My mother's passions

This May, Motherís Day will be especially memorable because my mom is retiring from her career in education. May is packed with celebrations for my mom; my parentsí wedding anniversary, a retirement celebration and Motherís Day.

She started her career by teaching second grade, then moved to fourth, then fifth and now is back to teaching fourth in the Parkland School District, her alma mater. My mom is a natural teacher, something that has been more than beneficial to me while growing up.

I was always pushed to succeed in school, be thorough in my research, study for tests and complete my homework, not to mention I had a great proof reader. But it was the education outside the classroom where my motherís teaching abilities enriched my life.

Both of my parents truly love the outdoors. They met in the Little Lehigh River, kayaking with the Lehigh Valley Kayak and Canoe Club. My childhood memories include visiting parks, lakes, trails, feeding the geese and exploring in nature. Many of my weekends growing up consisted of taking a road trip to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, where we hiked to the top of the North Lookout to observe the migrating birds. To this day, I can spot (and identify) a red-tailed hawk, Turkey Vulture, and heron flying in the sky.

It is my momís passion for the natural setting of the outdoors that has made a huge impact on my life. Because of my mom, I now love riding bike, walking local trails, exploring in the woods, and being in the sun. My mom has taught me to care for animals of all sizes. I remember her climbing up the tree in our front yard to one of our homemade bird houses to help a bird in need.

If a baby bird fell out of a tree, on the ground, she would place it back in the nest, being ever so careful not to touch its feathers. Her care of the birds in our backyard has shown me the importance of caring about the environment. I now do everything in my power to protect it.

I bike, when I can, instead of driving, and always pick up litter that people have so thoughtlessly discarded. As a teacher and a mother, my mom has used these skills to make me think, care for the animals, nature and Earth and be aware of my actions. Interacting with your environment is an essential way of learning. Iím glad that my mom was able to instill in me these loves and passions that I have today, but also that I was able to share her with a thousand students.

My mom inspires me to inspire others. Even after her retirement, I know my mom will continue teaching and continue learning.

Thanks, Mom, for passing on your passions and have a Happy Motherís Day!

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