As promised in my previous post, I wanted to share a very positive teacher story with you. I have told you the negative story of the Art Teacher in my 7th grade year at Jonas Clarke Junior High School. I have also written about the terrible time I had with bullies that year and how my friend Ryan turned on me.
But, I haven’t shared how important one particular teacher was in keeping me as positive as possible. A person who very well might have kept me from skipping school and failing that year. He was my Social Studies teacher. He was a young and new teacher at this time. He was very nice and cool. We did fun things in his class, like draw a giant mural of the world on his wall that took forever to do. We had a blast doing it as well.
He made us feel important. He treated a bunch of 12 and 13 year olds with maturity and had an uncanny ability to make us all enjoy learning. At least that’s the way I felt. More than that he did some very interesting things that very few teachers would ever do. The most important thing to me was that he invited us all to his wedding. Boy did we feel special. Now we didn’t go to the reception as I recall, but how cool it was to go to our teachers wedding.
We were also in his class when the first space shuttle was launched and I remember all of us, including him, watching in amazement. For me, talking to him took my mind away from the horrors of bullying that I experienced that year. It all culminated for me in what he wrote in my yearbook. He wrote:
“This has been a great year for me, Alan, and believe it or not, you are one of the reasons. Not often does a teacher and student relationship progress to one of freindship. I guess that’s how I feel ours has gone. I think you are a super guy. You’ve made some difficult moments enjoyable because of your personality. God bless you.”
Now I have no idea if he knew anything about what I was going through, but these words really helped me at that time. I still look back on them today to remind me that all was not bad during those years. To say such positive things and make a 13-year-old feel like he made a difference was big for me. I believe if there were more teachers like him to help mentor those of us who need that during these rough times, the world and our lives would be better. I know mine was and in many ways, I think he kept me going to school during this year.
As I prepared to write this blog, I decided to search for him. I found him and it seems he is now a Principal at a school. It doesn’t surprise me to find that he has become the head person at a school and I’m sure they are the better for it. I say thank you to this teacher, and I certainly hope that others are lucky enough to have mentors and teachers that help them through their younger years. They do make a big difference!