He changed my life

Last week I spoke to a colleague about the teacher that influenced my life the most. He came up casually in conversation and yet his impact was significant. He was the one who discovered the writer in me: he gave me the gift of language as a way to cope with the realities of teenage life.

All kids need a significant adult in their lives, especially kids at risk: kids who have experienced trauma, kids who have lost a parent at a young age, kids who are vulnerable because of differences. A caring adult is a powerful influence and inspiration.

I sometimes get comments or emails from parents raving about a teacher, explaining how their child’s life has turned around. Those kinds of teachers are the ones we look to hire. A teacher with both passion and compassion: someone who knows that teaching is more than curriculum.

Mr. Jason, you were that teacher for me. Thank you. I write because of you.

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