I am a wife, mom, high school teacher, and a lifelong learner.
The Impact of a Third Grade Teacher
In third grade my family was going through some tough times. Many times during the day I would find myself in tears. Ms. DeWald was the kindest soul. She would pull me out of the class and let me have some privacy as I sobbed my heart out. She was comforting and caring. She went above and beyond teaching me reading, writing and arithmetic. She saw a little girl hurting and she comforted her. She took time out of her busy day to console and soothe a distressed little girl. Her kindness helped me more than she could have ever known.
Not only did she teach me the requirements of third grade education, but she also, showed me what a great teacher was all about.
From that year until I graduated from high school, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to make a difference in children's lives. I wanted to be there for them for more than just an education. I wanted to love them through their pain. I wanted to be a steadfast, strong adult in their life.
The Impact of a Fifth Grade Teacher
As great as my third grade teacher was, my fifth grade one was the opposite. I learned later that she had been going through a divorce. She was cruel and had no patience for the shy little girl that I was.
I learned quickly the difference a teacher can make. A difference that is not always for the best. Since I already had decided that one day I would become a teacher, I did not let this rough year with Ms. Smith dissuade me. Instead, I learned what not to do.
I learned to try not to let my home life interfere with my classroom. If I was having a rough day I would not take it out on my students.
I learned that patience is definitely a virtue.
I learned that sometimes you have to fake it till you make it!
Ms. Smith might have not been the best teacher and granted she had personal reasons to not be at her best. She did, however, teach me the difference a teacher can make in a little girl's life.
Why I Teach
The Impact of a High School History Teacher
I was the definition of a shy, introverted, tiny, teen, girl. If I could have blended into the walls of my small school, I would have. I did not want to be noticed. I did not want to be called on in class. I did definitely not want to speak in front of my peers..
Mr. Hen was a scary history teacher that seemed mean and intimidating. My first few weeks my freshman year I thought my life was over! History class was going to be impossible.
At this small high school, Mr. Hen would be my history teacher for all four years.
Mr. Hen happened to be teaching my favorite subject at the time. His stories and his passion for the subject drew me in. I discovered that he wasn't mean at all. He was intense, yes. Mean absolutely not. He had certain expectations for his class, yes. He wanted us to learn and grow into responsible citizens. He taught with a passion that I couldn't help but to be captivated by.
He was what I wanted to be. He loved his topic. He held high regard for the profession of teaching. He expected respect, but he also gave it in return. He loved his students with his whole heart.
I know that to this day, after a couple decades, I could talk to him and reminisce. I could count on him if I ever needed a listening ear.
Teaching Requires Compassion
Impacts of Every Teacher
One thing I learned is that every single teacher impacts a child. I was watching and learning subject content, but I was also learning how I would teach based on my examples.
Each one of my teachers showed both positive and negative examples. Some more positive than the others.
I learned so much more from each one of my teachers than the subject they taught. I learned how to be kind and compassionate.
I learned to be aware of the shy, introverted children that got physically sick when speaking in public.
I learned that a teacher can be a steadfast adult in an impressionable child's life.
I learned that no matter what, a teacher is human. A teacher is like everyone else. They have good days and bad days. They make mistakes and learn to apologize and do better.
I learned that I will never stop learning how to be the best teacher I can be. I learned that though I teach math, my students learn so much more about how to be an adult. I learned that my example matters.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 April McMichael