Since 2017, Charter School Capital has held an annual essay contest celebrating exceptional teachers. We call it the Dewey Awards, in celebration of Mr. Richard Dewey – a teacher who provided exceptional mentorship to our founder and CEO Stuart Ellis. Every year we get a brilliant selection of stories written by students from charter schools all over the nation. This year’s winners are featured here. But each of these stories is worth sharing.
This week we bring you a story written by Lucas Harman, about his fourth-grade teacher at NYOS Charter School in Austin, Texas.
I remember really wanting to stay in the same teacher’s class as I was entering fourth grade. At our school, NYOS, you had two years with the same teacher in repeat until middle school. I had one teacher in Kindergarten and 1st Grade. Then another in 2nd and 3rd. And finally, one in 4th and 5th. And I really wanted the same teacher. A lot of my friends wanted her, and I wanted to be in their class. Some of their older siblings had been with her and had heard a lot of positive things.
However, while most of my friends ended up in that class, I went to a new teacher’s class. I didn’t really have any familiar friends, and I didn’t know her very well, besides some occasions throughout the last year or so. But instantly I realized, even at the young age of 9 and 10 in 4th and 5th grade, that this new teacher was a phenomenal teacher. Like I said, I didn’t really know anyone in that class, but over those small, quick two years, she instantly bonded us tighter than atoms (which I didn’t learn in her class, more like 7th or 8th grade. If only she did, and I might understand all that stuff a little more.)
I am close friends to many of kids from that class even now almost four years later, and I am very grateful for that. My 4th grade teacher was and I’m sure still is a fantastic teacher. People and teachers always say they try to make learning fun, but I have seen few to actually fully succeed. But she definitely did.
She was very engaging in her lessons and taught me so many things. She also had the perfect level of tolerance. Obviously not comparing her to an old grandmother, but her level of strict well was perfect, and a lot like a classic grandmother. She always expected the best of us, which brought out the best of us, and she made sure we were always kind to each other. Like I said, her lessons were always engaging, but she also made other great activities. I remember she would occasionally have us all make a meal together. We made some killer cheesy orzo, and it was a great teamwork experience. My fourth-grade teacher is a fantastic teacher.
She includes her students, makes them good people, teaches them efficiently and makes it very entertaining, and is like I said, just a plain legit teacher. I have so much respect for her, and I am absolutely positive my classmates do as well. She has definitely shaped me to become as good of a person as I can be. My fourth-grade teacher is great teacher. But an even better person.