|The Spider and the Fly|
Today I celebrated the life of Mr. Nuthall, my high school English teacher, who passed away a year ago. He left behind an amazing wife, who also happens to be my high school Spanish teacher, and three spectacular children. He also left a legacy. When he passed away a year ago, his Facebook page erupted in memories, good byes, quotes, pictures, and videos. Even now, a full year later, his page is continuously updated by students who remember what he taught them. So today, I celebrated Mr. Nuthall Day. I wore my Hawaiian shirt, played Jimmy Buffett for 4th graders, and we read his two favorite children's books.
|Letting the kids take over...Owl Moon|
One of the things Mr. Nuthall taught me was just what an educator should be. He didn't just teach us what was mandated. He taught us how to be people and care for each other. He showed us how to advocate for what we believed in. I remember when he explained to me how he had gone for years teaching the same thing to every class when it dawned on him that he needed to make a change. So he gave more power to the kids, he let us take over and perform and have input into what we learned. And guess what, I don't think he left a single child behind. About 5 years ago, 4 years short of his retirement, he was still working on his craft. He sent me an email about a new program he was thinking of trying called Capturing Kids Hearts. "I went through the training of a program called Capturing Kids Hearts. It is very kid centered, very empowering, and just generally wonderful (I hope)...I thought of you immediately and wanted to let you know...I can't wait to try it in September," he wrote me. Extraordinary for most people...ordinary for Mr. Nuthall. I know for a fact that he kept in touch with most of his former students, always offering suggestions, new ideas, and remembering just what they would be interested in.
Mr. Nuthall was a person of great conviction. I hope to be someone who can be so passionate about what I do...even after 30+ years. One of Mr. Nuthall's favorite movies, and a play he landed the lead role in, was Harvey.
In the movie Harvey
, there is a line in which the main character Elwood explains advice his mother once gave him. " 'In
this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.' Well,
for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me."
Mr. Nuthall was both. I am sorry you all don't get to know him. Here is his speech at my graduation from high school, just a small glimpse at a wonderful person. Cheers, Mr. Nuthall!
A beautiful tribute to Jack! He certainly made an effort to "walk the walk" after this speech. He lived the Capturing Kids Hearts motto: When you reach a child's heart you capture their mind forever. He did that not only with students, but with co-workers and friends too. I will never forget the many years he purchased carnations for all of the girls so that every one of them would get one. He also purchased many for staff members too. He was a man that had such compassion, love and caring inside. I miss him very much. Thank you, Megan, for sharing your memories and for honoring him as you did today.ReplyDelete
This is awesome. It is so wonderful to see the things Jack taught us shine in our souls. You've written a wonderful tribute Meg. Well Done!ReplyDelete