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Teacher Appreciation: Rekindled Hope

Joined: 5/25/2015
Posts: 1
It is difficult for me to describe the profound impact Paul Herder has had on my life, both emotionally and intellectually. He was my 9th and 10th grade English teacher and he will be my 11th and 12th as well. When I first met him I couldn't have comprehended how his soul and his style of teaching would touch me to my very core. He has given me the confidence to realize what I want to do with my life, and most importantly he has rekindled my faith in the possibility of excellent educators.
I have loved learning since the beginning of my school career. I was the kid who would try to go to school even when I was sick, just because I didn't want to miss a day. When I was in a good school with teachers I loved, my enthusiasm was intoxicating. When I wasn't in an environment that nurtured my emotions as well as my education, I begged my mom to let me go somewhere else. Needless to say, I switched schools a lot. I found some that had amazing teachers, and others that were severely lacking. I tried public, private, charter, and home schools, and for the most part I was very happy, until 8th grade.
I was attending a public middle school, and I was bored. I didn't find the environment intellectually stimulating. I would have been okay to stick out the year without complaint, had it not been for my English teacher. She was a rigid woman, and because of her own prejudices, she didn't like me. She treated me poorly compared to other students, and graded my papers unfairly. English has always been my favorite subject, and yet under her instruction I lost my desire to better myself and my writing. Her teaching style crushed my spirit and I lost some of my faith in good teachers.
Then I met Paul. I immediately felt a connection to him as he seemed to understand my way of thinking. He used his sense of wit and playful sarcasm to make all of us students feel at ease. He treats us as equals, and is just as willing to learn from us as we are to learn from him. We have open discussions where he lets us lead the conversation. He wants us to come to our own conclusions and strengthen our minds, not to pass exams, but to lead fuller and more stimulating lives.
I'm quite sure that Paul doesn't know his own worth, but he has touched my life in a way no other teacher ever has. He has given me the confidence in my writing to realize that I want to pursue a career in the field. I will be forever grateful that I have been lucky enough to learn from such an inspiring man, for he is one of the teachers who deserve the utmost respect.

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