled in his class.
I went on to study history before studying journalism. I can credit Mr. Parker for my early love of research, history, and geography. And Mr. Parker probably doesn’t know this.
That’s the thing about teachers: every day they fill young minds with knowledge not knowing how that knowledge will shape that child’s future. Beyond what he taught, Mr. Parker’s style is one I still embrace: always be smart and get the job done. A teacher’s influence leaves a lasting legacy.
In this issue, we have our annual We Love Our Teachers contest. This is a chance for kids to share stories about their favourite teachers. It’s also a chance for us to celebrate all teachers who are making a difference in our children’s lives.
Each year when we offer this contest, I love the letters we receive from children talking about their favourite teacher. It’s always tough to pick a winner. I want to dedicate this issue to all the great teachers out there, including Mr. Parker. Your students will remember you for years to come.
In our cover story, we learn about gender diversity, what it means, how it’s being taught in schools, and what parents need to know and what local resources they can access.
And finally, thanks to everyone who took part in our Creative Kids event on November 7. This was the first time for the event (and we hope not the last).