Teacher’s Pet

In response to The Daily Prompt: “Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?”

Although I had several teachers that had a negative impact on my life by ignoring the teasing I endured in my younger years, I had several wonderful high school teachers. Mr. Nunn was my favorite.

Mr. Nunn was the Psychology/Sociology teacher, Girl’s Basketball Coach, and teacher representative for the Local School Council at my high school. He had a colorful, outgoing personality, spoke with a southern drawl, and was often well-dressed in a suit with a complimentary tie.  Purple was one of his favorite colors. Everyone knew and liked Mr. Nunn, and his students recommended his class year after. When it came time for me to register for senior year classes, it was a no-brainer to sign up for Mr. Nunn’s Intro to Psychology and Sociology.

Not only was Mr. Nunn a dynamic instructor, he was great role model to me and the other students. He was on time, always prepared, involved in the community and a compassionate person. I would often see Mr. Nunn talking to students in need of advice, tutoring or asking him to sponsor a school activity. I learned a lot in that class and I enjoyed it. I was nice to have teacher that really wanted to be there and seemed to look forward to sharing his knowledge with his students.

When I returned home from college the summer after my sophomore year, I returned to my high during their last 4 weeks of class to complete some observation hours. I was thrilled when I was given permission to observe Mr. Nunn’s two psychology/sociology classes as part of my observation schedule. It was then that I realized just how hard Mr. Nunn worked and how much of his life was devoted to my high school. I spent extra hours helping record grades, score IQ tests, and edit and grade the final exam. He was such a dependable person that he was often the go-to person for a committee or student sponsored group or other duties, and he became overwhelmed with many tasks and limited time. It appeared that as Mr. Nunn got older, his hard work caught up to him and took a toll on his health, but he still kept a smile on his face and was kind to students and teachers alike.  

When it came time to choose a major, I chose psychology because Mr. Nunn had so peaked my interest that I was already halfway to a psychology degree.  There were times in those classes that I wished my instructors offered a sliver of Mr. Nunn’s exuberance and that they had a fraction of his commitment to helping students grasp the subject matter.

I was very sad a few years later to hear that Mr. Nunn died from cancer, I felt fortunate to have given back to someone who had given so much to others. I later met two people just as committed to teaching and mentoring youth that reminded me of Mr. Nunn, the Assistant Deputy Commission of Family and Supportive Services who was instrumental in the youth program my previous employer was partnered with and my program manager of seven years. I tried to keep in mind their mindset of “do no harm”, as I was sometimes the only positive adult that a youth had listening to them and trying to guide them in the right direction.

Thank you, Mr. Nunn for making a lasting, positive impact on me and many others!

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

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