Gratefully Indebted

February 7, 2010
By Anonymous

I would like to nominate my English teacher Mrs. Kelly Gomes for the Teen Ink Educator of the Year award. She has completely changed my high school experience and I cannot thank her enough. Mrs. Gomes is an English teacher at James Madison High School in Portland Oregon. I am a current student in her Creative writing and publishing class. I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t have good things to say about Mrs. Gomes.
Mrs. Gomes is always pushing students to go out of their comfort zone and try something new in order to improve their writing skills and to grow as a person. Just recently she convinced multiple students to read original pieces at a public event sponsored by the Writers in the Schools program. Mrs. Gomes is an extremely dedicated teacher who wants the best for her students. She rarely misses class unless it is a must and she always insures that we have a good substitute. Not only does Mrs. Gomes strive to help students polish their writing skills, but she helped me when I was confronted with a personal problem from my past.
I came to Mrs. Gomes with a burden I had been keeping to myself for quite some time. In our English class she assigned us to write a letter to someone telling them something we wish we had said to them. I decided to write a letter confronting a man who did things he shouldn’t have. Once I had written the letter I knew the burden had become too large for me to handle on my own and I had to share it with someone. I spent days deciding what to do before I finally did the right thing. One day at the end of class I handed her the letter and asked her if she would read it. The moment I handed her that letter my whole life changed. Her reaction to my letter was serious and concerned at the same time. I think she was also somewhat surprised. She told me a few things about my letter that day. She said that from a writer’s perspective it was a strong piece of writing, but from a teacher’s point of view she had to report it. Emotions over took me as I started to cry. Then Mrs. Gomes embraced me and told me things would be okay.
Before I wrote that letter Mrs. Gomes was just another one of my teachers. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Mrs. Gomes from the moment I first stepped foot in her class and I could tell she was going to be an amazing teacher; I just didn’t know her very well since this was my first time having her. It wasn’t until I showed her the letter that I saw her true colors and what a fantastic teacher she was. From that day on she was always there for me. Whether I was just having a bad day or I was traumatized by the legal proceedings she was always there to give me support and advice. Without the help I received from Mrs. Gomes I would still be carrying around this emotional burden deep down inside.
As I said before Mrs. Gomes is an extremely dedicated teacher. She is in charge of publishing our schools yearly literary magazine and works hard with our school librarian to get authors to visit our school. She has inspired me that I can do things I never thought possible and that I don’t have to let what happened in the past define me. Madison is extremely lucky to have a teacher like Mrs. Gomes. It brings joy to my face to watch her teach and know that she is there when you need her. I am sure that she will continue to help students blossom and discover their talents over the years. I’m asking you to please consider Mrs. Gomes for the Teen Ink Educator of the Year award because I am forever grateful for what she did for me and I feel that she should be recognized.

The author's comments:
I was inspired to write this piece because I felt that a teacher as good as Mrs. Gomes deserved a little recognition for all her hard work.

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