Mr. Range

It is a well known fact that teachers are underappreciated for the amount and high quality of work that they produce and engage in everyday. They are often not thanked for the lives that they impact; the kids whose broken perspectives they completely turn around, or the endless hours they spend after they return home from their work day grading papers, planning lessons, and preparing activities. They are rarely patted on the back for the extra money they chip in to make the classroom environment more intriguing; they rarely receive public recognition for helping raise student motivation, grades, or simply putting up with a room full of more or less easily distractible, lackluster kids who tend to focus more on what they will have to eat when they return home from school, than the information being presented before them.

Teachers are basically miracle workers. They somehow garner enough reason to grab 20 or so children’s attention for at least half of a class period, or in an elementary school setting, at least three quarters of the day. They take minds coming from all sorts of ranges of development — from exceptionally gifted to average to those who just struggle to maintain passing grades — and they transform them, feed them information, spark ambition, hope, and dreams, and then send them off to the next part of their adolescent and teen years. Teachers are admirable people, inspirational people, who are determined, hard-working, patient, and compassionate adults that serve as respected role models to an infinite amount of children, and even to many adults as well, if they do their job right. It is with my pleasure that I take this time to honor such an exceptional man who fits these descriptions, Mr. David Range.

Mr. Range has been no ordinary teacher to me. While many of my peers are used to seeing their teachers only in a school related environment, I have gotten to know Mr. Range in the home environment as well. Because of some medical issues, I was placed on partial homebound for the entirety of my senior year, and full homebound during a portion of it. For those of you who are not aware, homebound is when the teachers come to you, which in this case required Mr. Range to come over to my own home about twice a week, and give me my work from the classes I missed at school as well as aid me with any questions that arose. This of course, is after school, often once during the week and once on the weekend, taking away from precious family and relaxation time, two things that many people outrightly refuse to do. It is a tedious job, one that does not offer much excitement and in my case, put Mr. Range in a more difficult situation to get his job done.

Faced with progressively deteriorating eyesight, school work had begun to become a bit of a challenge for me. As my pace of completing my assignments started to become slower and slower, Mr. Range’s true character began to show itself. When my mother expressed her concern for myself and questioned how I would be able to maintain my grades and all of my classes, I will never forget the remarkable response Mr. Range gave her, declaring that he would sit in my living room and read each book word for word aloud to me if that is what it came to. Both my family and I were in awe of his compassion and his willingness to sacrifice his time just to help me not fall behind. It doesn’t end there though.

Proceeding brain surgery in late December, I had to remain in a hospital bed and at a forty-five degree angle for three weeks, but this did not hinder Mr. Range. I can recall him catching me up on class lectures whilst I scrolled through a powerpoint laying in an uncomfortable and awkwardly positioned hospital bed in the middle of my loft. Although I am sure I was quite a sight to see those first couple of weeks after surgery, he never let on how rather frightening I looked, and he never questioned the bucket laying beneath me in case the nausea got to me again. He simply treated me as if I was any other normal student and carried on with his ways.

To say Mr. Range is a compassionate man is an understatement. He helped me in countless ways in a period of my life when I desperately needed it. He made sure I received all my work, vouched for me when I had troubles getting it all done, and never once complained about the sometimes odd situations he was put in. All the while still maintaining a family and his job, which he unquestionably provides a stimulating classroom environment everyday. I mentioned earlier how teachers are underappreciated for the work that they do, but in Mr. Range’s case, I feel as if most people do not even realize just what he does for not only the people he sees in school everyday, but people outside of it as well.

They say the strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us, but those who win battles we know nothing about. Mr. Range is, undoubtedly, a resilient soldier and a man of impeccable strength, and it is with extreme gratitude and pleasure that I thank him for all that he has done for my family and I. We will never forget you.