To my teachers
Do you know how some kids want to be teachers when they grow up?
Do you know why?
I do. When I was in fifth grade, I was shy, short, and quiet. I had skipped two grades, and so I was two years younger than the other students. My parents had moved five times (Vermont, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Mexico) before we had come back to Texas, and I didn't have a lot of friends. Or, for that matter, experience making them.
But in the mornings, before school, every day, I would get dropped off at around 6am by my parents. I would wait with the crossing guard until my teacher came to school, and then go sit with her in the classroom and write in my journal, and do my work, until school started. I still remember her name was Mrs. Hill.
In that class, I went from being a very-quiet, very-unsure, very-shy child, to being a mostly-quiet, mostly-unsure, mostly-shy kid. And, as anyone who's been in that situation can tell you, that's actually a lot of improvement. I felt proud when I could shape a spoon out of aluminum foil for our hands-on science demonstration, I felt good about writing, in a way I thought was interesting. And at Camp Tyler, an outdoor school that each 5th grade class in our public school distict visited for a week, I had fun.