Discovering my true potential

Gerri - Gowrie, Iowa
Entered on December 22, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the power of good teachers. Many things can affect your decisions and beliefs, but a teacher can lead you to discover things about yourself that would never have been possible otherwise.

Ever since I was in kindergarten, I have idolized teachers. I thought my 1st grade teacher was an angel. My 4th grade teacher was like a favorite aunt. As I have gotten older, teaching styles and perspectives have influenced me more. I appreciate the difference between bad and good, stressful and easy. But, more importantly, I realized my true potential.

When I started at Ames High, I never imagined my freshman year would go as well as it did. I had just moved to Ames, a year before, from a middle school with a terrible math department. I wasn’t very confident, even with my mom as a high school math teacher. She lives at home, which is an hour from Ames, so she could only help me so much. I was worried about how well I would handle the new stress.

To make matters worse, it was my algebra teacher’s first year at Ames High. I had no clue what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. On the most difficult concepts, Mr. S made sure everyone understood the material. He explained things in simple terms and, with my faith in homework, I slowly grew to understand and love the subject. Over time, I became confident and my test scores improved. This success greatly reassured me. More importantly, Mr. S also got to know me as a person. When he would come around to check homework, we would talk about the recent events in our lives. I felt more connected and welcomed there than in any of my other classes. He gave me the tools to become the person I needed to be. I learned what it was to really connect and communicate, not to just chit chat. Communicating deeply helped me in all aspects of my life, not just school. Our relationship also grew and we are now friends.

If he were not a good teacher, this might have never happened. I would be stuck not only beneath my potential, but also beneath the high level of maturity that I need to have. Good teachers don’t only teach well; they make you realize what your potential, goals, and dreams are. If we never experience this, we may never discover what our true potential is. This, I believe, can change the whole world.