INSPIRING TEACHERS: ‘You know, they’d have a special place in your heart’

As students head back to school for 2013-14, it’s good to keep in mind the impact that teachers can have on young people.

In the spring of 2013, Dan Goldman asked teachers in the Hood River County School District to ask some of their students to write about “an adult who has made a difference.”

Dozens of students happily wrote such essays, which Goldman, the new superintendent of the district, keeps in his office.

Goldman chose three essays for the Aug. 28 Welcome Back Teachers event at Hood River Middle School.

The students read their essays and presented them to the teachers they wrote about.

(The only editing we did was to change “Mrs.” or “Ms.” to first names.)

Lillie Tomlinson,

Westside Elementary School

The teacher that had a positive impact on me was (Kathryn) Ritter, my 2nd and 3rd grade teacher. She was kind, respectful, and let people know when she was mad, sad or excited about something.

I liked Mrs. Ritter for many reasons, but here are three of my favorites. She worked out problems with a snap and she didn’t pressure me and she respected each kid the same. The qualities of Mrs. Ritter differ from the rest of the teachers. She has patience, when everyone else’s has drained. Mrs. Ritter can see good qualities in anyone good, bad, nice, naughty, mathematician, reading genius, science whiz, geography master and even more.

Mrs. Ritter never let a problem try to slip past; she’d snatch it up on the spot. Sometimes things don’t turn out like you want them to. That was a lesson she taught me. She’d have sympathy for any sadness and gratefulness for any present. And you knew it. The smile always reached her eyes as well as the frown. She always wore jewelry but she was never fully dressed without a smile. She always had one on her face even when she taught us. Never did she fake it.

When you come upon a person in your life you will know in an instant he or she will be a big part of your education. You see the look on their face: a beaming, dimply smile. People like this are always happy to see you. And then you know, they’d have a special place in your heart….forever. That’s how it was with Mrs. Ritter.

Martika Lane,

Hood River Middle School

The last two years (Candace) Carver has made an amazing impact in my life. She has made an impact by encouraging me to push myself until I reach my goals and I have improved in reading almost 600 points. Also, in math I use to be in the special ed math class but now I’m in a regular math class and I get A’s and B’s. She has made it so I believe in myself with wrestling, school, everything. I’m very lucky to have someone push me so much and help me reach my goals. I have never had such an amazing teacher who has given me so much support. I have gone to Ms. Carver for problems at school, advice, anything I have ever needed help with. I’m very thankful to have such an amazing teacher in my life. I really don’t want to move to 8th grade because I don’t want to have a different teacher. I’m a very lucky student to have spent two years with her.

Rosa Serrano,

Wy’east Middle School

In the past I have had several teachers that have inspired me a lot and they have also made a big impact in my life. There are many teachers that have changed my life, but there is just one teacher that has inspired me the most and that teacher is (Barb) Hoiika.

First of all, Mrs. Hoiika has always motivated me in many ways. She has always told me to stay positive. Even though I might not know what to do she will still tell me to try and to just do the ones I can. However, Mrs. Hoiika has also taught me how to enjoy life. She has also done many things this year to make me learn and stay focused.

Second, she has also helped me when I don’t understand things like in math or in science class. Mrs. Hoikka is very inspiring because she can encourage you to do many things that you think you are not capable of. She has also showed me that anything is possible and to never give up.

Third, even though she has helped me this year, she is also a very nice person. When I don’t understand any subject she helps me. When we play games in math on her iPad she gives us candy even though we didn’t win. She also lets us borrow a pencil or an eraser if we need one. Mrs. Hoiika is also a very funny and fun teacher. She also gives us advice and tells us what to do and what not to do.

In conclusion, Mrs. Hoiika has been a big influence in my life because she has taught me to never give up, and to always think of positive things like to enjoy life. She is also one of my favorite teachers and even though she is a teacher, she is also very fun to be around with.

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