It’s Mother’s Day – and the end of Teacher Appreciation Week. This seems appropriate since most teachers play the role of surrogate mom about 180 days per year. Teachers nurture, support, encourage, provide boundaries, model, listen, and teach. These aren’t their only jobs, but if you just look at the traits, it is hard to distinguish whether you are describing teachers or mothers.
When I think about some of the most important “moms” in my life, it is no surprise to me that past teachers pop up. Of course to some degree, they are all teachers in the sense they’ve all taught me different lessons I’ve needed throughout my life.
My mom gave me continual security, assuring me even in times of my own internal chaos, all would be well. My four older sisters taught me resilience. Three of my teachers, Pam Gabriel, BJ Zamora and Dorothy Bird Gwin helped me feel gifted – even when I felt disabled. My mother-in-law, Janet Scales, gives me unquestioning faith and acceptance. And of course, Prissy St. Romain, the mother of my four boys helps me understand truly unconditional love, which I have never doubted in 28 years of marriage.
Thank your teachers. Thank your moms. You wouldn’t be the person you are today without them all.