Jan 8 Writing Prompt: Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?
The following is fiction:
I began my freshman year in high school with an attitude of indifference. I did not care if I was in school or not, but my parents said I had to graduate, so I shrugged my shoulders and I went.
It wasn’t that I hated school and I had always been a good student. I had lost interest in being one of those people who followed along and adopted the way of life of everyone else. I loved to read. I started reading early in life and I had been voracious in my reading habits. I had already experienced the false history taught in elementary and middle school. The idea of “proper” grammar had changed three times by the time I left junior high. Math was the one subject in which I did not excel.
Looking back, I would describe myself as a philosophical person. My philosophy toward math beyond the basics was that it was unnecessary for anyone who did not pursue a career that involved math.
I trudged into my first class on the first day of school with the determination to do the work as I had been instructed to do. Halfway through the first chapter of my science book, I began to daydream. My daydreams were much more interesting than the classification of insects. So I turned the page in my notebook and instead of taking science notes, I filled the page with brainstorming about the ridiculous nature of the educational system.
And the teacher caught me. Yes, I was indifferent to school, but the last thing I wanted was to be in trouble. My teacher saw the horror on my face and let me off easy.
Instead of notifying my parents or ordering detention, she demanded that I write an essay based on the notes I had taken on the state of education. I had to do it over the weekend. That was the one thing that I must accomplish to keep her from telling my mother.
What did my brainstorms have to do with science? I never figured it out.
She caught me several times more during that year and I was given an assignment for each and every one of what she called my “independent studies”. My assignments included two essays, two slideshow presentations, a five minute video, and a full demographic chart.
That was 15 years ago. Today, I am recording my thoughts on my notepad while riding in a taxi on my way to work.
I am a successful movie producer, and as far as I’m concerned, I would not be where I am today if it were not for a science teacher who pushed me to explore my thoughts, find solutions to problems, and explain them in a variety of ways.
One science teacher made all the difference.