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The Best Year Experienced
Everyone has had their favorite years of their lives. Along with that comes your favorite grade in school, and after that comes, of course, your favorite teacher. I’ve had numerous teachers throughout the years, but the one who most inspired me was my seventh grade Language Arts teacher, Miss Cupps.
I can remember the first day of Language Arts so well; walking into the room, the first thing I noticed was the decoration of moons, stars, and suns strewn across the walls. The second thing I noticed was that the lights in the room were turned off, giving the classroom a relaxing, calming trait. I at once felt as though I belonged in this classroom. I knew that this wouldn’t be the room where students are yelled at or treated unfairly, where demerits are practically handed out to anyone who dares to misbehave. I was certain that this was the one class where I could just sit back and enjoy myself.
After finding a seat, a woman with short, curly brown hair came into the room. She asked politely for everyone to settle down and went to stand next to the overhead that was placed in the center of the front of the room. She leaned against the side of the machine, a warm, welcoming smile spread across her lips. She introduced herself as Miss Cupps, our seventh grade Language Arts teacher. Miss Cupps informed us that she tried to make her lessons interesting, and sometimes even fun, so that we could learn without feeling pressured or stressed. She also began to take out books from her crowded shelves and explain what they were about. I myself am a major bookworm, so this was a dream come true for me. I could talk about a book for hours and not get the least bit bored, and it looked like that was the case with Miss Cupps.
Throughout the seventh grade year, Miss Cupps taught us many things, some of them having nothing whatsoever to do with Language Arts. One day, Miss Cupps told us that we were going to learn about Greek Mythology, I was excited to learn about these strange legends. I could always walk into Miss Cupps classroom with a smile spread wide across my face. I never had a liking for school, but Miss Cupps Language Arts class became something to look forward to.
One day, Miss Cupps’ room was filled with pictures of Count Dracula. It was well after Halloween, so I wondered what in the world we could be learning today. I was only too eager to find out, so I hurried to take my seat. Soon afterwards, Miss Cupps came striding into the classroom, fingering something hanging around her neck that hadn’t been there before. I squinted my near-sighted eyes and realized that it was some sort of necklace with a giant Dracula head dangling from the bottom. I smiled to myself.
Miss Cupps had gone to her usual spot next to the overhead. She grinned at us and announced, “Today, we will obviously be learning something totally cool!” Everyone grinned back. Miss Cupps adjusted her purple and gold moon and stars scarf that she was known to wear. “Every year, I teach my students about Count Dracula. Then we read the play. I think you guys will really enjoy it, and I never get tired of reading it.” After that she gave us a little history lesson about Count Dracula. A couple of days later, we were reading the play. It had to be one of the most amazing things I’ve ever read; I was intrigued by the story, which I had surprisingly never actually heard before.
Later on in the year, around the third quarter, I came happily into my favorite classroom to find it now decorated with words and quotes, including poetry. This was nothing unusual; the only difference was that the room had never before been decorated with poetry. When I passed the mini dry erase board that day, I very nearly let out a groan. The word “poetry” was scrawled across the board in Miss Cupps’ handwriting.
“Now, what do most of you guy think of when you hear the word ‘poetry?’” asked Miss Cupps as she flipped her purple and gold scarf over her shoulder. Most of the people in the class said things like boring, old, and unclear.
Miss Cupps merely nodded. “That’s what I thought. But my goal during this lesson is to change your opinion about poetry. Instead of you groaning, ‘Awww, not poetry…’” Everyone laughed at the whiny voice she was using. “I want you to say, ‘Oh, poetry’s cool.’” Although Miss Cupps always proved me wrong whenever I thought that one of her lessons was going to be uninteresting, I was sure this time that I was right. Of course, Miss Cupps proved me wrong again.
Poetry, she explained, was about letting your feelings go. It had no limits; poetry could be anything you wanted it to be, in any size, shape, or form. This idea of poetry definitely changed my opinion on it. After we wrote our first poem, I came to realize just how much I had a passion for it. After the poetry lesson, which went on for quite a while, Miss Cupps had us choose one of our poems for a “poetry book,” an original, hand-made book of the seventh grade’s poetry. I proudly turned in a piece to be put into the class poetry book. Soon afterwards, I began to make my own poetry book with original poems by myself. I keep it hidden safely in my bedroom, every now and then taking it out to write.
The last days of school rolled in, bringing the very last day of Language Arts. I felt almost like a stranger sitting in the room for the last time. That last day, Miss Cupps leaned against the overhead, but this time she wasn’t wearing her purple and gold scarf; instead, it was hanging from the television.
“I have to say, this has been one crazy class period,” she told us with a smile. “The third period class, we’ve had some laughs, haven’t we?” We all nodded solemnly.
I’ll never forget Miss Cupps; she was the inspiring teacher that led me to believe that, even though some things in life, like school, can be rough, that doesn’t mean you have to give up having a good time with the people you care about. Through all the good times that seventh grade year sitting in a desk in the Language Arts classroom, Miss Cupps taught me so many things about plays, writing short stories, fun ways to complete mad-libs, a cheesy joke about the Greek gods, poetry, philosophy, and much more. But the most valuable thing she taught me was to remember the good times, and always cherish the memories. So many more stories can be told about Miss Cupps, and other things as well that happened during one of the best years of my life; Miss Cupps taught me to always remember that.