Thank a Teacher

Writing is something I’ve always done. I could write my way out of a paper bag or so I was told as kid. Essay questions on tests meant I’d get an A.

Once I started working, I wrote. Often they were business letters. I had to write reports and other notes. Things change. Today my handwriting looks like slop. I never write by hand anymore and rarely write a check. Everything is electronic. At least I know how to form the letters, but I’m messy.  I didn’t used to be.  And I’ve always hated a typewriter. I use about six fingers when I type, but I managed to teach my daughters to type properly. Today the one daughter types like the wind and the other types like I do. She makes me laugh when I watch her typing. How did she manage to digress that much?

Yet my career means I must type on a computer. The keyboard on a computer is better than that typewriter that had to have each key pressed all the way down. So it’s easier, and it’s become the norm for me to use the keyboard.

I wasn’t always typing the next book. I’ve done newspaper articles on gardening. I’ve done articles in various gardening magazines. My daughter has a subscription to a particular bird and garden magazine. She was all excited to show me this great magazine subscription her mother-in-law gave her as a gift. I said, yes, I know about them. I used to write for them. My daughter looked at me as though I’d lost my mind. What did she think I was doing at the computer all the time? She didn’t care about gardening or feeding the birds when she was younger. She wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing. I haven’t written for a magazine in ages. I’m also not in the garden anymore.

I like writing fiction. I love developing characters and bringing them to life in a story. There’s satisfaction in the creative process. The progression from writing essays for school, working on the school newspaper, and being part of the literary club was only a beginning. It was the foundation. Having the opportunity to excel and be rewarded spurred me onward. Writing articles for the newspaper was discipline. It was every week and I had a deadline. Now I write something that I love. I write the stories that I want to read. The fact that I can share them with the world is exciting.

This is to every teacher who has encouraged a child when the child shows interest or a gift. To every teacher who has taught a child to read and praised each new vocabulary word, you’ve given the child something very special that will last a lifetime. I was the math major, who would have thought I would have wound up writing books? Maybe Miss Crow knew I’d wind up writing in spite of my major. I can still remember her telling me that a soliloquy I had written was phenomenal and begged me to switch majors. She said I was a born writer. I laughed and thought writing was fun, like a hobby. Mathematics was serious, and I was a serious student. Coughing up a poem or a story was child’s play. Well, it’s not anymore. Writing is serious, and I love doing it.

Today, I use the calculator on my phone to figure out my gas mileage when I fill my car’s tank. Sorry, Prof. Braun, you trained me to do that simple stuff in my head, but I don’t have to think as hard when I use the calculator. Actually, I don’t have to think about it beyond miles divided by gallons. It’s so easy.

I saw writing as tool that got me through school with flying colors and also made me a valuable employee. Reading was a solitary pleasure that I craved. I still enjoy a really good book. Now I get to write books, and that is something I never thought would happen. That was something real authors did. Well, I guess I’m a real author. I’ve been on the best-seller lists in several countries and in the top 25 on with my name up there with those big name authors like Rowling, King, Patterson, Grisham, and Steel.

Miss Crow, I never changed my major, but I did wind up writing for a living. Thanks for having such faith in me and in my writing. Maybe someday, I’ll figure out how to use all the proper punctuation and that past perfect tense. In spite of my grammatical shortcomings, you’d be proud of me.  Thank you for being a great teacher!

Do you have a teacher who has made an impact on your life?  Someone you can thank?


7 thoughts on “Thank a Teacher

  1. I have a few I think about periodically. Mr. McGrath, my 10th grade English teacher, introduced me to creating pictures with words. I spent much of that year writing poetry. That was probably the first year I worked on writing so others could see the mental images I had. I paused for a while and picked it up again a few years later when I started addressing events that happened around me.

    I attended an open house a few weeks ago and was so excited to meet the teachers. They reminded me of one of my favorite years in school, and the students seemed excited to be in their classes. Teachers who can spark the desire to learn and/or can see and encourage talents in students are gems.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think almost everyone has a teacher that has done something to encourage them. Maybe that teacher’s name has escaped us but the feeling has continued. I remember talking to someone and as a young man he was in a ton of trouble. It was a grandmother-figure who lived in the neighborhood and she told him if he didn’t quit his errant ways he was going wind in jail and that would a total waste of his brains. She kept telling him to too smart and challenged him to go to college. He had to get his GED first and she helped him study and then helped him to apply to college. Today he’s got a PhD and he has done very well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Whitaker was amazing. We had to write a story each week. At least two pages. I could never understand how I was done on Monday night and the rest of the class was complaining all the way up to Friday when it was due about writing TWO WHOLE PAGES. Now, when it came time to read your story in front of the whole class I could understand the meaning of the word ‘stress’. Thankfully you only had to read in front of the class once. I only had to die a little that day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s funny. Yes, I hated having to do something in front of the class. I was very shy as a kid. Zero confidence! But something changed as I entered my teen years and somehow I became responsible for so much and with it my confidence blossomed. But standing in front of a group of people was still difficult. Today, I get nervous when I have do certain things.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mrs Johnson sits on one shoulder telling me to be precise. Precision in language is a sign of an educated mind. Mr Hunter sits on the other daring me to take risks. If you do nothing new, what is the point, after all? Two great teachers to whom I owe much.


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