The following is an actual posting on the Teachers Inspirations Chatboard, found at

I am a graduate student planning to be a high school social studies teacher. I just need a little inspiration to counteract all the negatives that I receive when I tell people that I'm studying to become a teacher. I know in my heart that teaching is the path that I have always wanted to take, but I am just more than a little tired of all the discouraging words that I've received. I would love some positive feedback from teachers who are presently teaching.

- Almond T.

Thank goodness, this person received many replies, including the following from Debbie:

"We've all been in school, and we've all had teachers. Do you remember an especially favorite one or one who made an impression on you that made a difference or even one that just took the time to listen to you and cared about you as a real person, even if you were just a kid? Not every child has a person of good moral character to set an example in their lives. Every profession has its pros and cons, good days and bad, but investing in others will always have its rewards, whether we see them or not. Good luck and God bless."

Here is another encouraging answer, provided by an anonymous responder:

"And I am also a graduate student in a career-change program to receive a Masters in Elementary Ed. I have also experienced negative reactions when I tell people that I went back to school for education. The reactions range from it is so hard to get a job to you can make more money in accounting (that is what I have my BS in). Deep down, teaching is something I always wanted to do. When I received a letter last April from my alma mater about the career-change teaching program, it was meant to be. Someone told me if you listen to the negatives that people say that you will never get anywhere. Do not let anyone discourage you. Follow your heart and your intuition."


I am not aware of an inspirational chatboard for HVACR instructors. I realize it has to be tough, at times, teaching this trade to people of all ages. It takes dedication to work under, for some, not the best conditions, as some schools lack equipment or funding or support or (gulp!) students. It's why I admire these instructors, as many (most?) teach because they either love doing it or want to give something back to the industry.

After all, being a quality HVAC instructor is much more than textbooks and labs. Teachers can do more than simply convey what they know; they can impart enthusiasm for the subject, which makes the learning experience more interesting and, some say, more effective.

Certainly each one of you had an instructor who helped you tremendously in your HVACR career path. This teacher possibly took you aside and helped you with all of your problems, in the classroom and maybe even outside, too. Now it's time to thank that certain instructor by submitting his or her name into The NEWS' "Best Instructor of the Year" contest. They inspired you. Now return the favor.

It's the least you can do for the person who took the time to have an interest in you, for the person who pushed you to become the successful contractor, technician, or installer that you are today. To give you the fine print up front, nominees should be from a vocational school, community college, apprenticeship, or adult education program. The list excludes manufacturer-distributor trainers and seminar speakers.

If you have not entered an instructor during the previous six years of our contest, or even if you have, please do so this year. The NEWS and the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), co-sponsors of the contest, have been honoring the best instructors since 1998, as we believe they deserve a firm pat on the back for a job well done.

To participate, please go to The NEWS' Web site at and submit a nomination electronically. The deadline for entries is June 9. Supply the inspiration that a certain instructor supplied you.

Mark Skaer, Senior Editor, 618-239-0288,

Publication date: 04/03/2006