A Tribute to Mrs. Jackson

Margaret Michel By Margaret Michel, 9th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/zi-xemx_/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

Has a teacher ever inspired you to greatness? A great teacher does more than just teach the subjects.

Introduction

If you're lucky, you've had that one great teacher that made a difference in your life. Mrs. Jackson, my 4th grade teacher, was that teacher for me. Before that I remember Mrs. Randolph, my first grade teacher, who told my mother I was a busy body. Needless to say, this woman is not on my favorite teacher list. The year was 1970, and the memory still makes me cringe to this day. Who knows what would have become of me if Mrs. Jackson hadn't come along in the fourth grade to inspire and encourage me. I will always remember the three things she taught me, whether she realized it or not.

Don't Let Anyone Hold You Back

Mrs. Jackson was an African-American woman. That alone did wonders for my education. She was my first taste of an ethnically diverse world. She taught me that a minority woman could succeed in the world and live her dream. As a young Hispanic girl, I couldn't appreciate the power of that message then, but I do remember thinking that maybe there might be hope for me yet.

Throughout the years, I have often thought of that special lady whenever someone told me that I couldn't do something because of my race or gender. I have never let that stand in my way. Mrs. Jackson did it, and so could I.

Don't Be Afraid to be Yourself

Looking back she would not be considered the typical teacher by today's standards. I remember orange, fluffy hair and long (really long) nails painted in bright colors. Being a big woman, she would drape herself in these very colorful dresses that would swirl as she walked. While we were worked at our desks, she would sit at her desk, put her feet up on the corner of the desk, and peel a grapefruit with those long nails.

Savoring each section with great delight, Mrs. Jackson, one might think, was oblivious to her students, but that was never the case. That woman had eyes like a hawk and saw everything. But even when she had to correct someone, she had this way of making you feel special and smart. She had a way of looking past the outside and seeing the genius within all of us, at least that's what it felt like at the time. Mrs. Jackson wasn't afraid to be who she was, and neither would I.

Don't Be Afraid to Dream

Mrs. Jackson is probably the person most responsible for my chosen career. The magic she wielded to make school fun and interesting started my desire to become a teacher. It was in her class where I discovered that learning could be fun with the right person.

When I told her that I dreamed of being a teacher, she didn't laugh, but looked thoughtfully at me and said, "You'll be great!" Whether it was working on my handwriting or my math (both of which I hated at the time), she was supportive and encouraging. Then and there I decided that I wanted to be that magical person for some future student. Mrs. Jackson made school fun, so could I.


Her days on this earth ended long ago, but I hope that I would have made her proud. She helped me become a strong woman who has never been afraid to be herself. She allowed me my dream and more importantly, she encouraged it. A simple Thank You could never be enough.

Tags

4Th Grade, Following Your Dream, Inspiration, Life Experiences, Success, Teacher

Meet the author

author avatar Margaret Michel
Margaret Michel writes poetry and articles about life and the human experience. She's an English teacher, wife, mother, grandmother, and lives with 5 cats and a dog and loves football.

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Comments

author avatar Lady Aiyanna
10th Jul 2014 (#)

May her soul rest in peace. I wish you well....

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
10th Jul 2014 (#)

A great tribute to Mrs Jackson Margaret
Bless you
Stella ><

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author avatar Susan
10th Jul 2014 (#)

Beautiful ...

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author avatar WOGIAM
10th Jul 2014 (#)

Very thoughtful of your to write a tribute to your teacher. I remember a few of my teachers who made a positive impact on my learning and I appreciate them always.

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author avatar Quoiky
10th Jul 2014 (#)

Very sweet, and a nice tribute. For me, that person was my Aunt Donna. She told me that everything we have can be taken from us...except what we learn. That encouraged me enough to get my high school diploma...(I am the first in our family to graduate), as well as to go and get my degree in Human Development. Thanks for sharing. I loved it.

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author avatar Utah Jay
10th Jul 2014 (#)

Good teachers, we never forget them do we? Loved this post.

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author avatar Retired
10th Jul 2014 (#)

My first grade teacher was Mrs. Brown, and I adored her!

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author avatar Joyce Singha
11th Jul 2014 (#)

Lovely tribute to a teacher. A wise person, a strong teaching, and an encouraging one can make loads of difference for young kids.

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author avatar Retired
11th Jul 2014 (#)

Your thank you is this article.

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author avatar Jack Goblin
14th Jul 2014 (#)

A good teacher can make all the difference. Unfortunately, so can a bad one.

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author avatar Margaret Michel
13th Aug 2014 (#)

So true!

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author avatar Margaret Michel
13th Aug 2014 (#)

Thank you!

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author avatar Margaret Michel
13th Aug 2014 (#)

So true!

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author avatar Mariah
15th Jul 2014 (#)

I'm sure you've made Mrs Jackson very proud..lovely tribute for the lady who has made such an important contribution to your life.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
5th Aug 2014 (#)

Margaret, excellent artlcle. My favorite teacher was Ms. Kirby. She was my 5th grade teacher.

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author avatar Sherri Granato
7th Aug 2014 (#)

Awesome stuff! I do have a teacher that inspired me. I have attempted to locate him, but with no luck.So, Mr. Boehm, if you read this, know that I appreciate the extra steps that you took to understand a very awkward 4th grader that need structure, direction and guidance from someone who cared. Thank you.

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author avatar Sherri Granato
7th Aug 2014 (#)

*needed* oopsy.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
11th Aug 2014 (#)

When at an impressionable age a good teacher makes a big difference and can make or break a life. Uplifting post, thanks Margaret - siva

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author avatar Legend
20th Aug 2014 (#)

Very true- I have been inspired by several excellent teachers

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author avatar Teila
15th Nov 2014 (#)

Lovely tribute to what sounds like an amazing teacher and mentor. Inspirational

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