Thank you Mr. Brown

February 18, 2012 posted by Sharra Weasler

There’s still time to cast your vote in our six word essay contest before it ends on February 21st at 11:59pm! But if you want the full story behind some of our top submissions, then read about the personal experiences that inspired their essays.

Check them out below and see how great teachers help create stories that last a lifetime. And don’t forget to vote now and often! (You can vote once every 24 hours. The more often you vote, the more likely you are to win your own DonorsChoose gift certificate.)

Spark interest. Ignite curiosity. Fuel dreams.
Jackie K. from Texas

My 6th grade teacher, Mr. Brown, provided a classroom environment where I felt at ease expressing myself. After our weekly science class, I would go home and make a project that pertained to the lesson. The next day, Mr. Brown would encourage me to present my latest project to the class. I realize now that this probably took up precious classroom time but Mr. Brown always made me feel that what I had to share was important. I was a shy little girl who had found an interest in science and he recognized it. In fact, he promoted it! Years later, I became the lead electrician in the installation of the dual harpoon system on the battleship USS Missouri. Thank you, Mr. Brown.

Teachers hold the ladders students climb.
Rebecca H. from Pennsylvania

So much of teaching is about encouragement - no matter what grade you teach, or whether you are teaching in or out of a traditional school. Learning happens anywhere, anytime and at any age. This is where I developed my short essay. Teachers hold the ladders. They steady them. They help extend them. Sometimes, they just bring them along...but it is the student that takes that chance and climbs it as high as they want. I love the imagery of the statement too -- sometimes (many times) students climb far above the teacher, yet the teacher can always be a part of that process. Finally, I thought the statement captured the rich relationship between teacher and student without limiting either person's contribution.

I remember her fifty years later.
Cullen A. from Indiana

Miss Imogene Chase was my sophomore high school English Literature teacher. She supervised the yearbook and worked the concession stand at basketball games to help pay for it. … Miss Chase had a tragic life, her fiancé was killed on the way to their wedding, and she never married. When I had her she was probably in her sixties, with very crooked teeth since her family could only afford orthodontics for the eldest son. She had the carriage of a ballerina and a passion for literature, and her students were her family -- she went out of her way to make each feel special. One of my classmates recently told me he had found her class difficult until he discovered Classic Comics. He suddenly improved and Miss Chase asked him how he did it. He showed her the comics and the next year she called him aside and showed him a stack of nearly 50 of them she had gotten to get her other less literate students interested, or at least pass her class. A real lady and mentor, remembered dearly.