An Ode to English Teachers
Teachers can make or break us. Strangely, in the case of English teachers, they mostly just seem to make us. In addition to their inherent storytelling ability, they possess the qualities of a parental figure and can form a bond with the students that lasts beyond the classroom. Having a trusted adult in the form of a teacher can be crucial to many students, especially those who are facing the struggles of growing up.
Looking back on my school days, I was lucky enough to have amazing teachers across all subjects, but interestingly the ones whose teaching I carry on to this day are all teachers of English language or literature.
In middle school, my teacher introduced me to Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven and it became one of my favorite books. With her funny anecdotes, she instilled the love for analysing literary texts and laid the foundations of my writing abilities. My 8th grade teacher showed me how to be independent at a time when my friends neglected me and I was the lonely kid. The teacher during my O level years was nothing short of a motherly figure and I still go to her for advice to this day. My English tutor was like a big sister to me, and she went beyond the confines of the question paper to touch on writing about the world at large.
Thus, if a match was ever made in heaven, it would be an English teacher and a budding writer in the classroom. When I asked my fellow SHOUT writers whether their teacher impacted their writing career, the number of responses was overwhelming, to say the least.
"I remember my favourite English Literature teacher in Grade 8 taught us the value of 'creative liberty.' The way she would relentlessly bring great, positive, energy to the classroom made me look forward to her classes," reminisced Ayra Areeba Abid.
Another writer, Inqiad Bin Ali, talked about the mentorship he received from his teacher. "Our discussions didn't centre around our lessons only. We talked about basically everything in life– ranging from current affairs to sports to morality. They widened my horizon and made me think deeper about my surroundings, whilst enriching my vocabulary and grammar. It sounds cliché, but without him, I wouldn't be where I am now."
Several others commented how the teaching style and encouragement from their teachers were essential in shaping their love for literature and honing their penmanship. For some, their choice of major was defined with the help of their English teachers or professors.
"With my poor CGPA in Economics and just a minor in English, I didn't think I'd get into any good programs, but he all but pushed me into applying for Columbia [University] and I managed to get in, so I'll always be grateful for that." recounted Sarah Bari, the Editor of Daily Star Books.
This further reinforces the importance of a teacher's dedication toward enriching young minds and not just finishing the syllabus.
Perhaps, English teachers are made of sugar, spice, and everything nice, or perhaps they were just born for their role. Whatever the case may be, we can all unanimously agree that they have had significant impacts in our lives and we owe them a great deal of appreciation!
Mashiyat dissociated too much and is now stranded on Neverland. Tell her to grow up at [email protected]