Regarding Josh Shaffer’s Sept. 8 column “ School pets’ teacher-pal to retire”: For 15 years as a middle school band director, I was a colleague of Dan Lockwood’s. When I started in 1994, I asked the retiring band director – Cary High School marching band legend Jimmy Burns – about the task of recruiting and keeping band students. Students were allowed only one elective per semester. “Look out for animal science!” was Jimmy’s warning. What higher praise? Fortunately, Dan allowed me to have a band by having an animal science club open to students unable to take his course.
Dan Lockwood is a fine example of an inspired teacher inspiring students to learn. He does not teach a core curriculum class that would have resulted in a mandated course of study, a dictated method of teaching and a finely scrutinized result of student testing. He was allowed the freedom of teaching a personal passion as he saw fit. And he has sustained his passion for 40 years, propelling his students’ imaginations and natural thirst for knowledge.
A teacher’s passion is the most effective route to student learning, but such passion isn’t even a part of the current discussion. Look to Lockwood’s career for an insight into higher student achievement.
Ned Gardner, Apex