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Teacher Appreciation: The rose without thorns

Joined: 5/24/2015
Posts: 1
My first year in high school was the first time I entered a public school. I had been attending a private school my whole life, and with this terrifying change, I turned into a completely isolated teenager. I did not know anybody and to add to the disaster, I was culture-shocked: there were about 60 students in a small un-air-conditioned classroom and all seemed to know each other and were rather rash. At one point, I witnessed two guys quarrel over a piece of candy and at another, I found myself crying in the Science Laboratory as the class “clowns” picked on me.

I was weak and fragile. I had no friends and felt intimidated to befriend a person in the pack. I would cry to my mother and make excuses to skip school. Until one teacher who also happened to be my adviser started paying attention to me. Her name was Rosemarie, but we called her Miss Fuentes. Miss Fuentes was young and vibrant. She filled the atmosphere with energy and positivity. But teachers can’t possibly care about inactive students, I thought. Miss Fuentes would constantly compliment my work and remind me, “You’re a good student.” She sometimes made me come early to school and made me stay with her in the lab, while she checked answer sheets. I would help with the visual aide and some other things, like buying her lunch down at the canteen when she was too busy with her business. With the affection and companionship I found in a motherly figure, I worked harder. When the first term finished, I was second in class, and would remain in the running in the next terms.

I owed my achievement to Miss Fuentes. She did not change me entirely, but she dragged me out of the corner of alienation. As the school year progressed, I got to master her way with her students. She had a habit of being friendly to each one of us. I cannot remember an occasion of her yelling at a student. She even interacted with the trouble-makers; the rest of the teachers would lose their patience and make them leave the class. She was generous and thoughtful: in the homeroom Christmas party that year, she brought a box of giveaways such as watches, purses, and sets of a mug and a pen. They were not very expensive, but considering the fact that nobody left without a gift from Miss Fuentes, what she did as a public school teacher was a huge thing.

Miss Fuentes and I parted ways in my second year in high school. By then, I had somewhat adjusted to my new environment with my determination and my mother’s comfort, and Miss Fuentes’ motivation. She redefined the essence of being an educator. Apparently, it’s not just about imparting what you know; it’s also about being an inspiration.
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