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Thursday, April 2, 2015

I am better because of you

Dear Mrs Smith

I am writing you to thank you for making me a better teacher...I think?  You were my grade six teacher at Georges Vanier.  I was an awkward 11/12 year old girl who was the definition of introvert.  I had a close group of friends and a did pretty good academically.  You might want to take credit for the academics but your methods weren't what I needed.  You'd pick me out to answer questions when my hand wasn't raised. To some this probably wouldn't really phase them
but to me it made me anxious and stressed. You yelled a lot and used intimidation to keep control of the class. No you didn't yell necessarily at me.  And the desk that you threw wasn't at me but I am sure Kevin hasn't forgotten it.  
I shared the same name as your son. You'd think that would give us a unique bond...? But I guess me being one of the none Catholics in the class didn't help my case. Still not an excuse to ignore me when I saw you by the canal and I waved a huge HELLO. Come on we both there to see the Pope float by in his bullet proof boat. Your behaviour not so Catholic like:(. Or even better is when my friend, on my behalf, asked what would happen if one was not baptized? "You won't go to Heaven." So as a grade six student you left me to believe I was going to Hell.  That's fine now, I have you to thank for completely turning me off religion.
I believe I missed more days at school that year than I had ever and I spent many mornings begging not to go to school, oh and headaches to boot.
Your techniques of us beating a pillow with a bat and yelling out what made us angry...were interesting?! By the way I made all mine up and would have never yelled that it was you, the only black cloud in my life at that time.
Again I thank you for making me a better teacher.  Yes I admit I can be a firm teacher and I do not "connect" with all of my students.  the ones that I don't immediately, I make a conscious effort to take time and speak one on one and find a special connection.  I do this because I don't want to be the teacher the student remembers as a "mean" "angry" teacher that everyone feared getting.
As an adult I saw you at Farm Boy.  I did not say hi. I didn't say anything.  I became that scared pre teen fighting an anxiety attack.
In the end I did learn a lot from you.  


Ms Smith

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