Once in a Lifetime | Teen Ink

Once in a Lifetime

January 13, 2008
By Anonymous

“Treat everyone like you want to be treated. There is too much anger in the world; [you] don’t need it. If you are nice to someone, they will show it back,” this is one of the many pieces of advice said by Mr. Parker. Mr. Parker is my hero because of his dedication to his students, his kindness, and his outlook on life.

Every morning last year I started out my day seeing a warm, friendly Mr. Parker’s in Rock Formation class. Rock Formation is a homeroom class where your teacher is always there to help you. The class is very small, so the teacher can focus on the individual students. During this class, he would share something inspirational with his small group of students. It would start their day in a positive, uplifting manner. Sometimes it would be a simple sentence saying you could make it through the day. Other times it may be something to the sense of I am here for you if you need anything. Whichever message we heard for the day, we could always come to Mr. Parker with any problem we had. He is always there for us.

One day last year, we had this substitute that did not do her job very well. She gave us a study guide at the last minute on a test we were suppose to have the next day. This caused a huge uproar. I walked out of the classroom very angry. Mr. Parker saw this and immediately called for me to come over to him. I went over very upset and explained what happened. He told me not to worry he would talk to the teacher when she came back. The next day Mr. Parker talked to the teacher and got everything solved so not one student had to worry.

Mr. Parker has been teaching for thirty-eight years including this year. Loving his job, he rarely misses a day of school. He loves seeing his students succeed in life. He dedicates a full wall to posting pictures of former students outside his classroom. These pictures show their accomplishments. He says when he sees a former student succeed in their life; he could not be a happier man. He loves his students “actually showing they have learned something” by putting what they have learned into real life situations.

Mr. Parker is a history teacher and does everything in his power to help his students appreciate history in his classroom. From showing movies to taking field trips, you never know what to expect for the day’s lesson. He tries to make sure every student fully understands everything he is teaching; he wants them to succeed. He shows very realistic movies for students who learn better by seeing things. The movies fully explain the battle or main point of what we are suppose to be learning for the day. One thing about Mr. Parker is that you can count on him to do everything in his power to help. Students often came in during Rock Formation to ask a question about homework or a quiz. He immediately stops everything he is doing and focuses all of his attention on that student and helping them to understand.
Last year Mr. Parker asked me if I wanted to help him referee a dodge ball tournament with him. I immediately responded with an excited yes. During the tournament a kid playing in the tournament way giving me a hard time for a call I made. Mr. Parker saw this and immediately ran over to him. He stopped the kid and made sure he came over and apologized to me. This shows how much he truly cares about his students.
Mr. Parker’s kindness shows in every aspect of his life. He loves his wife, kids, and grandchildren. His family is most important part of his life. He looks up to his wife who has shown him how to handle situations in a positive manner and to persevere through the rough times. Mr. Parker also understands teenagers. He realizes teenagers are not perfect, and he understands when we make mistakes. His students, who feel his compassion, can always come to him with problems. “Last year Mr. Parker was always there to help,” stated Adam Fernung, one of his former students Everyone knows he will not get mad, but do everything in his power to help.
“You know you just got to realize what is important in life. It’s not worth getting mad over something small. Life is too short to be mad because if you are mad at somebody, you never know if that will be the last time you see them. And you don’t want the last contact to be bad.” This is Mr. Parker’s outlook on life. His words and advice have helped me stay positive through everything. Mr. Parker realizes what it is important in life. You never see him angry because Mr. Parker lives everyday like it is his last day.
Mr. Parker has changed my life in so many ways. There was never a day last year that I did not look forward to coming to school and seeing him. He taught me not to worry over the small things, but to fully live the life that you have. I could come to him for anything, knowing he would be there are fully support me in the decision I made.
Mr. Parker is more than just an eighth grade Social Studies teacher. He is a man that you can always count on. Mr. Parker loves his job because re realizes that, “The worst day with kids is better than the best day with adults.” Only once in your lifetime will you come across a teacher like this. I am so fortunate that I have been able to experience a wonderful teacher like him.

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