I loved this article in Visual Thesaurus, and thought as I was reading: Who were the memorable teachers in my life, and what would they say about me if they remembered me. Then of course, I giggled and wondered who Hannibal Lector or The Joker remembered fondly and what that teacher would say about them.
This is how one of my favorite teachers shaped my entire life:
In first grade, before I learned how to write, I made a play out of pictures of chacters I drew called The Raven and The Wicked Princess. My mother kindly wrote the names of the characters underneath my drawings. The play had about 15 parts and was about an Evil Princess imprisoned by her Evil Stepmother. A Prince tried to save the Princess, but the evil stepmother was too powerful. Luckily for the Princess, who wasn’t really evil, she had fed a starving raven throughout the long winter. When the Raven saw the Prince fail, the Raven revealed his supernatural powers and saved the Princess because she had saved him. They all lived happily ever after.
Anyway, I took my play into class for Show And Tell. Anne Rank, my teacher, a tall willowy blonde with a ponytail and preppy clothes looked at my “book,” and exclaimed, ” Oh terrific, we’ll put this play on for the whole school.” I was delighted, until she leaned forward expectantly and said, “So, what’s the story?”
I froze. No one had told me I needed to write down a story!
Years later, a therapist said to me, ” This was the defining moment in your life: ever since then you have been trying to answer that question!” He was so right, and another one of my great teachers. Thank you, dear Gene Gendlin, the creator of Focusing.
Who was your favorite teacher? Who was your hero or heroines? Try writing a story like the one I just told — you may get gold!