Who Says Ordinary People Can't Be Heroes?

June 7, 2013
Ask yourself, who is your hero? I bet the first person that came to your mind was someone famous. How about a successful athlete? How about a well-known politician? Perhaps your favorite hero is a famous singer or actor? Of course, these figures are famous for their accomplishments and success, but people can be heroes without being famous and being globally known can’t they?

My hero is my choir director, Mrs. Gillis. Even though the city I live in is only populated of about 35,000 people, Mrs. Gillis is known by just about every high-school student in the city, and even beyond. When I fist met Mrs. Gillis, I knew I would always have so much respect for her. She is a very strong, independent woman who has already made a huge impact on my life, not only as a singer, but as a person.

How can you tell when a person possesses so much strength? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself ever since I met Mrs. Gillis. I think that you can tell how strong a person is by the way they react to disrespect, pain, discouragement, and failure. A strong person will turn a critical comment into a conclusive wake-up call or an ongoing goal. A strong person will not let painful events and negative emotions get in the way of being there for the people who need them most. A strong person looks for ways to help those who discourage them, instead of discouraging them back. And that is who Mrs. Gillis is, she is a person of strength.

Heroes are more than people who save cats from trees; they are role models. Between managing 6 different choirs a day filled with all high-school students and performing duties of not only a teacher, such as grading, organizing concerts and gigs, and dealing with disrespectful students, but also being head chair of the music department, I don’t know how Mrs. Gillis hasn’t managed to completely loose her mind.
Sometimes when I feel like I have a heavy work load or a lot on my plate, I think of Mrs. Gillis and how, even though she deals with all of that responsibility and accountability, she still puts on a smile every day.

Heroes love to take credibility for changing a person in ways that only make them more successful in life. Mrs. Gillis doesn’t teach for the money, recognition, or any other benefits, but she teaches because she cares about the well-being and development of her students’ talent. One of the reasons I enjoy having Mrs. Gillis as a teacher, especially in choir, is because she doesn’t even stop to hesitate when it comes to speaking to me, or any other of her students, about ways to improve and get better, nor is she afraid to point someone out for misbehavior or having a poor attitude. That’s the difference between a good teacher and a bad teacher: a good teacher will constructively point out your mistakes and weak points with no hesitation and sometimes, without even sympathy or pity. Meanwhile, a bad teacher is someone who is lazy when it comes to properly evaluating his/her students. They choose to let the students guide themselves instead of being a helpful mentor. Mrs. Gillis is a person of honesty, and that is another one of the reasons why she is my hero.

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libertyman said...
Jun. 24, 2013 at 5:30 pm
Wow! This is an amazing piece! You are a very skilled and knowledgeable writer! I agree with you that heroes don't have to be famous people, or people who are well known. You explained very well that anybody, even a teacher, can be a hero. I'm sure that Mrs.Gillis was extremely thankful and appreciative of this! Keep up the great work! :)
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