Teachers and Their Impact

Teachers are wonderful people. For the most part. I’m very aware that there are some teachers who are malicious, or rude, or consider children the worst thing in the world. I know that teachers like that exist, but I also know that teachers who are kind and compassionate and lovely exist as well.

Mean teachers stay with you as stories that you tell your own children, or your university friends. Wonderful teachers stay with you as nostalgic feelings in your chest, and a lingering feeling that you are not worthless, because someone believes in you.

I have had the privilege of having many wonderful teachers. My eighth grade teacher, Ms. Vanderveen, was a wonderful, funny woman who introduced me to books that shaped my 13 year old mind. My fourth grade teacher, Ms. Gilkinson, was a kind, smiling woman that understood and cared for all of her students. My 12th grade Law teacher, Ms. Bew, remains one of the kindest women I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, and I don’t think she ever has, or ever will, give up on a student. Two of my closest friends have teachers as mothers (you know who you are), and they are kind, compassionate women who devote their lives to caring for and adoring their students.

However, the most impactful, wonderful teacher I have ever had was my high school music teacher, Mr. Morrison. He was my music teacher for four straight years, and he retired the same year I graduated, which made me embarrassingly weepy, because no student will ever again have the pleasure of being in one of his classes. Mr. Morrison was not only a cheerful, unfailingly kind man, but he saw the good in every single person that walked into his classroom. He saw their potential and their possibility, and did not hesitate to push students in the right direction. Never once did I see him let a student give up on themselves, and the amount of times his belief in my abilities inspired me is too high for me to count.

He is a teacher I am Facebook friends with, who sometimes comments on my statuses and makes me cry with nostalgia. I do not miss high school, but if I could spend 100 years in the safe, supportive bubble of my high school music classes, I would.

So yes, teachers can be cruel, but they can also be kind and wonderful. Simply the memory of them can lift you up and remind you that someone sat down in front of your awkward, teenage self and believed in everything that you could do.

Do not discount teachers as a whole, just because you had a bad experience with a few. Teachers can be, truly, wonderful and astonishing human beings.

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