The Great Teacher Inspires

Lori - Findlay, Ohio
Entered on February 26, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I believe,

I believe that teachers can inspire each and every one of us, and believe in us when we don’t believe in ourselves.

In fourth grade, I was at a very awkward stage. I had bad vision and out-of-date glasses to match, and parts of my body were maturing faster than the rest of the girls. I was often ridiculed and made fun of. This really lowered my confidence level as well as my self-esteem. I started to do poorly in school, getting Bs and Cs. I had been an A-B student before this awkward stage, but I had gotten to a point where I stopped caring about my grades. I stopped caring about myself.

I met my fifth grade teacher at an open house at school. In her classroom, she had an incubator of baby chicks. I remember being fascinated by them, the little “peep”, “peep” noises they would make, and how cute they were. Mrs. Saums talked to me about how she was doing a science project on which came first, the chicken or the egg? A class with chickens in it? I wanted to be in that class!

My parents had heard great things about Mrs. Saums, and thought she could help me with my confidence. So, unbeknownst to me, my parents requested to have her be my fifth grade teacher.

The beginning of fifth grade continued to be awkward. I had gotten a really bad haircut before yearbook pictures, my menstrual cycle had started, and my face started breaking out with acne. What’s worse was that I was in a class with none of my close friends, just the “popular” girls and one unpopular girl I always got stuck playing with. Embarrassing as it all was, I was able to go to Mrs. Saums in confidence and she was there for me.

One day, she had us write poems in class. I remember writing about a kite, though I don’t remember the words to it. I just remember Mrs. Saums saying I was had a gift for writing. Next, we had to write short stories, so I wrote about a Thanksgiving at my grandma and grandpa’s with my 6 crazy cousins. We were encouraged to read them aloud, and so one day, I did. Everyone laughed, but not at me- with me. The classmates liked my story so much, they asked when I was going to write another one. So I wrote one about New Years, Christmas, and so on. Then I branched away from my “crazy cousin series” and wrote about Bustanic, a bus that sunk like the Titanic. Hey, it could happen!

If it wasn’t for her encouragement, I probably would have never been a writer. Mrs. Saums believed in me when I didn’t. She sparked that flame that would grow into my writing. This spring, I will be graduating with a degree in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis. So thanks, Mrs. Saums.

This Lori Bell and I believe “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires”. Thanks for listening.