To The Teacher Whose Class I Wish I Was Still In

At this point in my life, I have been in school for fourteen years. That means I have encountered many, many different teachers. Some were very good at feeding information, but not very friendly. Some overly friendly, but I did not end up learning much from them. In other words, it was difficult to find a balance of a teacher who was nice, strict when they needed to be, a fair grader, and I learned in their class.

Now, I envy teachers because it is one of the hardest occupations out there. The pay is not wonderful, the students more often than not, probably do not want to be there, so they fool around, and you are not appreciated enough, but for some reason you always returned. I do remember most of the teachers that I have encountered in my years. I my years, I have created a mental list of the ones who have made a bigger mark on me and they periodically move, but there are a couple in particular who have not. For some reason, I seem to gravitate toward the teachers in the English department. One teacher, though is one that I wish I had in the classroom again.

The start of high school was a very difficult time for me. I had many doubts coming into it because I was heavily bullied in middle school and I did not want that to follow me to high school, so I was always very skittish and did not speak much. At the end of middle school, some weird shit went down too, and again, I did not want my past to follow me, but this was a new beginning, so I tried to keep my mind open on the first day.

It seems like only yesterday that I was walking into your classroom for the first time. As I sat in my chair, I had immediate regret for getting out of bed that day and it was mostly because of the book that written on the board as the one that we would explore first. You passed a copy around. It was thick, had many chapters, and many pages. The book was entitled Homer’s The Odyssey. Before actually reading this epic poem, we first read through some stories in mythology. This lasted a little longer than I would have liked and was a little hard to follow, but there were days that you made it more fun and enjoyable to read.

Shortly after the story of Odysseus began, I realized that his journey was actually quite interesting and heroic. Before I knew it, Odysseus had endured hell and back to claim his place back in the castle and the book was over. Shortly after, we began reading Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The tale of Caesar’s downfall was not the most interesting piece of literature that I have ever read, but there was one assignment in particular that I do remember.

Each student was tasked with memorizing a chunk of lines from the sonnet. I chose a twenty — two line description about how Caesar was to be killed. A couple weeks past and it was time to recite the lines in front of the class. Now, I had practiced for this moment for hours beforehand. At the start of class, we decided which people would go in what order. About five people before it was my turn, the principal walked in. Apparently he heard that we would be presenting that day and he wanted to be “involved.” Because you had seen me recite before this point, you moved me up in the order so I would be reciting in front of the big man. This made me more terrified than I already was, but when it was my turn, you gave me a smile and I felt a little better. I delivered my recitation with poise and confidence. Later in that class, my classmates ranked my recitation in the top 3 out of around 24, which made me feel really good.

Sadly, all good things have to come to an end though. The end of Freshman year crept up slowly, but soon enough, it was there. Summer has arrived, which meant that I would no longer have spontaneous vocabulary quizzes, long chapter to read in two nights, or Socratic Seminars in room A105. That also meant that I would no be excited wake up every A days for English or walk into your class everyday with a smile.

You were not just your average teacher either. First of all, you traveled an hour to get to school most days. I say that is dedication in itself. Second of all, your dedication to make sure your students strive is unmatched. Sure some probably slip through the cracks, but those openings were very small. You were that teacher that was like a parent to me. You were the one who I came to if I had an issue and I could always count on you to listen to me vent or at least pretend like you were. You always opened your classroom as a “hang out” spot for me at lunch time and even if you were not there, it was a calm spot to just take a breather before my next class.

You have taught me a few things as well. The biggest and quite honestly the funniest is to not put contractions in my essays if they are formal. This was taught through the HUNDREDS of google doc comments “no contractions!!” Even when I went away to school, that was still applicable until my final essay that I sent you and it did not show up. It is funny because now when I am editing my friend’s papers, that is the number one thing that is usually the issue. You have also taught me a few things about presentation and public speaking, which have been helpful in my education after your ninth grade English class.

No matter how many ways that I find ways to thank you for that year, there really is no way that the feeling can be reciprocated. In my graduation card this past spring, you wrote a quote by Maya Angelou the read “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This quote has been the way that I live, even before you wrote it in my card. My history teacher senior year had a poster that read this quote and it was a nice daily reminder. The only thing I can say now is THANK YOU.

Thank you to whoever placed me in your class in eighth grade because I would not be the same person that I am today without you. Thank you for inspiring me and helping me even though I am no longer in your classroom and now in college. Thank you to the teacher that nominated you for Regional Teacher of the Year because even though you did not win, the nomination was well deserved. Thank you for making me laugh and smile, for telling me random stories and family, and answering my random text messages. Most importantly, thank you for being there.

Just a average college kid who likes to write in her free time. Some entries might be more personal than others. Procrastination can make good stories!😜😜