Her name was Sharon – Day 4 Thankful Diary November 2020

Math is the language of life.

There. I said it.

My 8th grade Algebra teacher was phenomenal. Sharon made sure we squirrely advanced-math 8th graders KNEW she would not put up with any shenanigans and that she expected nothing but the best from us.

What I didn’t realize til I was in alternative certification work myself (moving from my engineering career to teaching high school math) was just how much Sharon conveyed to me as a person, not just a teacher.

Her self-confidence in 1980 shone through her choices of hairstyle and dress, as well as how she carried herself. She was straight forward, no nonsense, and thorough. How she wrote out math problems was almost an art form – so simplistic and easy to decipher, yet at a high level as well. I doubt she would remember me if I saw her even a year later (there were 35 kids in my class) but her attention to grading my papers to the nth detail meant she watched my growth like a hawk.

It’s weird – my self-confidence was always sky high when performing, but at its lowest in friendships and just being myself. And finding a balance between precision and attentiveness and perfectionism has never been easy. Sharon made these look like a cake walk – modeling for me many aspects of life I needed to see in a *woman*, excelling in her profession.

Today, I give thanks for Sharon as I strive to be half of the math teacher and professional woman she was.

Photo by Antoine Dautry on Unsplash