My Upcoming Graduation
I am currently attending East Georgia State College in Statesboro, Georgia. From here, I will continue my path to becoming a psychiatrist. Since I will graduate this coming December, I would like to dedicate this tribute to Mrs. Walden, my fourth grade teacher who was the first to care. In honor of this dedicated educator, who first pushed me to care about my education, I will continue to strive for my goals, remembering her endearing concern. Because of her, I feel, I am continuously becoming a success.
Mrs. Walden and My Story
Mrs. Walden was the first teacher I had after moving from Indiana to Georgia. I began my first day of fourth grade in August of 1997. Previous to the big move with my large family, I took no interest in school. I never did my work or assignments and was put into a special education class because of my obvious “inability.”
In third grade, I was asked by my principal why I did not do my work. He asked if I knew that I would be in third grade again if I didn’t complete my assignments, of which I responded, “My mom won’t let me fail.” I previously had never thought about how the system worked and did not understand the concept. However, my mother let me finish the year by homeschooling me to avoid being held back.
When I joined Mrs. Walden’s class in Georgia, I found that she was a sweet, gentle woman with a caring heart and a joyful southern twang of which I enjoyed hearing. I thought southerners talked funny. Because of my academic inaction and my constant acting-out, she pulled me aside one morning and asked if anything was wrong. She asked why I did not do my work; I simply shrugged my shoulders in response.
Then, she said something no other person had said previously: she promised that she would buy me any toy I wanted if I passed my next test. Being from a poor family and having only hand-me-downs from my five older brothers, I was ecstatic. I did my work as soon as I entered back into the class. I soon found that I actually enjoyed learning!
However, I failed the next test because I allowed myself to fall behind. Something happened to me, though. The failing grade did not deter me from doing my work. The promise of a toy motivated me and now my interest in learning motivated me. I made all “A’s” that year and received perfect attendance for the second semester.
Honoring Mrs. Walden
She may or may not have realized this, but because of her, I grew from a passive, shy, quiet child to making straight “A’s” and “B’s” throughout high school and middle school. Because of Mrs. Walden, my life had been changed more drastically than anything else. Because of her, I have become a successful student with high hopes with high ability and motivation. Because of my fourth grade teacher caring, I have become a contribution to society.
Thank you, Mrs. Walden.