Evaluate a significant experience or achievement that has special meaning to you.
This is a topic I don't even have to think twice about. On April 20, 1996, my mother, her fianc", my grandmother, and I went to Boston. We met up with Mr. Telicki, his wife, and his parents at Northeastern University. It was the most nerve-racking night of my life because I had to do something I am deathly afraid of. When I think of reading something in front of a class, I become all nervous and my hands get sweaty. My face turns many shades of red from embarrassment. But this was nothing compared to reading my essay about someone very important to me in front of a room full of strangers - and television cameras. All night I felt like I would lose it. My stomach felt like it had popcorn kernels popping. I couldn't eat a thing and my mother was afraid that I would faint before I even got up to speak.
When it was finally my turn, I felt numb. I read my essay, but hardly realized what I was doing. When I read the last line, I realized what a big thing had just happened. "Mr. Telicki is definitely an outstanding teacher, despite other things, and truly deserves to be Educator of the Year." After this last line, there was applause and then a hug from my Educator of the Year.
We had our picture taken with Gov. Michael Dukakis, and received plaques. When I looked into Mr. Telicki's eyes, I saw how touched he was by this award. And I couldn't be more happy to be involved in this big night for him.
During my junior year, I realized that Mr. Telicki was a big part of my education. After having him as my English teacher for two years, I noticed how much he had taught me. Previously I knew nothing about - and had little interest in English - until he was my teacher. And as an avid reader of The 21st Century, I told myself I should definitely take this opportunity to submit an essay for their contest.
Of course I never thought that anything would come from this. I was amazed at the fact that from over 600 entries, only 20 educators would be chosen, and Mr. Telicki was one of them.
I was ecstatic at the news, and was very pleased to see the expression of happiness on Mr. Telicki's face when I told him the good news.
He told me it was a credit to my writing. My ideas were different though. My writing could only be as good as what I wrote about. And all I did was write the truth, that Mr. Telicki was a great teacher.
Even though I was very nervous that night, I never once regretted what I did. I'd walk over hot coals barefoot if that's what it would take to proclaim that I have a great teacher.
And to this day, he is still a big inspiration to me. Teacher of my AP English class, he has given me the knowledge that will greatly be needed for my college experiences.
The night of April 20, 1996 will be an experience I shall never forget in all my life. What Mr. Telicki has taught me will be a permanent reminder of that night, and a reminder that we have many great teachers in our school systems. They deserve all the recognition that students are capable of giving.
This experience has also proved to me that I should never doubt my abilities. I should never give up. I'll try no matter what, because who knows what the outcome could be. -
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.