Quite possibly, the most influential teacher I've ever had.
Obituaries don't do much justice to people.
You've got to understand something about my teaching career. It was hard. Sometimes prejudice would come from your own people. I remember my advisor, a latina, telling me I couldn't survive my first year of college. It was shocking. Not because she doubted me, but because I thought, "What if she's right?"
Well, God will send you exactly what you need and who you need. Dr. McDonald and his wife are such a gift! He believed in us. I don't think there was a teacher who believed in us like he did. He made us believe we could not only teach, but be the BEST and encouraged us every step of the way. I remember starting his class, and feeling so incredibly dumb. It was science. I HATED science! I sucked in science all my high school years. (I took Pre-AP chemistry, so I was usually with the geniuses anyway) I remember he dropped off boxes at each group. I started going through the WHOLE box in anticipation, showing my sister, "Hey, what's this for? Hey! Look at this!!!" and the whole class stating, "You aren't supposed to touch anything!" Dr. McDonald had walked out and when he walked in, everyone ratted me out. It was embarrassing! LOL And you know what he said? He told the class, "As teachers, you will say things, like "Don't touch". But actually, you will have someone like Christina, who will touch, get EXCITED, and there's your HOOK! Let them touch! Don't get mad at your kids! Let them explore!" And with that, was my first lesson in loving science and realizing that the smallest acts of love will have the BIGGEST impact on your students. That lesson impacted my whole teaching. I felt so small and then he made me feel like I was SUPPOSED to do it wrong! I made a choice that day. I wanted my students to feel how Dr. McDonald made me feel. And then he introduced us to his wife and I couldn't believe there was another person like him!!!!! So loving and so knowledgeable and so incredibly humble. They were SUPER RICH in knowledge and they gave it away freely. I'm pretty sure if they were billionaires, they'd be giving out $100 bills everywhere, because their generosity with their time and knowledge knew no bounds. I mean, I LOVE science and sharing it with my students! I started Family Science Night because he showed us and taught us and took us to people who put on AMAZING Family Science nights.
you know that saying, "They won't remember what you taught, only how you made them feel." It's actually true for normal people. But for extraordinary people, the greats of the world, you'll remember what they taught AND you'll remember how they made you feel. The only reason I know, is because I was taught by on of the greatest people God put on this earth. I remember what he taught and how he made me feel. I only hope to be as amazing as he was.
God Bless you Dr. McDonald. Thank you.