Many people hate confrontations. I myself would rather avoid a confrontation than to be in one. I believe that being confronted by another person can be the difference between doing something you will regret and doing something you will be proud of.
If you were to look at me today many people wouldn’t know that I used to be the most poorly-behaved student in my class during all of my sixth grade and part of my seventh grade school years. I believed that playing the role of the class clown and getting bad grades was the cool and funny thing to do.
I would just listen to the things that my teachers and counselors told me but I wouldn’t put these good advices that I received to use.
It wasn’t until one day that one teacher hit me where it hurts: my ego. I believe that an appropriate amount of pride in oneself will make you succeed and feel proud of how people remember you. I had that pride but unfortunately it was towards my bad actions. I actually felt proud of what I was doing but quickly realized that no one else was. It just happened to be that my seventh grade English teacher, a well-educated respected woman, knew what to do to make me change. She called me out in front of the whole class and told me, “If you think that when you act out your little scenes the other students laugh with you, well you’re wrong. They laugh at you, even me. If you continue your stupid attitude, you will turn out to be nothing but another failure in life.” Classmates laughing, I felt a slap to the face. No one had ever embarrassed me like this. Sitting in class, I wondered how I could change everyone’s point of view. I did not want my classmates and teachers to believe that I would add up to nothing.
For the next couple of days I walked into my English class with my head down, full of embarrassment. I actually felt bad for my teacher because I realized all of the things I made her go through with me almost on a daily basis. I wanted to change and prove to everyone that I could be more than what they expected of me. I wanted to do well in school and I wanted to do it soon.
With second semester one week away, I saw a chance to improve. I completely changed my attitude and working habits, not just in my English class, but in all of my classes. Almost everybody was amazed by my improvement. Those that were not amazed later told me that knew that I could do better and they knew that one day I would change. In a way they were just waiting for the day that I did come to my senses and changed.
I believe that this teacher changed my life because she made me see that everyone was really annoyed with me. Only my friends would talk to me, but I was different with them than I was with my other classmates and teachers. By my teacher embarrassing me like this, I would say that she was the straw that broke the camel’s back because the past few days I had been feeling bad for everything I had done, like walking out, talking back, and interrupting all the time. I am greatly thankful she talked to me. I will always remember her and that day that she helped me change into a person that I am truly proud of.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.