My two older kids were home from college for their Christmas break when we found ourselves back at their high school for a basketball game. Across the crowded gym, they both noticed a man walk in to sit on the other team's side. They immediately recognized him as the much-loved teacher they both had as seniors for Calculus. We had heard that this particular teacher had left the classroom the year before to pursue a promotion in administration, so we were curious as to why he was there rooting for the opposing team. When the game was over, my kids set off to greet Mr. Croft. We found out that he had given the promotion a few weeks, but just couldn't stand being away from the classroom and the kids, so he switched gears and went right back to teaching, which is what brought him to the game, cheering for his new school while revisiting his old school.
In the course of the conversation, my son mentioned that he is enrolled next semester in a difficult Calculus II course and voiced his apprehension at being rusty on his Calc skills. Mr. Croft didn't miss a beat as he offered to meet him a couple days later and give him a copy of his old Calc textbook to review. He then urged my son to set up a second meeting with him, and to come with a list of topics that he needed retaught in order to feel confident going into the next level of Calculus.
This level of caring and commitment to his students was simply second nature to Mr. Croft. It is obvious that this man is dedicated to each and every child he meets, even long after his responsibility for their growth and learning is over. If he isn't an example of a teacher who makes a difference in lives, I don't know who is!