Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 9:42:21 PM
I was just 12 years old when my life changed forever. I entered seventh grade with the same old perspective I had every year. I didn’t suppose anything would be different that year. All that was on my mind was that I had to go back to school and summer was over. As I made my way into my second year of junior high school, I felt nothing. I didn’t feel a change at all, even though I was expecting a change to overcome me. I entered my homeroom, received my schedule and went to my first period class, ELA. There, I met the teacher who changed my life for the better, Mrs. Braterman. At first, she scared me. She told us that she wasn’t afraid to fail us. As the year progressed, I found her to become my favorite teacher. She always believed in us and she had an open mind. She made students feel comfortable to get an answer incorrect. She always offered inspirational advice and understood anything you told her. Her work was hard, but she taught well and we all did great on the New York State English Language Arts test. She gave us a lot of practice, homework, and taught us how think critically, but best of all, she became our friend for life.
One of my favorite memories with her was on the last day of seventh grade. She told our class that we were going on to eighth grade. She told us that we came a long way as a class and we were all very intelligent and she had never seen such smart kids. She told us that we were growing up and that we would be showered with difficult choices later on in life. She told us that she knew that we would choose an amazing path down life and she told us to push through all of the obstacles and never take no for an answer. She said that we were all bright kids with incredible futures ahead of us. She told us that it’s going to be tough, but we should never give up and we should try to persevere. Mrs. Braterman was the one who made me fall in love with writing. She opened my eyes and showed me that writing was something I felt passionate about. She was the reason I put Townsend Harris High School as my first choice for my application, and she’s the reason I am at Townsend Harris High School today. I owe her a big thank you. She helped me find myself and she didn’t do it because she was being paid as a teacher. She did it out of the kindness of her heart. Knowing that makes me feel hopeful because it shows me that there are good people in this world. It tells me that life isn’t a waste; there are things to look forward to. For that, I am grateful to have had Mrs. Braterman as my teacher.