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Teacher Appreciation: Teens write about educators who have shaped their lives

High School Writing ContestA Teacher.  A Life Lesson.

This page is the official writing contest summary and results for our "Teacher Appreciation" essay contest.

"I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework."  ~Lily Tomlin as "Edith Ann"

Every day teachers and educators take time to ensure students are growing and learning.  Unlike much of the recent, national media attention about education ranging from reports on failing schools, No Child Left Behind, angry taxpayers or inadequate teachers, StageofLife.com's essay contest revealed something to the contrary: teachers make a positive impact on their students' lives.  

This feedback comes not from teachers themselves, but from high school students across the U.S. who submitted a Teacher Appreciation essay as StageofLife.com set out to hear what students are really learning from their teachers and how they are incorporating those lessons into their everyday life.

Teens were asked to think back to a favorite class or educator (teacher/coach/director/principal) and tell us how did this person make a positive impact in their life?  Whether it was their attitude, the way they taught, or a life lesson learned from their class/sport/activity, we wanted to know.
  Whether you're a teacher, a student, a caring parent, or someone who still sees a lot of positive things happening in our education system, we think you'll enjoy reviewing the essays below, submitted to StageofLife.com as part of our "Teacher Appreciation" writing contest.

NOTE:  As part of this essay contest, Stage of Life ran a survey for teens to answer that addressed their digital literacy through the usage of various communications mediums ranging from Facebook to Twitter to Email to Skype.  To see those results, check out our Teens and Communication Summary Page.


From the Teacher Appreciation essay contest, several themes and trends emerged:

Themes/Trends

  1. Inspiration: Teens agreed that teachers inspired them to work harder in school, be a better person, or follow their dreams. Some teens were inspired to become teachers, too!
  2. Friendship: Teens also appreciated that teachers are more than just leaders in a classroom—they are potential friends, too. These teachers lent an ear when a student was in need of help, or listened about a student’s day.
  3. Guidance: Teachers are not only there to help students with their homework; teachers helped these teens find their strengths or natural talents, fit in with friends, and give advice on college.
  4. Motivation: Thanks to many helpful teachers, many teens wrote about wanting to try harder in school—or stay in school—and go on to college. Before meeting these teachers, these teens were convinced that school didn’t matter. But they quickly learned that it does.
  5. Life Lessons: Teens wrote about the many “life lessons” that teachers instilled in them: lessons ranged from “relax”, to “respect others”, to the basic concepts of professionalism. The life lesson we learned from these essays? Teachers are much more than educators; they are friends, mentors, and even parents.


Visitor Data

Over 5,100 teens and college students visited the Teacher Appreciation writing competition, coming from 79 countries, 50 U.S. states, and over 1,605 cities across the world.  The data...
  • Writing Contest Page Views:  6,490
  • Unique Visitors:  5,195
  • New Visitors:  73%
  • Return Visitors:  27%
  • Top 6 Countries with Visitors (in rank order):  United States (86%), Canada, UK, Philippines, India, Australia...
  • Top 10 U.S. States with Visitors (in rank order):  CA, NY, PA, TX, NC, NJ, TN, IL, FL, OH...
  • Top 20 World Cities with Visitors (in rank order):  Clarksville, New York, Asheville, Los Angeles, York PA, Chicago, San Jose, Albany, Manila, San Francisco, Princeton, Houston, Luverne, Springfield, Washington, Flushing, Wilmington, St. Louis, Columbus, Montgomery, Dallas, Melbourne...

Survey Data - Teens and Communication

Of the 5,195 unique visitors for this month's teen essay competition, over 600 answered the writing contest poll which asked...

"Digital Literacy: Stage of Life is helping teachers understand where and how students write outside of the classroom. Tell us the writing activities you currently engage in (check the answer that applies for each section)" 
Students then selected between choice A (positive) or B (negative) on if they used a particular form of communication.  Here are the highlights of our "Digital Literacy" poll on which forms of communication teens and college students use the most:
  • Email:  90.15% of teens use email - 9.85% do not
  • Texting:  86.36% of teens text - 13.64% do not
  • Facebook:  83.57% of teens use Facebook - 16.43% do not
  • Journal:  57.80% of teens write in an "old school" journal using pen and paper - 42.20% do not
  • Paper Notes:  52.84% of teens write notes on paper and pass them in school - 47.16% do not
  • Skype:  49.05% of teens Skype - 50.95% do not
  • Instant Messaging:  42.55% of teens "IM" - 57.34% do not
  • Blogging:  32.33% of teens blog - 67.67% do not
  • Twitter:  28.35% of teens use Twitter - 71.65% do not
Print the data for our full Teens and Communication Survey Report


Essays

Immediately below, you'll find links to the StageofLife.com winning essay, our semi-finalists and over 180 other personal essays from college students and teenagers that wrote about their teacher appreciation.

Please take a few moments to read an essay or two. If you have the time, make a comment on the responses you enjoyed the most.  We know the student writers will love hearing your positive input (they'll get an email notifying them if you comment on their contest entry).

Winner: Teacher Appreciation: The Truth of the Matter by aritter (“Write what you feel, write what your story is”)

Finalists: 

  1. Teacher Appreciation: Give It 110% by omgisthateryn (Her coach taught her to “leave it all in the pool”)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: Coach Standford Smile by nellyfloyd (After a grueling recovery from a torn ACL, this teen is reminded to “smile”)
  3. Teacher Appreciation: Finding the Inner Actress in Me by Rai.sampson (This teen turned from a performer into an actress)
  4. Teacher Appreciation: The Man, The Myth, The Legend by HanaCheplowitz (Her teacher made his classroom feel like home)
  5. Teacher Appreciation: The Value of Asking by Ldeckert (If you want something, then you need to ask for it)
  6. Teacher Appreciation: Magister/Pater, David by jyzsol (This teen grew up thinking all men were cruel; until she met her Latin teacher)
  7. Teacher Appreciation: The French Teacher by CurlyDz (To be in an honors class, you must behave honorably)
  8. Teacher Appreciation: The Power of Ideas by ingridlovesboris (Her teacher showed her life outside of “the box”)
  9. Teacher Appreciation: Don’t be insecure by katie_selena (Her social studies teacher gave her good advice about dealing with bullies)
  10. Teacher Appreciation: Never let someone tell you what you can be or what you can’t be by justinshieh (Eating lunch with his teacher gave him more than a full belly—a full heart)
  11. Teacher Appreciation: Installing Confidence by Gorrila24 (Her teacher saved the best for last)
  12. Teacher Appreciation: It Started With Her by Erica.Danielle2k12 (This teen did not like to disappoint her kindergarten teacher)
  13. Teacher Appreciation: The Stork Beneath My Wings by petepot (This teen learned the crucial difference between exaggeration and lying in kindergarten)
  14. Teacher Appreciation: The Wicked With… Or So I Thought by xkeepituglyx (Her strict and sometimes cruel teacher pushed her to succeed
  15. Teacher Appreciation: What They (Never) Taught Me by me-o-maya (This teen reflects on important, but seemingly insignificant, lessons that better affected her life)
  16. Teacher Appreciation: What Important Life Lesson Have I Not Learned From a Teacher? by ealisa (She has learned many important lessons from her teachers over the years)
  17. Teacher Appreciation: “EPP.” by AmmGP (This college student writes a letter to the high school teacher that affected his life the most)
  18. Teacher Appreciation: Exceeding Expectations by box29214 (Her teacher taught her skills to benefit her social life, education, and career)
  19. Teacher Appreciation: Lessons NOT Learned in the Curriculum by pilarallegra (This teen learned to better deal with hardships thanks to a difficult teacher)
  20. Teacher Appreciation: Reality Check by violinfreak8 (This teen excelled in playing the violin… but kept a secret about her success)
  21. Teacher Appreciation: The Inspiration by candygirl12 (This teen went from sleeping in class to getting good grades)
  22. Teacher Appreciation: Burger-to-Burger Teacher by ohmypigsfly (This teen learned a humble life lesson from a kind and eccentric teacher)
  23. Teacher Appreciation: The Truth of the Matter by aritter (“Write what you feel, write what your story is”)
  24. Teacher Appreciation: A Lesson More Important Than Fractions by xmaria (Her third grade world is rocked by the wise words “you can try harder”)
  25. Teacher Appreciation: My Instructor of Redemption by DJHaroldHill (This teen found a sanctuary in a difficult English class)
  26. Teacher Appreciation: Book Carts and Journal Pages by SarahKatharina (Her elementary school teacher instilled a love of reading and writing in this teen)
  27. Teacher Appreciation: There is a Way by PicklesChewsBubblegum (Her teacher made geometry interesting and relevant)
  28. Teacher Appreciation: Numbers and Character by riserthinking (This teen stayed in a difficult AP Calc class, despite her gut feeling to leave)
  29. Teacher Appreciation: Reaching My Math Potential, One Lunch Period at a Time by TryTryAgain7 (This teen reached her goal of receiving an A in math)
  30. Teacher Appreciation: Taking Math to a New Exponential Status by Smarty (Her math teacher was the first ever math teacher to clearly explain math concepts, and be interesting)
  31. Teacher Appreciation: Arlis Esther DeJaynes: Everything by Sevendwarfs (Her teacher taught her “everything”)
  32. Teacher Appreciation: Educator’s Don’t Just Educate by anitas2012 (A teacher is better when he/she takes the time to know his/her students individually)
  33. Teacher Appreciation: It’s Not Me Against the World by Heather (When her teacher told her to stop comparing herself to others, she found confidence)

Aside from the finalists, we had a wide variety of teen writing contest entry letters.  We've categorized the responses.

Science

  1. Teacher Appreciation: Inspiring the Love to Learn! by Butterfly_X3 (Her seventh grade teacher taught her that school is important, whether you like it or not)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: The Warrior Teacher by jocelynhorsager (Her teacher taught her to commit her life to serve a purpose, and gave the class time to reflect on important issues)
  3. Teacher Appreciation: Learning to defeat myself by nehabasnetx3 (This teen attended tutoring sessions to improve his physics grade)
  4.  Teacher Appreciation: The Red Bow by cnibbs76 (This teen feels he has an advantage in college-level math classes thanks to a difficult honor bio class)
  5. Teacher Appreciation: It’s Not Me Against the World by Heather (When her teacher told her to stop comparing herself to others, she found confidence)


Math

  1. Teacher Appreciation: Mr. Ronald Michelstein by carytieng (Mr. Michelstein taught her life skills in a juvenile detention facility)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: Change the World by madigurlmcarthur (This teen’s teacher had the class create inspirational campaigns to help change the world)
  3. Teacher Appreciation: Taking Math to a New Exponential Status by Smarty (Her math teacher was the first ever math teacher to clearly explain math concepts, and be interesting)
  4. Teacher Appreciation: Don’t Let the World Stop You by Purple123 (This teen’s teacher taught her not to let fear rule her life)
  5. Teacher Appreciation: Numbers and Character by riserthinking (This teen stayed in a difficult AP Calc class, despite her gut feeling to leave)
  6. Teacher Appreciation: Reaching My Math Potential, One Lunch Period at a Time by TryTryAgain7 (This teen reached her goal of receiving an A in math)
  7. Teacher Appreciation by joshprofio (This teen raised his math grade from a C to a B thanks to his geometry teacher’s help)
  8. Teacher Appreciation: There is a Way by PicklesChewsBubblegum (Her teacher made geometry interesting and relevant)
  9. Teacher Appreciation by livbaybee (This teen found a challenge in her Calculus BC class)
  10. Teacher Appreciation: Mr. Fernandez by mwyatt22 (His high school lost an inspiring and optimistic teacher in a surfing accident)
  11. Teacher Appreciation: Don’t Give Up by BigolTDs (This teen learned not to give up, especially on frustrating subjects)
  12. Teacher Appreciation: Don’t Know Where I’d be Without My Most Inspirational Teacher by caitlincorcoran (This teen learned determination from a difficult course)
  13. Teacher Appreciation: Dr. Olige’s Great Ways with Math by brianakenley (This teen found a great role model in her AP Stat teacher)
  14. Teacher Appreciation by Brinahope93 (This teen learned both math and discipline)
  15. Teacher Appreciation by ladyhooper22 (Her teacher made math understandable)
  16. Teacher Appreciation: Always do what’s right by negretel (This teen learned the hard way the consequences of cheating

English/Language Arts/Creative Writing

  1. Teacher Appreciation: You Taught Me to Use My Voice by TheWriter101(: (Her teacher inspired her to read her poem aloud—something she was terrified to do)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: Really, a story about your kids again? by durxalyssa (Her teacher is “human” and treated her class like adults)
  3. Teacher Appreciation: Life is what you make it by be (A lesson on a poem changed her life forever)
  4. Teacher Appreciation: Book Carts and Journal Pages by SarahKatharina (Her elementary school teacher instilled a love of reading and writing in this teen)
  5. Teacher Appreciation: Exploring Literature by AnnaAseltine (This teen learned to love reading in the second grade)
  6. Teacher Appreciation: My Instructor of Redemption by DJHaroldHill (This teen found a sanctuary in a difficult English class)
  7. Teacher Appreciation: The Miracle Worker by cade3lit (Her teacher harbored a love of creative writing in her)
  8. Teacher Appreciation: The Teacher That Saved My Life by megankelly (“You determine your happiness”)
  9. Teacher Appreciation: A Lesson More Important Than Fractions by xmaria (Her third grade world is rocked by the wise words “you can try harder”)
  10. Teacher Appreciation: Showed Me That Teachers Really Do Care About Their Students by Veronicasubu (Her teacher had a way of appreciating every student)
  11. Teacher Appreciation: Unforgettable to Myself by beck93 (Her teacher showed her the “truth”)
  12. Teacher Appreciation: Never a Boring Moment by guineapiggal (Her teacher used interesting games and lesson ideas to make a boring class more fun)
  13. Teacher Appreciation: Arlis Esther DeJaynes: Everything by Sevendwarfs (Her teacher taught her “everything”)
  14. Teacher Appreciation: The Courage to Speak Up by JulietNotRomeo (Her teacher encouraged her to speak up because she too had valuable insights)
  15. Teacher Appreciation: Thank You by AFoun (She received helpful writing tips from two inspiring teachers)
  16. Teacher Appreciation: Seeing the World For the First Time by GirlofNYC (This teen reflects on the best advice that her teacher gave her class)
  17. Teacher Appreciation: The Truth of the Matter by aritter (“Write what you feel, write what your story is”)
  18. Teacher Appreciation: Mrs. Sims by LoveYouThisBig (Her teacher prepared her for college and beyond)
  19. Teacher Appreciation: Under the Influence of My Teacher by vintez_curry (This student is no longer worried for college thanks to the help of a teacher)
  20. Teacher Appreciation: Frog-Spit in 8th Grade by chaness1000 (This teen confided in a particularly “normal” teacher)
  21. Teacher Appreciation: A Wake-Up Call We Needed by Brandy (This teen worked harder thanks to a tough teacher)
  22. Teacher Appreciation: How Mr. Diego got his groove back by gabe.el.sarco22 (This teen remembers the “little things” about his favorite teacher)
  23. Teacher Appreciation: An Everlasting Bond by alexa.monaco (This teen automatically felt a deeper bond to her favorite English teacher)
  24. Teacher Appreciation: How I turned a negative into a positive by chelly_chula (This teen’s hatred for a cruel teacher turned into just the motivation she needed to succeed)
  25. Teacher Appreciation: Planting a Seed by anthonylorson0 (His teacher found talent in his shaky voice and honest writings)
  26. Teacher Appreciation: Lesson Learned by jenicefos (“There is never a second time to make a good first impression”)
  27. Teacher Appreciation: All Should Be Appreciated by ashleymiranda3 (This teen has learned how tough college will be thanks to Mrs. Sims)
  28. Teacher Appreciation: Educator’s Don’t Just Educate by anitas2012 (A teacher is better when he/she takes the time to know his/her students individually)
  29. Teacher Appreciation: The Cool Grammar Freak by kittykat (Her teacher taught the class how to write properly, and be a good friend)
  30. Teacher Appreciation: Inspirational Teacher by M.Shepherd (This teen was inspired to finish high school and attend college)
  31. Teacher Appreciation: Burger-to-Burger Teacher by ohmypigsfly (This teen learned a humble life lesson from a kind and eccentric teacher)
  32. Teacher Appreciation: SUPERTeacher by longlegstay22 (When an inadequate guidance counselor failed to provide sound college advice, her teacher stepped up to the plate and offered advice to college-bound seniors)
  33. Teacher Appreciation: Finding Myself by camcarter131 (This teen learned to motivate himself, and now aspires to attend college)
  34. Teacher Appreciation: A Woman of Many Admonitions by arianax21 (This teen found solace in her favorite class)
  35. Teacher Appreciation: Realizing What’s Important by flummerie (This teen realized learning is more important than grades)
  36. Teacher Appreciation: Rick Posito by dgm (This teen learned how to better write a story)
  37. Teacher Appreciation: Go Big by pink94 (An off-topic conversation convinces this teen to embrace her upcoming college experience)
  38. Teacher Appreciation: The Unexpected Lesson by escatel26 (This teen observed firsthand the kindness of her teacher)
  39. Teacher Appreciation: The Inspiration by candygirl12 (This teen went from sleeping in class to getting good grades)
  40. Teacher Appreciation by julescurrier (It doesn’t matter what you have in life, as long as you are happy)
  41. Teacher Appreciation: What Lesson I Have Learned by Scoutmom167 (Her professor encouraged her through a hard time in her life)
  42. Teacher Appreciation: Reaching the Unreachable by christineharris (Her teacher loved challenges)

Music

  1. Teacher Appreciation: Nancy Jorgensen by 29g8jorgense (Her mother has inspired her to become a teacher through her interesting and unique music classes)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: Finding a Hero in Emilio by chilywilly (This teen received harsh criticism from an elderly violin teacher)
  3. Teacher Appreciation: Reality Check by violinfreak8 (This teen excelled in playing the violin… but kept a secret about her success)
  4. Teacher Appreciation: Follow Your Heart by samuraiyuki (She learned to follow her heart, and to follow God)
  5. Teacher Appreciation: Filling the World With Rhythm and Passion by xxmalicemayhemxx (For a teacher with a heart of gold, who taught this student the secrets of life)
  6. Teacher Appreciation: My First Solo by Lg088 (“Always try new things, even if it’s something you’re scared of”)
  7. Teacher Appreciation: Exceeding Expectations by box29214 (Her teacher taught her skills to benefit her social life, education, and career)
  8. Teacher Appreciation: Lessons NOT Learned in the Curriculum by pilarallegra (This teen learned to better deal with hardships thanks to a difficult teacher)


Criminal Justice

  1. Teacher Appreciation: God Made Teachers by rhiannonkay (The “strict” teacher turned to be her best role model)


General Education/Elementary/Middle School

  1. Teacher Appreciation: Love and Hate by ameliamk1 (This teen learned a valuable life lesson from the “cruel” teacher)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: Hate? Or Love? by miss_diane101 (This teen’s sixth grade teacher got her ready for junior high)
  3. Teacher Appreciation: “EPP.” by AmmGP (This college student writes a letter to the high school teacher that affected his life the most)
  4. Teacher Appreciation: Because of a Lantern by Stefanie (Her teacher taught her about the cultural significance of the Mid-Autumn Festival)
  5. Teacher Appreciation: What Important Life Lesson Have I Not Learned From a Teacher? by ealisa (She has learned many important lessons from her teachers over the years)
  6. Teacher Appreciation: Not Knowing What I Have by rmjudd (This teen sees teachers as teachers; fictional professors are role models)
  7. Teacher Appreciation: Believe by em5705 (Her second grade teacher had memorable and fun lessons)
  8. Teacher Appreciation: Learning to Expand My Horizons by rileyvetsch (Her teacher gave her the courage to do public speaking)
  9. Teacher Appreciation: Am I being stupid or dumb? by Jennay (“Although I wasn’t failing, I was failing myself”)
  10. Teacher Appreciation: Ms. Lord’s Outlook on the Road to Redemption by calvinboyo (Ms. Lord taught him to stand up for himself, and how to talk to girls)
  11. Teacher Appreciation: What They (Never) Taught Me by me-o-maya (This teen reflects on important, but seemingly insignificant, lessons that better affected her life)
  12. Teacher Appreciation: My best teacher by lupita (She learned English and other life lessons from a very special teacher)
  13. Teacher Appreciation: Third Grade Experience by kaad92 (Her teacher pushed her to a higher reading level, and a higher math level)
  14. Teacher Appreciation: The Wicked With… Or So I Thought by xkeepituglyx (Her strict and sometimes cruel teacher pushed her to succeed)
  15. Teacher Appreciation: A Great Experience by isaac.marquis (This teen didn’t feel so much like a new student thanks to Mr. P)
  16. Teacher Appreciation by caitlyngafford3 (Teachers are our gateway to the future)
  17. Teacher Appreciation: The Pixie by jaggette11 (This teen had a “magical” and caring teacher)
  18. Teacher Appreciation: The Art of Attitudes by DallasScott (This teen learned to view life with a positive attitude)
  19. Teacher Appreciation: Lessons of living by b.givens19 (His teacher tried to fix students’ problems, instead of making the problems worse)
  20. Teacher Appreciation: The Stork Beneath My Wings by petepot (This teen learned the crucial difference between exaggeration and lying in kindergarten)
  21. Teacher Appreciation: The Qualities of a Great Teacher by siobhan.daley (This teen discusses her favorite and most influential teachers)
  22. Teacher Appreciation: The teacher that became my role model by sdkylieprice (Her teacher became like a mother to this teen)
  23. Teacher Appreciation: It Started With Her by Erica.Danielle2k12 (This teen did not like to disappoint her kindergarten teacher)
  24. Teacher Appreciation: My Great Inspiration by jdorman (Her teacher taught her not to procrastinate)
  25. Teacher Appreciation: Hidden Inspirations by catlynm16 (This teen has learned to be a better person, and to strengthen her faith)
  26. Teacher Appreciation: The Sky is the Limit by deon (This teen has had three inspirational teachers)
  27. Teacher Appreciation: An Inspiration by Kelley2 (This teen was taught basic but valuable skills by her kindergarten teacher)
  28. Teacher Appreciation: An Inspiration by mattjohn (This teacher helped this teen outside of class in schoolwork, and outside of class in extracurricular activities)
  29. Teacher Appreciation: Some Very Influential People by Dustin.Nolan (This teen had three important teachers in his life)
  30. Teacher Appreciation: Inspiration of My Life by morgan4 (This teen was pushed to be her best both athletically and academically)
  31. Teacher Appreciation by kanisha.thompson (This teen learned to be considerate and have respect)
  32. Teacher Appreciation: Starts with hello and Ends with Detention by poet782 (A student is deducted test points for excitedly announcing his score)
  33. Teacher Appreciation: The Professor That Became My Role Model by sdkayceeallbritton (This teen deeply admired her professor)
  34. Teacher Appreciation: Doctor of Google by featherlite (Although computers have become important learning tools, teachers will forever remain the most important source of knowledge and information)
  35. Teacher Appreciation: Excuse-Free Zone by mia3757 (Excuses are directly related to self-doubt)
  36. Teacher Appreciation: My two faves by cjm9139 (This teen reflects on how her two favorite teachers made her feel comfortable at school)
  37. Teacher Appreciation: Anything is Possible by elizabethc (Her teacher taught by making every student feel special)
  38. Teacher Appreciation: Installing Confidence by Gorrila24 (Her teacher saved the best for last)
  39. Teacher Appreciation: Inspirations and Aspirations by AdrienneLee (Her fourth grade teachers helped her decide to attend an arts high school in NYC)
  40. Teacher Appreciation: The dogma of success and passion by atestimony (Students and teachers should equally care about each other)
  41. Teacher Appreciation: Ignore by YourServant (This teen learned to ignore bullying)
  42. Teacher Appreciation: An Important Life Lesson by Metalhead4life (This teen learned to be himself, and never do, say, or act like other people because it is “cool”)
  43. Teacher Appreciation: Friends and Rumors by steffprec (Her teacher taught her that you will not have the same friends your entire life)
  44. Teacher Appreciation by smile12 (The appropriately named Mrs. Doubtfire taught her that she can make it through all of life’s obstacles)
  45. Teacher Appreciation by spinchairking (This teen learned that curiosity was a positive trait)
  46. Teacher Appreciation: Never let someone tell you what you can be or what you can’t be by justinshieh (Eating lunch with his teacher gave him more than a full belly—a full heart)
  47. Teacher Appreciation: Living just for the moment isn’t worth it by Ero93 (This teen had a problem controlling his anger)

History

  1. Teacher Appreciation: Ms. Wood by mele_writer (Her teacher turned boring lessons into interesting historical anecdotes)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: Don’t be insecure by katie_selena (Her social studies teacher gave her good advice about dealing with bullies)
  3. Teacher Appreciation: Pure from the heart by qbug (This teacher saved her from making a very final decision)
  4. Teacher Appreciation: Dr. Hadley, Hayley, Hartley; I mean Hatley by sdjamesminer (His professor had a lot of passion for his job)
  5. Teacher Appreciation: The Power of Ideas by ingridlovesboris (Her teacher showed her life outside of “the box”)
  6. Teacher Appreciation: Baseball and Rock’n’Roll by ajpetross (His professor had a lot of enthusiasm for the subjects he taught)
  7. Teacher Appreciation: The History Teacher that Changed My Future by runcook (This teen connected with an exciting teacher in a tiny school)
  8. Teacher Appreciation: Inspiring a drive toward success and a new perspective of the world by amc100 (His teacher made a dry subject interesting by adding anecdotes about important historical events)
  9. Teacher Appreciation: Most Admired Teacher and Class by PartyRock (Her teacher worked hard to make sure each student passed his class)
  10. Teacher Appreciation: Inspirational Teacher by khadijah (This teen passed all portions of the grad exam thanks to a tough teacher)
  11. Teacher Appreciation: Inspirational Teacher by Ksport (Her teacher used Disney movies as a comparison to real history events)
  12. Teacher Appreciation: Life Lessons by kylewalpole (This teen quickly learned not to cheat in this teacher’s class)
  13. Teacher Appreciation: Great Start by jjsankey (His favorite teacher was also his favorite football coach)
  14. Teacher Appreciation: Knowing My True Beauty by Shazy889 (This teen learned to appreciate her skin color thanks to a kind teacher)
  15. Teacher Appreciation: Ode to the man of doubloons by yiyijessicali (“People become perfect through mistakes”)


Art

  1. Teacher Appreciation: A way to live life by sam (Her second grade art teacher fostered her talent)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: The Inspiring Teacher by ohio12 (This teen learned to care more)


Foreign Languages

  1. Teacher Appreciation: 4th period Spanish for Spanish Speakers with Mr. Diaz by bibisky (Mr. Diaz not only taught her Spanish, but also taught her life lessons)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: The French Teacher by CurlyDz (To be in an honors class, you must behave honorably)
  3. Teacher Appreciation: 4 kids. 3 teachers. 1 Awesome French Class. by Sevendwarfs (This teen experience 3 very different French teachers)
  4. Teacher Appreciation: From English to Spanish by madisonilene (This teen is now minoring in Spanish thanks to her high school Spanish teacher)
  5. Teacher Appreciation: AP Spanish- The Bane of Many, But My Favorite! by dpower115 (This teen would retake the difficult AP Spanish class all over again if she could)
  6. Teacher Appreciation: From French to Attitude Adjustments by ericahobar (This teen participated in fun and interesting projects that made learning French easier)
  7. Teacher Appreciation: Mr. Trammell gave us some good everyday life points by matthewfriday7 (His AP Spanish teacher taught both a foreign language, and valuable life lessons)
  8. Teacher Appreciation: Spanish Teacher Influenced My Life by rberry (His teacher made learning Spanish much easier than what he thought)
  9. Teacher Appreciation: Magister/Pater, David by jyzsol (This teen grew up thinking all men were cruel; until she met her Latin teacher)


Parents

  1. Teacher Appreciation: A Different Point of View by mynameislynn (This teen sees her mother as the best possible teacher)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: What’s So Great About Education? by millerfamily8 (Her mom taught her to appreciate everything that she learns, because it expands her view of the world)
  3. Teacher Appreciation: The One That Changed My Life by Kirsten_15 (Her dad made her want to be a teacher and coach, too)
  4. Teacher Appreciation: Teacher sent from god by aly101 (Her mom taught her that things will always get better)
  5. Teacher Appreciation: More Than A Mother by christina.wulforst (Her mother was the best educator)
  6. Teacher Appreciation: The Home Technique by tamani96 (This teen benefitted from homeschooling)


Philosophy

  1. Teacher Appreciation: The Compassionate Teacher by mickeymouseisaboss (His teacher taught compassion and understanding, in addition to ethics)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: You are nothing by kat004 (This teen discusses the philosophy of David Hume in her class)


Theater/Dance

  1. Teacher Appreciation: The Value of Asking by Ldeckert (If you want something, then you need to ask for it)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: A Single Spotlight by ChelBelle (This teen was taught to “perform” only for God, and not for an “unsatisfied” audience)
  3. Teacher Appreciation: Finding the Inner Actress in Me by Rai.sampson (This teen turned from a performer into an actress)
  4. Teacher Appreciation: The Man, The Myth, The Legend by HanaCheplowitz (Her teacher made his classroom feel like home)

Film/Media

  1. Teacher Appreciation: Breaking Boundaries by Ryan.Gutierrez (This teen learned to have faith in himself, so that he can change for the better)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: My Mentor, My Dream by thebug00 (This teen has a career path thanks to an inspirational media teacher)


Sports/Gym

  1. Teacher Appreciation: Ross Morrill by Polo.Paige (Her water polo coach saw her as an individual player, and taught her to relax)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: My Coach, my Father, my Best Friend by Jadef (This teen saw her swimming coach as a father figure and a best friend)
  3. Teacher Appreciation: Coach Standford Smile by nellyfloyd (After a grueling recovery from a torn ACL, this teen is reminded to “smile”)
  4. Teacher Appreciation: Life’s Most Valuable Lesson by johnd16 (This teen learned that being a better sports player also means performing well in class)
  5. Teacher Appreciation: Give It 110% by omgisthateryn (Her coach taught her to “leave it all in the pool”)
  6. Teacher Appreciation: Take that leap by brittneyreavis (Her coach helped her deal with a nasty divorce)
  7. Teacher Appreciation: My Life Changed by sdjordanford (Every day and every person is special)
  8. Teacher Appreciation: Changed My Life by Hawk23 (His coach helped to make an easy transition to a new high school)
  9. Teacher Appreciation: Commonly Unnoticed by koonce4 (She learned that it is okay to be “weak” sometimes and ask for help)
  10. Teacher Appreciation: Ability to Change by djduffey (This teen used to make fun of the “athletically challenged” students)


God/Sunday School

  1. Teacher Appreciation: A Different Kind of Teacher by dani32110 (This teen gains a lot from lessons and trips during Sunday School)


Woodshop

  1. Teacher Appreciation by simonharris12 (This teen now has goals and ambitions thanks to this teacher)


Home Economics

  1. Teacher Appreciation: A Class to Remember by Cassidy_Balkcom (This teen learned many valuable skills in her elective class)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: A True Friend by brittanyventris (This teen confided in her teacher)
  3. Teacher Appreciation: From Teacher to Friend by sdjacquilynbrown (This teen got over her aversion to professors thank to a kind and caring professor)

Yearbook

  1. Teacher Appreciation: Inspirational Teacher by sydneyrogers13 (Her teacher encouraged her to go to college and a great job)


Finance/Accounting

  1. Teacher Appreciation: Helping Get Through by awailand (Her teacher convinced her to stay in high school and go to college)


Sociology/Psychology

  1. Teacher Appreciation: Expanding Experiences by rftrcat (This teen was inspired to pursue a minor in Psychology)
  2. Teacher Appreciation: Overcoming Grade Anxiety by alyhowe (This teen stopped worrying so much about her grades)
  3. Teacher Appreciation: Remember Me When You’re Famous by Rain-Melissa (Her teacher instilled a great sense of achievement and confidence in her)
  4. Teacher Appreciation: More Than “Just a Teacher” by lovecassiejoy (Her professor helped her figure out her life plan)
  5. Teacher Appreciation by SashaB (Her professor is a hard-worker, and helps students with their problems)


Work Study

  1. Teacher Appreciation: Making a Difference by lcfabulous90 (This teen learned professionalism and other important business concepts)

Last Words: 

We could not list all of the essays submitted for this contest, but we thank every student that participated in the Teacher Appreciation essay contest.  To enter the current Stage of Life monthly writing contest for high school students and college students:



 

Press Release

StageofLife.com Reports 91% of Teenagers Have Been Bullied

YORK, PA--(Marketwire - Aug 25, 2011) - School's starting and teens once again face the ugly reality of bullyingStageofLife.com, a free blog for high school students, reached out to teenagers during its national essay contest to ask high school and college students, "Have you ever been bullied?"

Over 1,000 teens participated in the survey and writing contest, and StageofLife.com collected scores of courageous testimonials from students.

From the survey, StageofLife.com revealed the following bullying statistics:

    • 91% of teens have been a victim of bullying
    • Top five bullying reasons were: Looks/Size (23%), Being Smart/"Nerdy" (19%), Interests/Hobbies (13%), Race (9%), and Family (6%)

    • 3% admitted to having been a bully and now regret their actions

    • 6% have never been bullied
  • Other reasons identified for the cause of the bullying: being poor (5%), being rich (2%), having physical or learning disability (4% combined), sexual orientation (2%), and receiving food assistance from food stamps or a food bank (1%).

From the essay submissions, StageofLife.com revealed five bullying trends:

1. Confidence: Teens learned that the best way to overcome bullying is to be proud of yourself; have faith in who you are as a person. 
2. Friends: It's important to have a friend who helps you in standing up for yourself, or at the very least, understands what you are going through. 
3. School Officials: Sadly, many teens expressed frustration that school officials did nothing to stop bullying, even after it was reported. This has been a crisis in many school systems, who wave bullying off as a "he said, she said" situation. 
4. Racism: Teens are frustrated and surprised that in a melting pot like America, people could still be this intolerant. 
5. Body: The majority of essays submitted dealt with bullying because of looks, body shape, or body size. Several wrote about their therapy or hospitalization because of harsh bullying.

The winning essay was entitled, "I was bullied because of my acne" written by Ann Sangeun Cho from Westlake High School in Austin, TX.

A summary report is available at http://www.stageoflife.com/TeensandBullies.aspx with survey results, links to over 100 teen essays about bullying, bullying prevention resources and more.

StageofLife.com is a free blog for all generations with free lesson planswriting contests, and My Life Rewards®, a free savings program providing printable coupons and coupon codes for every stage of life.

SOURCE: StageofLife.com

Writing Contest Archive - Students

Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports

StageofLife.com Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by StageofLife.com.  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on TIME.com, and features in the news.  Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month.  StageofLife.com is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with you as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2016 Writing Contests

Writing Contest for High School Students

2015 Writing Contests


2014 Writing Contests

 2013 Writing Contests





2012 Writing Contests

2011 Writing Contests

 2010 Writing Contests


Stage of Life Mission Statement

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StageofLife.com was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

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