Saturday prompt

Who was your most influential teacher? Why?

Miss Gordon, my English teacher from 1992 to 1997.

She sadly passed away in a car crash around about 2004-ish and I cried when I heard the news.

She was the only teacher that seemed to actually believe in me and encourage me. All my other teachers always had something negative to say about me – my art teacher (Mrs Henley, yes I am naming and shaming you) literally said to me ‘why can’t you be as good as *insert favourite students name here*?’ Well, I guess because you never let me express myself and made me paint stuff I didn’t want to paint. You told me dragons aren’t art and wouldn’t let me submit my dragon sketchbook for my final. You made me put in that shitty painting of a fish on a plate instead of my unicorn on a clifftop. Because ‘the examiners won’t like it.’

I never drew or painted again after that, so f*ck you Mrs Henley.

But back to Miss Gordon. She recognised that I had a flair for literature and creative writing and said to me, and I will always remember this, ‘one day you’ll write a bestseller, I know you will.’

I’m still working on my first novel, and if/when I finish it and get it published, it’s being dedicated to Miss Gordon. She never tried to crush my creativity and if I didn’t do too well on an assignment, she would see me after class so we could work through it and she explained to me how I could improve.

Even when I was moved to a different class for my A-levels, she still made a point to ask me how I was doing with a different teacher instead of her and I remember telling her that my new teacher was great but not as good as she was. I remember she was so pleased when I did well in my exams and got into my first choice university.

I like to think if she was still here, she’d read this blog, but maybe she wouldn’t realise that she is half the reason why I started it. Write, girl, she always said to me. Never stop writing.

Thank you, Miss Gordon, for believing in me and believing I was actually good at something, even if it is just putting words on a page.


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