Friday, April 15, 2011

A Letter to My High School English Teacher

(Note: I apologize for any *bad* words or any other grievous errors in this post)

I found out today that my beloved English teacher, we shall call her Ms. S, was "let go" by one of my high schools (I went to 3). To say that I am upset about this turn of events is like saying BP spilled a "little" oil in the Gulf.
My two years (more like a year and a half) spent with Ms. S was one of the high points of my junior and senior year of high school; maybe that makes me a nerd, but it's the truth.

The first year (my junior year) at my new school, I was so nervous about failing and my performance anxiety was so bad, especially when it came to my academic performance, that I literally vomited . To this day I still can't eat bananas (Sorry TMI). Fun fact! Any who, I remember I always used to go after class and after school and constantly bombard Ms. S with the same questions over and over about the assignment she had given us; amazingly, she was patient with me and she took the time to make sure I understood everything and tried to reassure me.
You might think this is no big deal, but many a teacher before her had tried and failed to teach me while also actually being nice. Also take into consideration that my own mother once said that I could "drive Mother Teresa to drink." (She does have a point.)

The time she took to help me was worth it, at least to me. I never got anything less than an A on any of her writing assignments (or tests for that matter) and I did some of my best writing in her classes. I also read some of my new favorite books: Tess of the D'Ubervilles <3, Lord of the Flies (minus the whole Piggy dying thing) One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, MacBeth, The Good Earth, etc.

(Oh and who could forget that *fabulous* movie adaptation of Beowulf we got to travel to KC to see in the theaters?)

I honestly think that one of the reasons she may have been let go is because, well, you know that teacher who is really good and ethical, the type of person whose moral compass always points true north and who believes that you "get" the grade you earn? The kind of teacher we need more (not less) of? Well, I think the reason Ms. S was fired was because sometimes the people in power at a school aren't always the people whose moral compasses point true north. (I should know...I graduated a semester early and I actually spent a year in therapy thanks to some rather unethical treatment by the school. Hopefully I'm not scarred for life...but that's a story for another day.) Or maybe they're just idiots. Sorry I know that's not very flowery or even very nice but let's be honest, sometimes, its the gosh darn truth! (Not that I'm bitter or anything!) 

But here's to you Ms. S! The best English teacher I've ever had! Maybe one day Hollywood will make an awesome movie about you featuring a young Katherine Hepburn (because she's classy and well-spoken)!



  1. Schools, the places that are meant to cultivate young minds, nurture them, help them grow. The places that just jack you up even more.

    School really messed with me as well.