Who Taught Me

When asked who my favorite teacher was I have a very difficult time answering this question. I like to consider myself a student of life, and so I believe I’m always learning from somebody. Alas, someone has to be a favorite though, and whether we like it or not, we all have favorites; for better or for worse.
My favorite teacher didn’t necessarily start as my favorite. An awkwardly tall and overdeveloped thirteen year old girl, I walked into Mr. Richardson’s class wanting nothing more than to fade away; not be noticed. Boy was I in for a surprise.
Each day the first ten minutes or so of Mr. Richardson’s lesson plan included journal writing. He would put an open ended question or general topic on the board. Upon completion of our writing time we would often gather together as a class and discuss (just what I wanted to do, the big, tall, awkward girl). I had no idea the impact these exercises would have on my life. A junior high school student, I admittedly, enjoyed the debates that sprung from classmates differing points of view. On the same note, being a junior high school student, I hadn’t the foresight to realize that Mr. Richardson was preparing us for life; for real life situations where we may need to articulate our feelings, thoughts, beliefs, convictions, and emotions.
I could go on and on about why Mr. Richardson was my favorite teacher. I loved his sense of humor, his gentle nature with all of his students, the way he never gave up on any of us, and especially how he knew to call my mom when I wasn’t myself and missed basketball practice to the point that I risked not starting the season opener. I favor him for all of these things and so many more, but one thing stands above the rest. Journaling.
To this day, I journal. I blog and I even journal (and prefer) to journal the old fashioned way with good ole pen and paper! There’s something cathartic about getting my thoughts, worries, fears, hopes, memories, and dreams out on paper that is so freeing to me that I can’t imagine a life without journaling. In fact, I’ve introduced my son to journaling and he too has taken a liking to it. I hope he finds it as freeing as I do. I hope he knows that he can write down whatever he wants and be free from it; or better yet, inspired by it!
So, to Mr. Richardson I say, thank you. Thank you for introducing me to one of the great loves of my life; writing for myself. I was always keenly aware that I loved to write, but you taught me that I loved to write for me, and for that I will forever be grateful. For that, you’ll always be my favorite. Thank you.

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