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2012 Winter Essay Contest Winner - Student

2nd Place Winner
Hudson James
Teacher: Mrs. Alison Correll
Emma Sansom Middle School
Gadsden, AL 35904



Not many people will ever be given a "key" to the city by a mayor; however, teachers have a "key " to the success of every student within their contact - a "key" that will not only open the doors of learning, but direct them to a successful future. A teacher has the opportunity to motivate young people to achieve their goals. No matter what race or economic background we come from, we are given equal chances to become anything we set our minds to achieve. That is the great thing about America! Teachers play a big role in developing a child's future through the development of relationships, reliability, and encouragement.

A good teacher knows all students are different and need to be taught that way; however, the same rules apply to everyone. In my opinion, a good teacher uses different methods of teaching a lesson creatively. Some students in my class are auditory learners, others visual learners, and some like myself enjoy a hands on lesson. In a time of economic downturn, there have been many cuts in federal, state, and local budgets. Teachers are now required to teach larger classes with fewer materials. Because of this, it seems the teachers at my school have become more creative. Just this week my science class participated in an egg drop contest. The object was to drop the egg fifteen feet without it breaking. I really enjoyed seeing how the containers we invented to cushion the fall apply to the lesson we are studying. How else would a kid ever learn the proper materials that will protect an egg? When teachers use several different techniques in the classroom, everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.

Often times in today's society, kids actually spend more time with teachers than they do at home with parents. I think a child's character is a direct reflection of their parents and teachers. I believe a young person is at school during the time when their personalities, attitudes, and opinions are being formed. With this being said, it is very important to have well qualified, honest, and encouraging teachers in our school systems.

Teachers go above and beyond to show student support. They spend many hours after to school, and this shows me they truly care for the community. I believe their involvement in extracurricular activities demonstrates good citizenship. I will never forget my fourth grade teacher who made an impression on me by taking her time to come to a baseball game to see me and several of my classmates play ball. The fact that she cared enough to use her own time to encourage us in an activity other than class work will leave a lasting memory with me. I think kids appreciate support from their teachers.

I have learned a life lesson from a teacher that I have never even had in the classroom. She happens to be my aunt and she teaches special education at the city high school. Beginning at a very young age she has encouraged me to be involved with her students. I think many kids my age do not know how to approach kids that have special needs. Even though the lessons they learn are vastly different such as good personal hygiene and basic life skills like making a sandwich, we are very much the same. Each year my aunt helps to put together a basketball team with players and cheerleaders to participate in a "special" sports program. She has taught me they are encouraged and excited when young people come to cheer them on. I have really enjoyed going to the games and watching each one improve and learn the game better. I think the lesson she was really trying to teach me did not "click" until my fifth grade year. I was selected by my gym teacher to participate in the city wide track meet. I have to admit I love all sports, but running is not my strongest skill. The day of the meet we rode the bus to the high school, got our numbers, and the lineup of the races we would be running. I remember being nervous and anxious, then it was my turn. I will never forget passing the first set of bleachers and seeing my aunt and about ten of her students encouraging me. I then knew how important of a lesson my aunt had taught me. Everyone needs encouragement! Like I said before, she will never teach me in a classroom, but I think all teachers have the opportunity to impact kids.

Motivation, recognition, and rewards have always been a part of my school experience. I believe treating kids like "everyone is a winner" is what our country needs to continue. I have always been encouraged by my parents to listen closely, work harder, and apply myself for success. I believe this is also what teachers should promote. At the end of every school year my teachers have awarded kids with perfect attendance awards, highest average certificates, and good citizenship plaques. I have always been motivated to try really hard to achieve these awards. I do think the awards are encouraging and should be given to those who excel throughout the year.

Lastly, I believe all teachers will make a difference in every child that passes through their school. I feel very fortunate to attend a school that has set high standards with motivated administration and teachers. It is left up to the individual teacher to remain positive, be an encourager, and teach the lessons to the students in the classroom. If we can all work together, we will have unlimited opportunities for a more promising future. After all, are we not the future?