The Teacher Who Changed My Life

For Teacher Appreciation Week:
Genevieve Weaver.
She was my sophomore English teacher at Centralia High School and she gave me a gift more valuable and more treasured than she will ever know.
When I was in her class, I was backward, PAINFULLY shy, scared of my own shadow, terrified of everyone and everything and convinced I was hopeless, helpless, worthless, ugly and stupid. All I had was writing. I had always written and knew I always would, but my “encouragement” to that point consisted of a step-mother telling me to “stop the lies”, which was what she called the fictional worlds I created. I couldn’t do that any more than I could quit breathing, so my writing became my secret world-until I walked into my sophomore English class.
In Mrs. Weaver’s class, each student kept a daily journal. Some days, she would assign something to write, and other days we were on our own to write what we felt. She told us if we wrote something we didn’t want her to read, we should write DO NOT READ at the top of the page. The beauty was that we TRUSTED her not to read those pages. Mrs. Weaver would leave little notes on our pages about what we had written, and it was one of these notes that stayed with me. It was one of those notes that helped mold me into the person I am today. It was one of those notes that pushed me to keep writing and to be published.
I had written some small fictional piece and handed in the journal. When I went back the next day, that note told me, in part,:
“…Please don’t ever stop writing….”
I didn’t. Mrs. Weaver encouraged me to maintain that part of my soul that fed me. She encouraged me to be the person I truly was and she urged me to NEVER GIVE UP. I didn’t and I owe so much to her.
Mrs. Weaver, wherever you are, I love you, I have never forgotten your deepest, most important lesson. Thank you for caring about that sad, depressed, lonely, hurting, lost girl.

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