Until I took Dr. Offutt’s class, I was an underachieving student, but I left that class determined never to underachieve again. He not only taught me to think, he convinced me, as much by example as words, that it was my moral obligation to do so and to serve others.
Neither of us could know how our relationship would evolve over the years. When I first came back to DeMatha to teach English, I worked for Dr. Offutt, the department chair. My discussions with him as he mentored me were like graduate seminars in adolescent development, classroom management and school leadership.
After several years, I was named department chair, and our relationship shifted again. I thought that it might be awkward chairing the department, since all of my former English teachers were still there, but Dr. Offutt supported me throughout. He knew when to give me advice about curriculum, texts and personnel, and when to let me chart my own course.
In 1997, I needed his advice(好象原文是OPINION) about leaving DeMatha to become principal at another school. If he had asked me to stay at DeMatha, I might have. Instead, he encouraged me to seize the new opportunity.
Five years ago, I became the principal of DeMatha. Once again, Dr. Offutt was there for me, letting me know that I could count on him as I tried to fill such big shoes. I’ve learned from him that great teachers have an inexhaustible wealth of lessons to teach. Even if his students don’t know it yet, I know how fortunate they are; I’m still one of them.
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