I wanted to devote my blog post today to a very special group of people in our country – Teachers. Whether you are a CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a Marketing Consulting start-up, in our educational careers, we all have encountered one or two teachers who made a difference in our lives. Someone who inspired us to want to learn and expand our minds, so we could follow our dreams to fruition.
May 8th is National Teacher Appreciation Day and I wanted to share a few educators who helped me get to where I am now – starting Bedford Street Marketing, LLC. My future success is due to their role in my life.
Let’s start by taking a trip in our DeLorean all the way back to Ancient Greece. A teacher imparts knowledge onto their students. Aristotle divides knowledge into two parts: “Techne” (proficiency, skill) and “Phronesis” (practical wisdom). When a teacher teaches a lesson in mathematics, the purpose is not the process of instruction, but that the particular students acquire certain knowledge. Learning is not just about mastering a particular proficiency or skill, but also how to apply that skill practically.
With that being said, there are two teachers that really inspired me to want to learn and to think critically and analytically. The first is my seventh grade History teacher. As with any middle school history/social studies, it was general history. But, the way the subject was presented was fair. There wasn’t a bias in the presentation of history and he incorporated practical wisdom in applying it to the current events of the time. It was this course, in particular, that made me want to major in History. It was this course that showed me how history allows us to critically analyze events of the past and apply the lessons from them to make sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes (usually).
The second is a Jesuit who was a history professor at Holy Cross. I took three classes with him and each one was better than the next. I learned how to properly write a research paper and really delve into source material to back up an opinion. Unlike the common criticism I hear about college professors, there was no agenda behind the teaching of the subject matter. The positive and negative connotations of historical events were presented and your own opinion was allowed and encouraged to be voiced.
These two teachers helped shape my intellect and allowed me to be successful in the marketing industry. The ability to apply the lessons from prior marketing efforts and their results to future campaigns can be clearly traced back to that 7th grade history class. The ability to research list properties or media channels and present them in a concise Media plan – can be tied back to what I learned at Holy Cross when I was writing research papers. The skills that make me successful today are tied very closely to the these two teachers.
Take some time today to thank a teacher for what they do!!! And remember those teachers who helped you become the successful professional you are today.