3.4.13 Amazing Teachers

March5

Tonight, I am thankful for my teachers.

I just arrived home from spending an hour and a half, sitting at the kitchen table of my English teacher while she took the time out of her night, to go over a project with me that was due this morning.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately, but everything has been so difficult. I feel like I’m living in a foggy haze, as though I’m working through water and stuff that has previously been easy for me has been painfully difficult. My A’s and B’s on tests, projects, and quizzes have turned into a strain of C’s. Last night when I tearfully shut my lap top and went to bed at 2:30 knowing there was no possible way I’d be able to hand in my best work the next day, I was panicked, staying up for another hour, rehearsing what I’d say to her, how I’d apologize. How sorry I was that I’d disappointed her, and let her down by not getting my work in.

Tonight I texted her asking if she could call me so I could get some help, and instead she told me to pack up my project and bring it over to her house. We sat there, her dog’s head in my lap, as I went over every question I had. I showed her all the quotes I’d gotten from the book, about my confusion about where to put them, and what interpretations I could use and why, to successfully piece together what needed to be pieced. Meanwhile, her husband and three children were sitting on the couch watching television while she helped me instead of being with them.

The gratitude I felt was overwhelming. I got in my car, after she’d offered to let me borrow a coat because I’d forgotten mine, and nearly cried out of both relief and gratitude. I’ve never had a teacher who was willing to sacrifice their time in that manner for a student. It was so amazing, and so mind blowing.

I couldn’t help but think that that is what a teacher really is. What I saw there is a shining example of something that many teachers strive for.

To all you teachers out there:

You guys are amazing. Everyday I see my teachers pouring themselves into their classrooms. Of staying late and arriving early and sacrificing their lunch hour, or even their family time, to spend it guiding and shaping their students. To help foster and aid the growth and knowledge of children is a beautiful, self sacrificing, frustrating, and sometimes rewardless job. I commend all teachers for doing it. I know that I could not do it as well as you.

As my struggle through school continues, hopefully what happened tonight, how touched I was, will help me put things a little more into perspective. Will help me take a deep breath, and lift my head up off of my desk, and pick up my pencil. Will help me empty my mind and pursue knowledge for the sake of knowledge without the panicky edge to it that I possess now.

I can’t help thinking as I do my work how important this is, how it has to be perfect because it’s the basics, how if I don’t get it right I won’t have a successful life. I can’t help thinking about my perfectionism that has turned into a crippling beast all on its own; one that no longer helps me but hurts me. I try so hard to hit the nail on the head on everything that I end up swinging wildly.

I have Rules. I have To Do Things Right. And it’s killing me. It’s ruining my chances.

But tonight, sitting calmly, petting the dog, and conversing about the cruelty of Daisy, about the unspeakable sadness surrounding Jay Gatsby, about the pitfalls of money, and the possible inner thoughts of the characters, and GETTING IT, and writing it all down in a coherent manner, I finally understood.

It’s okay to breathe. It’s okay to be still.

In fact it’s better.

So, to my English teacher, thank you so much. You did so much more than just help me with my project.

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