Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Women who inspire me - part one

Recently, I was listing my blog on a 'mom' site and I had to fill out a little bio. One of the questions was, "What inspires you?" My first answer was, "Moms who do it all and do it well, whether they are SAHM, WM, or WAHM." This answer is not accurate. I am inspired by women who do it all and do it well. It does not matter to me if they are moms. I decided that I will occasionally (maybe weekly?) post on a women who inspires me. There are many unsung heroes in my life and I want to sing about them!

Today I am featuring my 3rd and 4th grade (small school, combined classrooms) teacher, Laura Lemke. Miss Lemke was passionate about books, art, music, and learning and showed children how to love these things, too. I can remember days that story hour lasted twice as long as the scheduled time because we were at a good part in the book and she didn't want to stop. She was a gifted teacher and created a learning atmosphere that made it possible for children to learn on many different levels. As far as I could tell, she received no great rewards for her work. She was paid a meager salary because she taught at a small, parochial school. She lived in a little, brown, wood house that was in someone's back yard and she drove a car that looked like it only had a few more miles left in it. None of these things appeared to dissuade or embitter her. She was always enthusiastic and motivated in the classroom. I don't think Miss Lemke teaches anymore because she returned to school to obtain a graduate degree. I consider myself fortunate to have had to opportunity to be one of her students.

A few weeks ago, I believe I saw Miss Lemke as I was dragging Manther out of the car at my niece's Christmas pagent. I was caught off guard and I didn't call out to her and thank her for being my teacher. I regret that I didn't seize the opportunity and, if the situation arises again, I will make it a point to express my gratitude.

1 comment:

Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) said...

Your teacher sounds wonderful... isn't it amazing how powerful teachers from our childhood can be.

Yes, I agree women certainly do NOT have to be 'moms' to be inspiring!!!

In fact, on our 'mom' site we have a page letting women know that our site is not just for 'moms'. http://www.5minutesformom.com/not-just-moms/

"We use the term “Mom” to include everyone who loves children and is interested in the types of things that generally interest moms."

I personally struggled with infertility for years and felt very hurt by the 'mom' club feeling in life that I was excluded from. We do not in any way want to make anyone feel that way... it's just that 'mom sites' are a way to help bring together women who are interested in similar things and going through similar life experiences.

Women inspire me too... moms or not!!!