My son is a bright, sweet, energetic 9-year-old, and though he absolutely loves learning, he hasn’t always loved school. He used to get in trouble for ignoring classroom rules, and his report cards always came home with notes about how he’s excelling academically but needs to “obey the teacher” and “work on not disrupting the class.” Two of his teachers suggested we take him to his pediatrician to “evaluate his attention issues.” (His pediatrician is a longtime family friend who assured us there was nothing wrong with him other than he was incredibly bored in school and, as a result, found other, less acceptable ways of entertaining himself.)

Last school year, however, something changed. He was suddenly excited to get on the bus in the mornings, and when he came home, he just couldn’t shut up about everything his amazing new teacher had him doing in class. By the time the first parent-teacher conference rolled around, his grades had jumped, and he was the happiest I’d seen him since preschool.

What made all that happen was his teacher. She was the first educator who actually took the time to get to know him. She found out he’s an advanced reader and a math whiz and started giving him more challenging work. She knew he had a hard time sitting still during group projects, but instead of yelling at him or disciplining him, she gave him extra tasks to occupy his hands. She made him feel special by giving him small jobs around the classroom. She inspired him.

And, the amazing thing is, she managed to give this individualized attention to every single child in her classroom. A teacher like that is a rare find; a teacher like that makes a difference.

Honoring the Best HVACR Educators

Here at The NEWS, we recognize the important role educators play in the industry, especially as the industry endures a significant technician shortage. That’s why we’re pleased to once again open up the Best Instructor and Best Trainer contests for nominations.

Do you know an HVACR instructor who is making a difference in his or her students’ lives? Or have you been inspired by an industry trainer? Take a moment to recognize those outstanding educators by nominating them for the 2015 Best Instructor and Best Trainer Awards.

The goal of the contest is to recognize and reward HVACR instructors and trainers who have dedicated their careers to enriching the lives of students. The nomination process is open to anyone who has seen firsthand the work an instructor or trainer has done to better the industry. Best Instructor nominees should be from a career/technical school, community college, apprenticeship, or adult education program. Best Trainer nominees should be employed by manufacturers or distributors (seminar speakers are not eligible).

If you know someone who should be considered for this honor, simply visit and follow the instructions. Nominations are due July 1. To read about last year’s winners and runners up, visit For questions or technical support, please email me at

Publication date: 4/27/2015 

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