She is like a fireplace, warm, cozy, crackling with jokes. Mrs. Carnell is like no other teacher I have had. Her understanding personality and patience is incomprehensible. I had the privilege of having her both freshman and sophomore year for English.
My first day of high school at Arrowhead didn’t go well. I started it off with not being able to get my locker open. After much frustration, I went to choir. I was looking forward to it. I walked in, sat down and realized everyone in the class was a boy. I was in the male treble choir. I was mortified. So I got up and went where I was supposed to be:Mrs. Carnell’s class. This was the first time I saw her smile. Something made me feel like everything was going to be okay. For the next two years, my day started with her contagious smile.
I have always liked English but I never knew English could be more than reading books and writing. She made each book relate to something deeper. Reading to Mrs. Carnell was a passion; you could see as we read as a class she knew every detail, and had prepped questions that related to make us think about what we were learning and to apply it to our own lives. She took time to show and explain that there is a greater meaning behind the story of plot. The life lesson I took from that is every person I meet, has a greater meaning and you can’t get the full picture.
Mrs. Carnell always wanted us to get involved and include something we thought. One day, in our small class, we all shared our “2 cents.” In this activity, each student received two pennies; we went around the room and shared what we thought, or a question that we had. I loved the thought of everyone sharing and it wasn’t awkward (like how I feel in other classes). There was a comfort and we were not afraid of what others would think. This has shown me I need to make my own comfort and when I am afraid or uncomfortable to remember that everyone is feeling the same way I am and it has really boosted my confidence.
During my sophomore year, my grandpa had a stroke. Emotionally, I couldn’t balance school work, training for my job, and going daily to see him in the hospital. Around that time, Mrs. Carnell went through the same kind situation. She knew what to say and how to be there for me. We would talk and all I wanted was to sit and talk to her; she created a safe place for me.
In school, I can get lost and there is so much opportunity and diversity that it can become overwhelming. But Mrs. Carnell was my safe place. She made a home for me and my classmates to come and find our way, to express our feelings and thoughts.
Mrs. Carnell is the most selfless person and she would give her life for others without even thinking about it, from giving students lunch money, and driving strangers home if they needed.
She was always interested in what we were interested in or wanted to do in our future. She knew I had a passion for nursing. She helped me write letters to get my job, and pursue this passion.
Mrs. Carnell is the educator that impacted me the most. Mrs. Carnell’s incomprehensible patience and personality will continue to affect, and make me strive to be like her in my career, school environment, and daily life.