I just thought of the importance of teachers and other authority figures in the lives of children. I have some bad examples from my own life and from my siblings and friends. But this memory is a good one of a good teacher that I really liked when she was my teacher. When she became sick and passed away, I was extremely sad. I give credit to my third grade teacher for helping to bolster confidence in who I was and who I wanted to be. I appreciate her influence in my life.
For one art assignment we were to draw trees. I drew a "tiger tree". It was clearly a tree, but it was colored orange and black like a tiger. The other kids made fun of my drawing. I was very sad and thought how lame I was for drawing such a stupid tree. My teacher took me into the hall with my drawing and proceeded to talk about my tree. Why was it bad? What was wrong with a tiger tree? She thought it was creative. Creative was good. Did I have to draw a tree like everyone else? I remember going back into the classroom feeling proud that I was creative, and proud of my tiger tree. I kept that drawing beyond high school.
I am happy she noticed one sad little girl and took the time to talk to her.