I do not usually post on the blog when I am not teaching as I see it primarily as a way to enrich the class learning experience….however, sometimes you just have to break with protocol as a way to respond to events.
By now you have all heard of Gilbert’s unexpected death and if my conversations with you in the halls and the shops are any indication, you are as shocked, saddened and dismayed as I am. Some of you requested I post something honouring Gilbert so that you too might have a venue to express yourselves – so here goes.
Gilbert began his career here at CVCEC as a student and his commitment, drive and enthusiasm for the trade and our school soon translated into his natural morphing into a teacher. When I taught him, he was like having a second teacher in the class – he was always willing to assist other students and was honest with them as to whether they were meeting the expectations. He would make positive, helpful comments as to what they could do to improve their efforts and tell them if it was working. He was truly respected by his peers.
In his role as teacher, he inspired his students to be successful and to work to the highest levels of their abilities. He was a no-nonsense kind of guy whose expectations were clear and unwavering. Students always knew what they were going to get with Gilbert. He respected his students and they returned that respect. He set the bar high and helped his students achieve results. At the same time, for all of his serious approach to life, he had a wicked (and sometimes sly) sense of humor and was not shy to make fun of the rest of us, fully expecting the same in kind, believing that a job worth doing is a job worth doing well, especially while having some fun.
It was rare to hear a negative word from him and he never avoided an unpleasant but necessary task. He was organized to a fault, always prepared for the day’s work, and willing to work above and beyond the call of duty.
Gilbert was a fantastic colleague, a great teacher, a wonderful role model, but for all that, I will miss him most for his friendship, the twinkle in his eye that preceded his dry humour (as he was about to make fun of me), and his steady as it goes demeanour that was always a great help to me in my efforts as a person and teacher.
Gilbert, you will be greatly missed,