Sometimes, we get it right. . . not always, but every once in a while, the good guy wins. Well, this time it's right. . . Bob Becker was selected as Kirkwood High School's Teacher of the Year, and then selected as the representative for the State of Missouri as it's Teacher of the Year. 'Couldn't happen to a better teacher or a better person. I've been lucky enough to teach at the same school as Bob, but his influence on me started long before I ever became a teacher. I remember my 8th grade Principal pulling me aside at recess one day and telling me, "Randy, you're going to be a teacher one day." I cried for the next week! I couldn't think of anything I would like to do LESS than be a teacher. Fast forward 8 years or so. . . My Mom decided to go back to school to become a chemistry teacher. She worked tirelessly to earn her degree, and then I saw her work even HARDER and more hours once she got her teaching job. (That just confirmed my earlier fear of becoming a teacher.) She got Cancer, but didn't miss a day of work, even when she was going through chemo. She cared deeply for her students and wanted to make a difference. I think my Mom was a great teacher, but she would come home from some conference and talk about this teacher she saw presenting named Bob Becker, "Now he's a teacher!" she'd say. I started thinking, "Maybe that teaching thing ain't so bad. . . " When I got hired at Kirkwood, and my Mom found out I was actually working with Mr. Becker, she would ask me to say "hi" to him. This was after she had already retired. I know, if she see's this blog, she'll be excited to learn that he's being recognized for all his work.
Bob does more than just teach. He's always organizing something. . . a canned food drive, a blood drive, groups to go work for Habitat for Humanity. . . anything to make the world a little better. He inspires kids with his teaching and colleagues with his example.
It's funny how things work out. I'm in my 19th year of teaching now, and absolutely love it. I think my Mom would be proud of the work I've done. So I just want to say, "Thanks, Bob."