One of the most important lessons I learned in school is that teachers aren’t always right. I know from firsthand experience when teachers would make a statement about a child that could affect his or her future.
One of the first statements ever made was when I was in kindergarten. My teacher, Mrs. Acton, told my mother that because I didn’t jump rope, I wouldn’t be a good reader. My mom knew that I could jump robe, I did at home all the time. Why I didn’t want to at school, I have no idea. My mom took this statement and laughed. At the time, the correlation was never explained to my mom but I have found research that shows that jumping rope can help with establish basic reading skills. However, my teacher made this statement on the fact that she didn’t see me jump rope at school, never acknowledging that I jumped rope at home. Although research shows that jump rope can help with reading skills. Many teachers fail to see the correlational relationships and immediately jump to the cause and effect relationship. Anyway, I certainly proved her wrong especially when I would be given awards in the 7th grade for reading books at a college level. I’ve been reading ever since and it’s my favorite activity.
A second statement made to about me happened in the 3rd grade. Third grade taught the dreaded cursive writing and like many people, I couldn’t make certain letters like they would supposed to look like. I did my own and I also write fast that sometimes my writing can be illegible. My teachers, Mrs. Stockings and Mrs. Mackenzie, both told my mom that because my cursive wasn’t legible, I would not do well in college. Again, my mom just laughed pointed out that many doctors' handwriting is illegible and they apparently made it through college! I did very well in college. I enjoyed all my classes. The funniest thing about this whole statement is by the time that I attended college, beginning in 1998, everything that was handed in had to typed and very little was handwritten!
A third statement was said to me constant during the 8th grade. In the 8th grade, I was a student aide to my team of teachers and they were amazed that I read so much. However, my Algebra teacher, Mr. O’Leary, didn’t like that I was reading romance novels and would tell me often that “those books will rot your brain.” Many of the romance novels that I read were written by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss or Julie Garwood who both are considered greats in the romance genre. Compared to what is written today, they will remain the greatest in their genre. Those romance novels led me to read other books and learning about different times and places in history. For instance, many of Julie Garwood’s historical fiction takes place in Scotland. Reading about this wonderful place led me to check out books about its history and people. Robert Burns, national poet of Scotland, is one of my favorite poets and Scotland is on my bucket list of places to travel to. There are many books out there are not worth reading but when a child is reading on his or her own, don’t put down their choice of book. Encourage their growth in reading and lead them to discover new and wonderful books.
Teaching is a difficult job and many teachers are never thanked like they should be. However, teachers, please be careful what you say about a student because that statement stay with him or her throughout their lives. If they aren’t like me and turn it into a positive, it can have devastating results for that child’s future.