When I went into first grade, I admit, I was scared. I was used to having half-days in kindergarten. Now, I had to transition to full days and I wasn’t ready to do so. I was nervous of being in school for eight hours. I didn’t know what I would do.
Ms. Czerwonka made the transition easy. I still remember walking into her classroom on the first day of school thinking, this is going to be awful. But there she was, a tall, blonde teacher, standing by the door with the biggest smile on her face. It was as radiant as the sun’s glare at the break of the morning. Immediately, I felt a sense of relief. All it took was her simple smile to ease my fears of the first day of first grade.
As I got to know Ms. Czerwonka throughout the school year, I got familiar with her teaching style. She used bonding activities and projects that helped make our class feel like a family. Because of her, I grew so close with my classmates that I am even still friends with many of them today, 10 years later. I even met my best friend, who is still my best friend to this day, in her class. Ms. Czerwonka helped create a unique bond between us that will surely last a lifetime.
Ms. Czerwonka’s teaching let us students feel like we could do anything. She would encourage us to keep working until we were happy with the final outcome. I remember when we wrote short stories in her class, and I had no idea what to write about. She helped me come up with ideas of what I find inspiring in the world around me. Today, that is something that I keep in the back of my mind with everything I do—whether it be finding motivation to do well in school or deciding what I want to do with my future. It reminds me that I can do anything I set my mind to if I just keep trying. This high standard that Ms. Czerwonka held me to inspired me to hold myself responsible for my achievements and my failures, and to not let those failures stop me from succeeding.
Ms. Czerwonka was the most loving, kind, and cheerful teacher I have ever had. You could tell, that she had a spot in her heart for each and every one of her students. Even 10 years later, she has motivated me to do so many things with my life that I wouldn’t have been able to do without her impact. She has taught me to be independent and never give up. Thank you, Ms. Czerwonka, for everything you have done for me—not only for making first grade memorable, but, more importantly, for inspiring me, and so many others.