There's been some confusion this year over when Teachers' Week is but since many sources are calling today "Teacher Appreciation Day," I'm going to express some gratitude to the teachers who have guided me along the way.  My hope is that you might think about the educators who have helped shape your life as well.

To Miss D. in First Grade, who held up a photo of a koala and said one day she hoped to hold one in Australia.  Somehow her dream became my dream and I've loved koalas ever since.

To Miss B. who used her humor and artistic skills to make learning fun in Fourth Grade.  She also challenged me with extra tasks and assignments which built my confidence.

To Miss P. who complimented my speaking voice after I gave a Sixth Grade speech.  She suggested I consider using my voice professionally.

To Miss R. who made me the emcee of the school talent show in Eighth Grade.  That was the first of dozens of events I would wind up hosting.

To Sr. Mary H. who taught all us High Schoolers how to think for ourselves.  And that it's rude to look at a clock when someone is speaking.

To Mrs. S. who pointed out that diplomacy is one of my best assets.

To Mr. and Mrs. M. who coached and mentored me in 4 years in my four years on the college speech team.

And even Mr. A. who, as I was nearing college graduation day, suggested I lose my baggy clothes and funky new wave hairdo if I wanted to succeed professionally.  It bothered me at the time but I soon realized he cared enough about me and my future to give me that constructive criticism.

I'm 51 years old, happy and successful in a career that I love.  I remember those teachers fondly and thank them for influencing me on my journey.

Do you want to acknowledge a special teacher who made a lasting impression on you? Feel free to do so in the Comments section.