For Teacher Appreciation Day, U.S. Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil shares the following story about Mrs. Minneti, his high school physics teacher — and his favorite teacher — and the lasting influence she’s had on his life.
Share your own story here, or online using the hashtag #ThankATeacher.
I wasn’t a very good student in high school. From being suspended to getting kicked out of my math class, it was a pretty rough ride. But clearly, I ended up doing something right somewhere along the line — and it was thanks to the amazing teachers who went the extra mile for me.
That’s why today — Teacher Appreciation Day — means so much to me.
Because we’ve all had one of those teachers: the ones that know how to look deep into our souls, see that spark of potential, and then nurture that flame.
I was fortunate enough to give a commencement address about one of those teachers who came to my aid — Mr. Knapp — but there are many more.
One of those was my high school physics teacher: Mrs. Minneti. I was an OK student in her class (which is to say that I wasn’t terrible). But she let me hang out in her classroom late in the school day, when I didn’t have much else to do. She was always ready with great insights on how to think about life and the extremely practical nature of what learning meant. You might say she taught me the lessons of science that weren’t in the book. She asked me questions to which I didn’t know the answers — helping me think at a deeper level.
She was my favorite teacher.