Everyone begins somewhere. For me, my spark started with the guidance, kindness, or even criticism of my mentors.
I’m Thankful for My English Teachers
A teacher who recognized that I had an exception gift for composition at 13 (instead of simply acknowledging that I was “bright” in general). He patiently read my first (bad) attempts at story and taught me by singing in the hallway that life is whimsical and it’s okay to be radically yourself.
The experiences with this practitioner of varied methods of learning taught me to think outside the box and with my whole creative brain. If that’s not real learning, I don’t know what is. Fifteen-year-old Amanda probably didn’t appreciate it enough.
If there’s anything I’m confident in, it’s my ability to write a damn good sentence, and I owe it all to my experience with this talented educator. She helped me during a major educational transition that could have destroyed my entire relationship with the craft.
If growing up means seeing teachers and role models as fallible human beings, Ms. B taught me to grow up by becoming my friend. At 17, this true and sincere connection underscored my love for literature (especially the lighter, sillier side of it) without the pretentious. This was my first foray into thinking of academic mentors as colleagues rather than superiors.
A champion whose hard work and dedication resonates with me still today. She understands that teaching someone the magic of other worlds makes an impact not just for the school year but for the rest of their life.
A mentor who never allowed me to make excuses for mediocrity. Over the course of four years, he turned me from a dabbling reader and writer into a critical thinker and bold editor. I won’t forget.
And many more…
Thank you so much for the inspiration.