Monday, June 16, 2008

Why I Teach

Part of me feels weird for doing this post. You know, it's not considered socially acceptable to "toot your own horn" and all, but if you know me well, you know I'm not above doing so! I became a teacher eight years ago and there's a reason I wanted to be a teacher. This post tells you why. I reason is I wanted to make a difference. Sometimes I wonder if I am and then, something like this happens to let me know that I am. That feels good. Honestly, I love my job.

Today at recess I saw a strange envelope in my mailbox at work. It was from a person I didn't know at the district office. Inside there was this note: "Mr. Lynd, Thought you would enjoy reading this essay from one of your former students." Attached was this wonderful essay from a student I had in third grade three years ago.

I remember Karina well. I remember everything she wrote about. I also adore the fact that she ends with a poltical statement too! What a crack-up! Turns out this is what she submitted for her sixth grade writing proficiency examination. The writing task was to write an expository essay about someone you know that deserves an award. In the grand fashion of George Bailey, Karina's composition makes me a very rich man. Here is what Karina wrote:

Someone I Know Deserves an Award
Do you know anyone that deserves an award? I do and if there ever was a competition for being "The Greatest Teacher" I would choose Mr. Lynd as a nominee. Mr. Lynd was my third grade teacher and he worked in the school, Remington. I had attended Remington the year before and that same year I had arrived to the U.S.A. from Mexico. While I was in second grade I didn't know any English, but when I moved to third grade in Mr. Lynd's class I learned English before the middle of the year! Every day Mr. Lynd would encouragae me to read in both English and Spanish. We would have to write a journal every day, but instead of me writing my journal, he would call me up to his desk, along with other kids that weren't very good talking or writing in English. He would sit with us and make us read little books that didn't have many sophisticated words in them. Then, after we would all finish the book, he would talk to us about what words we couldn't pronounce or read. One day I had a question about the word colonel and he told me that English was a very crazy language and that he would be glad to help me. That day I learned that the word colonel was pronounced like if it had an R, even if we couldn't see it, we had to say it. This was very difficult for me. Mr. Lynd even established a club that would help us with reading and writing. Mr. Lynd didn't just help us with learning, but he also helped us emotionally.

One day I got mad at this girl named Diana because of what she said about me and when Mr. Lynd found out he didn't get mad at us. He just made us stay after school and we had to solve our problem before we left. One Sunday afternoon my dad was driving and a car crashed our car from the back. I was very frightened because it was my first car crash and I started to cry. On Monday when I went to school, Mr. Lynd told me to tell him if I was okay and I told him about the car crash. He told me that he was also very frightened when he was in a car crash, but he told me he knew the perfect cure. He told me to write a story or book about what had happened and told me also to draw a picture of what I had seen. He said that it's always good to tell someone how you feel and I had done the right thing by telling him. Mr. Lynd was and is a very good teacher.

Some kids sometimes didn't like him because they said he was mean, but they didn't even have him. At first when I heard about Mr. Lynd being one of the meanest teachers at Remington I was terrified, but when I met him I noticed it was all lies and he was actually one of the nicest teachers. Mr. Lynd was a very cool teacher and he encouraged us with "Lynd Dollars!" Every time we got a good grade, Mr. Lynd would give us a "Lynd Dollar." These Lynd dollars became a source of encouragement for getting good grades. We could use the dollars to buy stuff like pencils, little toys, or 15 minutes of free time. Mr. Lynd told me one day that I was now officially an English speaker, which just meant that I had learned English in less than a school year. I was very happy and I got home and told my mom. The next day I told Mr. Lynd that it was all thanks to him that I could talk in English. He told me he was very happy that I didn't give up. If it wasn't for him maybe right now I wouldn't be talking in English or even writing this. I soon became one of his best students, or at least that's what he told me! I remember that my parents always say that Mr. Lynd was my best teacher ever! I am very thankful that he never lost hope for kids like me and little by little his club started disappearing because every kid would have succeded in English. He said he was very happy for all of us and he told us that every single step we take in our lifetime one day we would look back at it, which meant that every single choice we make, even the ones we think don't matter, will affect every minute in our future. I think Mr. Lynd would be the perfect nominee for "The Greatest Teacher" award! I especially remember these words that he told me the last day of school, If you keep believing in yourself you can accomplish many wonderful things in your lifetime, maybe even become the first woman president! That's why I hope Obama wins!

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