If You Can Read This, Thank a Teacher…

Where would you be today without the encouragement of your teachers? That question prompted this blog post. In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, I’m remembering two teachers who changed my path…

“Kimberly Blackadar,” my eight grade English teacher announced during roll call on the first day of school. Blackadar, Blackadar, Blackadar, he echoed until my last name slipped into silence. “That,” he emphasized, “is the name of a writer!” At thirteen, my most prolific writings were often folded and passed across the room, but my teacher definitely planted a seed. That seed took 25 years to produce fruit, but in 2009, I published my first novel.

Another teacher planted a different seed, with a shorter, four-year germination period. My senior year English teacher presented literature from its historical and cultural perspective. She taught us how to analyze language and look for hidden meanings. I spotted Biblical allusions in the pages of my textbook and began to view literature as a response to faith. For my high school term paper, I wrote on Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus and whether his work promoted atheistic ideology. I developed an appreciation for literary analysis and the research process. Before graduation, my teacher pulled me aside: “You should consider becoming an English teacher.”

Two teachers.

Two seeds.

One life transformed.


When I became a teacher, I realized the importance of my words and have witnessed the fruits of my labor. As an author, I have returned to the classroom, and sometimes the teacher is a former student. What greater blessing, as a teacher, than to be in the classroom of a former student?

Teachers provide encouragement daily.

How can we return the favor?

Thank a teacher today.