Teachers Who Inspire: The Female Version of Mr. Feeny
In third grade I had a teacher, let's call her Mrs. Feeny. She was different than any teacher I had prior -- and for that matter, after. Not only did she teach, but she also guided. She was pushy and demanding, but in such a way that you couldn't tell she was being that way. She got the best out of everyone, and I mean everyone -- even the class bully, Danny. He was tall, lanky, and a horrible human being. But even he listened to Mrs. Feeny; when she taught us all how to write our name in cursive, he was the first one to pick it up. Which was a big deal: I still have trouble writing a cursive "Z" -- which normally wouldn't matter, except my name is Zachary.
Mrs. Feeny was the only teacher who did special assignments with the class regularly. I remember one time she had us make a compost pile behind the school. It smelled pretty bad, but the experience was well worth it. She was a teacher, not just a teacher. Not the I'll-give-you-homework-and-sit-behind- my-desk-staring-at-you-with-disapproving -looks teacher. A real teacher. If we didn't get something, she would try a different way to get it through to us. If one of us acted up she'd talk to us privately, and set us straight. She never, ever embarrassed one student in front of the whole class.
And if all that wasn't enough: The best, and most selfless, thing Mrs Feeny did was every summer. Every single summer she would take her class on a field trip to somewhere with a lot of history. In her big RV with her family and the help of other parents, she took us all to Jackson, MS -- a place that is drenched in history. Just to be clear about this, she took her class of 15 kids from Dallas, TX to Jackson, MS in her RV during the summer. The summer is the only time she gets off!
She inspired me from that grade on to do what I love. She obviously loved teaching. She taught me that whatever it is that you do, give it your best. Don't just do it halfway. Don't settle for average and normal.
I am doing what I love right now, and I'd like to thank Mrs. Feeny for that.
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