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A Different Kind of Nurse

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There are many people in my life that have had a significant influence on me. But there is one I’ll never forget. It was my freshman year of high school when I first met her: Ms. Nurse (my Spanish teacher) from Trinidad and Tobago. She spoke the language faster than I could even comprehend. Instantly, I began to panic and had no idea how I would pass the class. As soon as you said her name, people knew exactly who you were talking about. She had a reputation of giving a lot of homework, and working students really hard. I was intimidated.

Ms. Nurse didn’t actually give a lot of homework or work students hard. She had a great passion to work students until their full potential came out. Many viewed her as a mean teacher, but there was something about her that inspired me. I noticed that she was doing what was best for us and truly cared about our education. She also taught us about less fortunate children in other parts of the world that would do anything to obtain an education like ours. Ms. Nurse influenced me to appreciate my education and work harder to make the most of it.

The way Ms. Nurse taught brought excitement to the classroom. Ms. Nurse would use many different techniques to connect with students. Sometimes we would read and listen to Spanish conversations, draw on the board, look at diagrams, watch video clips, sing songs, and dance to Spanish music. Ms. Nurse made learning fun and I couldn’t wait until the next day of class. All of her different teaching techniques inspired me to pursue a major in education. I realized how much fun I would have and how much power: I could also influence students like she had influenced me.

Unlike the other teachers in my school, she was colored (although that didn’t seem to affect her in any way,) nor the way I looked at her. I saw past the color of her skin and noticed that there was more to her. I learned about her life. Ms. Nurse was proud of her accomplishments, because she had gone through a lot to obtain them. I think that’s what inspired me most about her. She grew up with her grandmother in Trinidad and Tobago. She never knew her real father, and her mother had died. When Ms. Nurse came to the United States she faced many hardships because of her circumstances. She helped me realize that I could overcome any obstacle in my path.

Ms. Nurse also influenced me to become a better person. During the month of October our class would contribute to UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund). My class participated in many different activities such as: donating clothing to charities, raising money for children in need, and helping people within our community. Outside of the classroom, I have also contributed to the Buffalo Audubon Society by participating in wetland clean-ups, as well as local church activities. After seeing the effect I had in my community, I plan to continue actively volunteering.

Ms. Nurse also invented “the hot seat.” Everyday a student would go up in front of the class and sit in a cheetah print director’s chair. She would go around the class and have everyone say something they liked about the person sitting in the chair. The catch was you couldn’t say anything that had to do with his/her outward appearance. I can remember when she called my name to go into “the hot seat,” as if it was yesterday. I was terrified to get up in front of the whole class and have people say what they really liked about me. I was overwhelmed with feelings after hearing what my classmates said. Many liked my drive and determination. Others liked how I always answered questions Ms. Nurse would ask. Some of my classmates also admired how I would help them if they didn’t understand something. This was one of the many valuable life lessons Ms. Nurse taught us. We needed to look beyond a person’s outward appearance and deep into his/her heart. The influence she had over me was incredible.

Although some people don’t understand Ms. Nurse, she was more than just a Spanish teacher to me. It was through her that I learned many valuable life lessons. Not to mention her influence on my future career path.





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