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Jason Creel, English Teacher, Lincoln Middle School This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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At the beginning of seventh grade, I didn't know much about English. I liked writing, but I wasn't educated in English itself. I remember walking into class the first day to see a large man with a beard, mustache, and a good sense of humor: he was our teacher, Mr. Creel. Instantly everyone loved him. Although some problems arose between us ­in the start of the year, in the end, everything worked out.

Despite these early problems, it was obvious to me, and everyone else, that Mr. Creel was there to help us improve ourselves and our lives. We often did writing exercises that hit us where it hurt – journals on bullying, writing about family, etc. We had the chance to learn the secrets behind commercials, distinguishing how each ad tried to draw in viewers. He taught us about descriptive writing by having us give him instructions on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That was entertaining, because when we forgot to tell him to set the peanut butter down on the table he dropped it on the floor. When we asked him to screw the lid back on, he twisted it the wrong way.

He gave us all very specific ­attention and didn't neglect a single student. Every class has that kid who never talks and keeps to himself. In our class, this quiet student happened to be a boy. I don't remember any other teachers treating him with the ­respect and attention Mr. Creel gave him. Other teachers seemed to disregard him, with some even yelling at him. I had rarely heard him speak or laugh before, but that changed in Mr. Creel's class.

I remember one exam in Mr. Creel's class. When I handed in my test, I told him I was nervous about it because English wasn't a strong subject for me. He said, “I knew you were nervous. When I studied psychology, I learned about nervous behaviors. When you are nervous you ­either put your hand on your leg or scrunch your nose, which you've been doing all week.” It was really cool having a teacher who paid that much attention to me. He then helped me so I could become better at it.

Mr. Creel is definitely an adult who's a kid at heart. He likes video games and Nerf toys and constantly tells us stories. One of the coolest ones he told us was about when he married his wife. Turns out he had only known her for two days when he proposed, and they ended up living in China for a year, where some interesting things took place. In any case, he always kept us entertained and intrigued.

I remember halfway through the year, he missed a few days of school. We were all worried and didn't exactly jump for joy at the notion of a substitute. He returned with an eye-patch explaining that doctors believed he had an aneurysm. He missed school a lot during that time, and we genuinely missed him. But he still found a way to be positive, even using his eye-patch to show us how much he enjoyed being the pirate of the school!

Mr. Creel's best trait has to be his reliability. When I started getting teased about my shoes, he confronted the bullies who listened when he told them to stop. One morning I was upset because a friend had blamed me for his suicide attempt. When I spilled it all to Mr. Creel, he straightened things out, got my friend counseling (even though he no longer went to our school), and gave me help on how to make it look like I wasn't crying. On the last day of school I even remember confiding in him about my boyfriend. I trusted this amazing teacher so much.

Mr. Creel isn't just a teacher, but also a friend who listens. He's a parental figure who knows how to discipline, and a mentor who knows how to critique. I miss having such an amazing and dedicated teacher.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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Wontgiveup17This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Oct. 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm:
I have a teacher like that as well. She is by far my favorite teacher and one of my major role models.
 
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