You Would Think

December 15, 2009
You would think that a teacher is supposed to be encouraging, sweet, sympathetic and nice right? Wrong, well, almost completely wrong. Mrs. Davis never did any of that. People would say she was the meanest, cruelest teacher who had no heart. I was excited about my eighth grade year – minus the satanic math English teacher of course. I was prepared for essays and tests and tons of outside reading assignments.

That first day of her class was the most frightening day of eighth grade. With her frigid stare and tight posture, she seemed as if she had been in the military. However, this was not the case. Within the first few days that turned into weeks, she gave us loads of homework and many assignments in class. My grades fell a little bit and so did everyone else’s in the class. She did not try to be sympathetic and take late work, nor did she accept assignments below her standards. Many students dropped her class before November rolled around.

As soon as December 1st rolled around so did her entire personality. She began bringing us treats and slacking on assignments, as well as letting us talk to her in a way that was not entirely military style. She became more of a friend than a teacher in those next few months. Even at Christmas she brought us each a stocking with our name embroidered on them filled with candy. All her students began to admire her but still question her 180 degree turn around from the first few months. Finally, a kid in our class named Daniel, who had some serious handicap in his mind to ask this question, asked why exactly she acted this way. Mrs. Davis laughed and said, “if you only knew.”

She never fully answered the question she just smiled. I went on to my freshman year and was excited for English. I came into class and my teacher was nothing like Mrs. Davis in the end. She was hard and tough and gave us many assignments but never showed her kind side. It didn’t hit me until mid freshman year that that was the purpose of Mrs. Davis’s attitude turn around. She was preparing us for high school and prepared were we. We had learned to have good work ethic, follow directions, and balance out a heavy work load. The kids who stayed in her class and didn’t drop it or flunk out had developed these traits. All of the kids from her class did better than any others in my freshman class. Mrs. Davis taught us how to deal with a person in the good times and in the bad and what is appropriate or not to say and do.

Those lessons have stuck with me and now I’m a senior. I have good people skills, good grades, and a good work ethic. I owe it all to Mrs. Davis. Having to put up with rude and stubborn children, taking the brunt of everything must have been hard to deal with. She sacrificed the happiness of her day to instill good ideas and habits in her students. She had a faith in us that we were blind to. As I graduate and move on to college, so will her plan in which all students would succeed. After college, when I move on to the real world, I may have changed everything about me from my clothes to my hair to what I eat. My sleeping habits may change and so might my vocabulary. However, my memory of Mrs. Davis never will, nor will the habits she instilled with us, they’re embroidered on my memory, just like the stockings she brought us that year.

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