As I browsed my newsfeed on Facebook today, I stumbled across a blog post on NPR called Teachers Who Made A Difference: What's Your Story? The post asks readers to post a tid-bit about a teacher who impacted their lives. After reading through two pages of posts, I was inspired to write my own:
At times, high school was a bit rough for me. I was a free-spirited kid who resited any sign of conformity and sought creative opportunities. For the most part, I worked hard in my classes but there were only a few teachers that truly motivated me intrinsically: My 11th grade American Lit. teacher and Journalism teacher, Ms. Beecher; my high school choir director, Mr. Ritter; and my 12th grade Composition teacher, Mrs. Kluth.
Ms. Beecher used my free-spirited nature when studying Emerson, Thoreau, and Hesse and always pushed me to think deeper about topics. She noticed my passion for writing and encouraged me to join the newspaper staff---and then allowed me to try my hand at writing several different types of news stories. But the one moment that sticks out most to me is the day I walked into class crying during my junior year. I wasn't a crier, but it was one of those days that pushed me over the edge. Instead of ignoring me or telling me to go pull myself together, she took me out in the hall, gave me a tissue, and asked what was wrong. She listened to me---even though she had a class full of students, she listened to me.
Mr. Ritter was not only my choir director, but he is also my best friend's dad so I got to know him in a different capacity. However--what I admired most about him was his boldness. He was bold in his faith, bold in his teaching, and he always did what he thought was right even if it went against popular opinion.
Mrs. Kluth had a dry sense about her. She was a cut-to-the-chase, no-nonsense kind of teacher who demanded that each student work to his/her full potential. But she also knew when to let down her hair and have fun. We worked our tails off for her because we didn't want to let her down.
All three of these teachers have shaped me into the person I am today and have inspired me to be the best teacher that I can possibly be.