Everybody has that one favorite teacher. You know the one I mean; the teacher who transforms the way you see the world, gives you self-belief and whose impact you never really forget.

The one that you may always remember.

I have several. They all stick out for different reasons.

Ms. Nicholois- my second grade teacher who just simply adored me. I did no wrong in her eyes (even though I talked all of the time during class). Ms. Nicholois had a way of making misbehaving (talking in class or minor disruptions) not seem so bad at all. I was really good at spelling but one of the bonus words on this particular spelling test was "brought" and for the life of me I could not spell it. So instead of attempting to spell the word, I wrote " You are the teacher, you should know how to spell it, don't ask me". Imagine that, couldn't spell "brought" but I could write all of that. Go figure. Parent teacher night rolls around and my mother goes through my desk only to to find the crumpled test with me telling my teacher she should know better (smh). My mother could not believe it, she was so upset. When she asked my teacher about it, I don't remember her response but it had to be a light one ( Something like, Oh that's just Alaina..lol) or else I would've heard about it. At the end of the school year we all got autograph books (as if were seniors). Out of all the teachers that wrote to me, I still remember what she wrote,

"Ms. Alaina, never forget to use the Gifts that you were given.

Use them both, Beauty and Brains".

Then of course once I entered college, I stumbled on another Gem, Dr. Charles.

He was the total opposite of Ms. Nicholois. Dr. Charles took no shorts.

He would address his students as Mr. and Ms. ( to get us in the habit of receiving respect, I do that with my students now). Dr. Charles also held me accountable for every opinion I ever shared. I could never get away with a quick answer or a three page paper.

Dr. Charles required more, forced me to think and practiced the skill to defend my thinking.

Unfortunately, we don’t always get to say thanks to these amazing individuals – and sometimes we don’t realize fully what they taught us until years later. Take a moment to think about that teacher who inspired you to lose yourself in stories, or the math teacher whose maverick approach to behavior management has always stuck with you.

Who will you always remember and why? Tell me about your very best teachers and the valuable lessons they taught you.