Like Adele, Give Thanks to Your Favorite Teacher
On Sunday, “An Audience with Adele” (the singer) was broadcast on ITV in England. At the event, Adele took a question from British actor Emma Thompson, who asked if there was someone who supported, inspired or protected her "from all the trials and tribulations of life" when she was a child.
In response, Adele said: “Yeah, I had a teacher at Chestnut Grove, who taught me English. That was Miss McDonald… She was so bloody cool, so engaging. She really made us care and we knew that she cared about us."
When Thompson asked if they still kept in contact, the 33-year-old singer said she hadn’t seen the teacher since she was 12. At that point, Thompson went on to reveal that Miss McDonald herself was in the audience, and much to Adele’s shock and delight, her former English teacher emerged from the crowd, walked up the stage and embraced the English singer.
“Oh my god, I’m so proud of you,” McDonald said as Adele broke down in tears.
Adele, in turn, told her former mentor: "You really did change my life."
In our family, it’s a tradition on Thanksgiving to proclaim what s/he was thankful for before we began the meal. And we’ve kept this tradition because, well, you can’t ever count your blessings enough (especially after the past year and a half!)
This year, all of our schools are finding it difficult to recruit and retain teachers. And yet we know how incredibly powerful a teacher can be in our lives and in our advancement as an educated person.
Like Adele, wouldn’t it be amazing to pause for a moment at our Thanksgiving table or soon after, at our lighting of one of the candles in our Hanukkiah (Hanukkah menorah) and share the name of one teacher who changed your life for the better and tell everyone why.
Because until we all vividly recall the power of teaching in our own lives, we will never be able to fully appreciate the teachers we have and honor the profession of teaching as we should.
In Tractate Hagigah of the Jerusalem Talmud, a story is told that Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi (the leader of the Jewish community in Israel) sent two rabbis on an educational inspection tour. In one town, they asked to see the "guardians of the city" and the city guard was paraded before them. The rabbis objected, saying that these were not the guardians of the city but its destroyers, which prompted the citizens to ask who, then, could be considered the guardians.
“The guardians of a city are the teachers of the young and the instructors of the old” (as it is written in Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.)
This year, let’s dedicate candle #4 to recalling and thanking our teachers.
Because to raise a child, we ideally have 2 parents, the influence of the Holy One, and at least 1 special teacher who made a profound and positive impact.