From around the world

Adults are sharing things a teacher said or did to them that they’ve never forgotten

Few people in our lives have the powerful influence of teachers, for better or worse. During our formative years, feedback from educators and mentors can build our confidence or crush our spirits, make us believe in our abilities, or fill us with self-doubt.

The messages we get from teachers often follows us into adulthood. When those messages are positive, that can be the voices inside our head telling us we’re capable and not to give up. When the messages are negative, it can create internal obstacles we have to struggle to overcome.

People on Reddit are answering the question, “What did a teacher say or do to you that you’ve never forgotten?” and the answers are a testament to the immense responsibility teachers have when it comes to their words and deeds. While there are some painful recollections of uncaring or insensitive teachers, most are a reminder of how many teachers go out of their way to make a positive difference in students’ lives.

Support through family issues

“My parents had just divorced and they shared custody of us. When my mother had us, she wouldn’t feed us, send us a lunch, bathe or groom us so we’d show up to school tired, hungry, and dirty. When my 1st-grade teacher figured out what was going on, she started keeping a brush and wipes for me in her desk along with lunch money. She’d take me aside before other kids showed up and groom me and feed me. That was about 35 years ago and I still think about her all the time. Ironically, her name was Mrs. Severe. What a beautiful soul. I really needed that maternal care that she gave me.”Temporary-Author-641

“I became quite close with one of my band teachers in high school and viewed him as a father figure in many ways. My parents were freshly divorced, and i was floundering without a male role model at all (my father never made attempts to see me). The teacher noticed some changes in me and figured out the story. All it took was a sincere, eyeball-to-eyeball statement of ‘I believe in you. You are better than you realize.’ And the sun shone brighter, and the clouds parted a bit. When he retired, I made sure to go to his final school concert, and we caught up. It was amazing, but then i saw his wife of several decades. I walked over and introduced myself and thanked her for sacrificing their time together for all those years so he could be someone that his students needed in their lives. We both started crying and hugged.

Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Rizzo. You are better than you will ever realize.”woodworkLIdad

Care and compassion

“Once on the way to school, I found a kitten and couldn’t leave it behind. It was dirty, hungry, and in need of help. I had to take it with me to school. At that moment, my parents were against me having a pet… and so, after school, as I sat there crying and not knowing what to do with the kitten, my teacher approached me. She calmed me down and took the kitten with her. After that, she sometimes brought him to class. This way, we continued to communicate. She named him Inkblot. As far as I know, he lived until he was 17. I will always remember this act, as she didn’t break my little heart and saved the cute kitten. Double Shot.”Wooden-Ranger-8765

“‘I know there’s a senior party tonight, if any of you can’t drive at any point during the night you can call me for a ride and I’ll take you home. I won’t tell your parents or get you in trouble, I just don’t want anyone drinking and driving.” — Senior biology teacher.” chateauboxer777

Understanding mental health struggles

“My freshmen science teacher noticed I was starting to have a panic attack, wrote me a note to go to my counselor and then I left to do so. He was my favorite teacher, I failed almost everything but had the best grade in his class. I will never forget that man, the teacher can make all the difference in a student’s work.” bigshark276473827

“I had to miss the last 2 months of my sophomore year of high school because I went into an eating disorder treatment program, and had to spend the whole summer making up my classes. My chemistry teacher offered to meet me weekly at the local coffee shop so that she would still be able to actually teach me and make sure I understood the material (as opposed to just teaching myself out of the book like I had to do with the rest of my classes). Graduated college with a bachelors in chemistry 6 years after that.” caffa4

“In high school I was the class clown always made people laugh and was there for them. I put up a front ‘the happy and cheeriest one’ but I was struggling so bad with mental health issues, hated life and myself. Borderline suicidal. Anyway, one day, when I was telling a joke and ‘laughing’ with everyone, this one teacher took me aside and said, ‘You’re such a joy to everyone, but I can see the pain in your eyes. Your place in this world matters and would be so much poorer without you. Don’t give up’. Well god damn I thought I was so good at hiding it from everyone. And it kind of broke me that someone could tell. But yea a moment I’ll never forget.”Sarkeshikian

Memorable words of wisdom

“‘You’re not a good liar. You shouldn’t do it’…Probably the most useful lesson I learned in all school before college.” witblacktype

“‘Those who do not have the talent can compensate for it with diligence.’ It was a reply to a worry I had, and he was right.”mochi_chan

“‘What good is going to the church every week if you just gonna go home and abuse your kids?’ This was said during a religion class in Ireland secondary school.” timchenw

“‘Get out before you get stuck.’ It was simple wisdom from my 12th grade English teacher that I repeat in my mind quite often. I think he was referring to getting out of our small town, but it rings true for many things in life.” RemarkableBeach1603

“‘I don’t know but I can find out’ – my physics teacher Mr. Gould. It’s a little thing but it really stuck with me. You don’t have to know everything and you don’t have to appear like you do either.”DarkflowNZ

The ones you had to prove wrong

“‘You won’t achieve anything in your life.’ I am now an engineer. Every time I was studying I thought about this sentence and it motivated me to be better and work harder to prove him wrong. Even today, every time something is tuff in my life I go over it and remember this sentence, I have to prove him wrong.”No_Comment_50

“My science teacher told my parents I ‘didn’t belong in her class’ when I was 13. It was an accelerated class and I finished the year top of her class. Still not sure whether she was a dumb cow or an evil genius.” Rosserman

“I remember in my penultimate year of school, my English teacher told my mum in a parent teacher meeting that I should drop to the lower class because hers was too advanced for me. I chose to stay in it out of spite and ended up being one of the top students in my year 🤷♀️” – tlaxette

“Ms. Fowler. My 11th grade math teacher. Told us early on in the school year, ‘if you don’t understand something the first time I go over it, it’s because you weren’t paying attention, and I will not waste my time repeating myself.’ As someone who struggles with math, I learned the hard way that she meant it. I tried and tried and tried, but I just couldn’t get it and she was never any help. Ended up giving up. Just putting random answers to assignments and tests. Flunked out of the class. Think my final grade was in the 20s. Was given the option to pay $150 and go to summer school where I’d just do assignments until I got a passing grade, likely have the same teacher as well. Or, flunk out, repeat the class as a senior and graduate on a lesser plan. I took option B and felt like a failure.

On the flip side. Senior year I got a new math teacher, Mr. Kerr. My grade never went under a 90 in his class. I understood things I never did the year prior. Even got decent at trigonometry. He built a confidence in me I never knew I could have.”Klown1327

The ones who believed and encouraged

“I love to sew. I have been sewing since I was a kid. In high school, I took a sewing class as an extra and was miles ahead of the other students. I made a grey, wool, floor length cloak with a red lining while everyone else was making pajama pants. My teacher graded me according to my skill and not compared to the other students. Then she found me a year later and showed me a pic in a catalog of a Renaissance-style dress she thought I’d like. It was a wedding dress but I loved it anyway. My mom took me fabric shopping and the next semester I took that class again and made the dress. My teacher stayed in with me during lunches, after school, during study periods, and guided me through making that dress. She even helped tackle the challenge of gathering many layers of heavy silk and jacquard and linings, tapping into every trick she knew to get it to work. (Zig zag stitch over dental floss finally did it.) Then she graded me according to my skill set. I got a 94. Dinged for some less than perfect hand stitching on the hem.

I then put it on and ran over to my favorite science teacher’s classroom to show her (I took biology, anatomy and physiology, ap bio, and ap anatomy and physiology from her—huge science nerd here) and she stopped her class so I could get up on a desk and show off my dress.

8 years later… I wore that dress to get married. They were both at my wedding (as well as my 7th and 8th grade English teacher) and singled out as honored guests along with the moms and grandmas as people who were highly influential to me. I will never forget their support and encouragement and dedication to their craft that has inspired me for all my life. I’m 43 now. I was an x-ray tech for 20 years and I still sew regularly.”Routine-Register-575

“5th grade teacher, Mrs. W. I doodled and drew a lot as a kid. I’d finish my work, flip the page over, and cover the back with drawings. Most teachers didn’t mind as long as the work was finished, but Mrs. W loved my drawings. I’d recently gotten a ‘how to draw dragons’ book and kept drawing a specific one over and over to improve. She asked me one day to draw her one on a blank sheet of paper, and after I was finished, asked me to sign it, because, ‘You’re going to be a famous artist one day and I want to have a signed copy of one of your original pictures!’

It was such a small thing, but it made me feel really good. She ended up passing away relatively suddenly from cancer when I was a sophomore in college, going to school for 3D art. She was on my mind during the portfolio review at the end of the term. I wished I could’ve shown her some of the art I’d created. She crosses my mind a couple of times a year ever since and I always get teary-eyed thinking about her.”soap-bucket

Source: Upworthy
Link: Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *