My Favorite Teacher
I’ve had a lot of great teachers throughout my years of being in school, but one always stands out for me. When I was in high school, I had the same teacher for 9th grade Honors English and 12th grade Honors English, and to be honest with you I was less than pleased both times when I found out my teacher assignment. Mrs. Testa was known for being a hard teacher, and of course, being 14-years-old and 17-years-old “hard” was not exactly a quality I was looking for in a teacher. We were constantly reading books and writing analytical essays. While obviously by 9th grade I could read, I was not a very fast reader, and my writing skills were sub-par, to say it nicely. I knew from day one that if I was going to come anywhere close to passing her class I was going to have to focus and try really hard.
I remember complaining about all the work we did because we had to read so much every night. Imagine that – a high school Honors English teacher was making her students read a lot…who would have ever thought! While some people could spend 15 minutes reading the spark notes for Wally Lamb’s 901 page book I Know This Much Is True, and write a completely acceptable paper that made sense and would earn an easy A or B, I was stuck reading for hours every night. I knew my analytical writing skills weren’t great so if on top of that my paper made no sense because I didn’t read the book…yea that wouldn’t have been a good look for me.
Mrs. Testa exemplified what a great teacher should be in my eyes. She was tough, but very fair. She told us her expectations at the beginning of the year and she stood by her plans without letting us slack off. She was also in tune with the effort that was being put forth and could tell when I was trying hard and still just wasn’t getting the point across the right way. In these situations, she would give me constructive criticism that would help me understand what was wrong in my paper and how I could fix it, but she never fixed it for me. She made me work to get it right. I can truly appreciate that now, even more than I did then, and I really have her to thank for my love for writing today. Had I had a different teacher, one who didn’t encourage me or push me to do more than I thought I could, I may have had given up and sworn off writing all together; I was lucky to have had her in my life.
I hope all of you had or have at least one teacher in your life that has made a lasting impression on you!