Get Inspired: Our Favorite Teacher Story of the Week
Inspired by our documentary TEACH, we got talking about how we all have a favorite teacher we often think of, but that we rarely share these important stories out loud. So we’ve kicked off a contest asking readers to send us stories about the teacher who’s had the biggest, most positive influence in their lives. We’re donating upwards of $10,000 to the schools of those teachers with the most and best entries.
Below, Brigette Robinson shares the story of her favorite teacher, Ronald Rudland, who happens to be her dad, of Western High School in Parma, Mich.
A teacher is someone who plays a unique role in raising children to become their greatest self. What they do in the lives of our youth is not only important but also wonderful.
My dad: not a man who talks to hear himself speak, but reserves his wisdom for those who can benefit from his words and always carries himself with the utmost integrity. In 35 years of choral teaching, he has performed with his choir from places like the White House to St. John Cathedral, but if you were to ask him what he is most proud of in all his years of experience, he would mention the mentoring role he has played in the lives of the young men and women in his choirs. Taking his students to team-building camps and providing leadership opportunities for personal growth and development are normal parts of his curriculum.
Because of the integral role he plays, each year students return at Christmastime to sing in the annual alumni concert to pay tribute to a man who's left a mark on their lives. Each year, I have the privilege of standing onstage as we sing "Thanks Be to Thee" and watch my dad with tears in his eyes because he is truly thankful for his students.
How do we thank a man who's given his whole life to others through his teaching? With these simple words: Thanks be to thee, Mr. Rudland.
Send us your story to help us grow the donation pile ($2 added for every story up to $50,000), honor your teacher, and possibly win money for your school. So tell us, who’s your teacher hero?
This article was created as part of the social action campaign for the documentary TEACH, produced by TakePart’s parent company, Participant Media, in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates.