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Rated: E · Essay · Other · #1447297
This is an essay that I wrote in honor of my mother, a teacher.

         Teachers.  We observe them in their classrooms everyday, yet rarely pause to reflect on what they actually do after the final bell has rung.  Sacrificing many precious hours, staying up all night grading endless piles of student papers, are just a few of the many ways they show that they care.  Like vigilant border collies, they guide their flocks, carefully shaping the brilliant and fragile young minds of our future.
         These extraordinary people constitute the upper echelon of our nation’s educational system.  I’m proud to consider my mom one of them.  At 5’7”, with mahogany red hair, cornflower-blue eyes, a light tan, a kind voice, and a gentle manner, she exemplifies everything one could love in a caring compassionate teacher.  Every time I have the opportunity to watch her teach, I am amazed at how my mom uses her talent and skill as a teacher to further educate her pupils and help them to reach their utmost potential.
         Century Elementary School, where my mother teaches, is not a very flashy or pretentious type of school, like the prestigious Harvard or Cornell University where a person would expect to find someone of her caliber.  Rather, it happens to be a modest red brick building nestled next to a steeply sloping hill in Aurora, Colorado.  Since the school first opened twenty-three years ago in 1985, many children have walked through its doors.  If one tries hard enough, they can smell the stench of the noxious cafeteria food that the poor kids are sometimes forced to consume, the sulfuric odor of chalk dust emanating from the erasers used to wipe the blackboard clean, and the fresh, outdoorsy smell of newly sharpened pencils.  My mother has been there from the beginning, and has had a profound effect on hundreds of these wonderful children.
         Everywhere we go, it seems as if we run into a student my mom has taught in the past years.  Just the other day, my mom and I were shopping for clothes for me at Old Navy, when we heard the familiar sound.
         “Mrs. Valleen!” the voice cries, and my mom turns around to see a former student running up to her, throwing her arms around my mother’s waist and enveloping her in a great big hug.
         “Hello, Lisa.  Are you helping Mom with her shopping?  What grade are you in now?”
         “Fourth,” the girl replies, smiling.
         “Well, it’s nice to see you again.  I hope you have a good school year.  Be nice to your teacher.  She doesn’t bite.”
         “Okay.  Goodbye, Mrs. Valleen.”
         “Goodbye, Lisa.  Tell your mom that I said hello.”
         My mother can be very persuasive when it comes to what’s best for her kids.  Several times, she has made calls to Social Services when she suspects one of her kids is being abused or needs to be getting better nourishment or warmer clothes to wear.
         One year, she learned that a student named Travon was not going to be getting any presents and that his family could not even afford a Christmas tree for the house.  Deeply saddened by what she heard, she told her principal and asked if there was anything they could do to help him.  It turns out that the staff chipped in and not only did the boy and his siblings get a bagful of presents, but they also gave him and his family a complete Christmas dinner and a beautiful tree.  I was so proud of my mom.  She did not have to go to all that trouble, yet she cared too much to just sit by and do nothing.
         My mom’s also great at turning a student’s bad day into a better, more pleasant one.  All she has to do is motion for the child to come over, and she instantly makes them feel better with one of her world-famous hugs.  It only lasts a moment, but a little dose of my mother’s kindness and compassion goes a long way.
         To this day, my mom is slowly and painstakingly turning the dismal future of these children into one filled with brightness and hope.  I once thought that if my mom could be any color, she’d be gold, like her heart.  I pray that some of her caring and compassionate nature will be passed on to me.  It fills me with such great pride to have her as my mother.  I can only hope that her students, past and present, feel as equally blessed to have her in their lives.
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