In August of 1992, I was 10 years old going into the fourth grade. I was held back when I was younger due to my family moving so many times. I would be a fourth grader who attended C.T.Reed Elementary school, in Greenbelt, Maryland. That entire summer I wished and prayed that I would get my favorite fourth grade teacher and it would be Miss Susan Finch. Miss Finch was a warm,nurturing,beautiful and graceful woman who would encourage every student even if they were not her student or even in a different grade. She was also a teacher who always wore snow white reebok classics everyday. It didn’t matter the weather. She loved and cared about any and all students.
As always like clockwork, two weeks before school started there was a letter that came in the mail informing parents and guardians of which class and teacher each student would be assigned too for the following year. I harassed my mom everyday until it finally arrived in the mail. I was extremely nervous before my mom opened the letter, because I knew that letter contained the name of my future fourth grade teacher. My mom opened the letter, read it quietly to herself and then loudly she said” drum roll please” . I was staring at her as if I thought she was joking and she blurted out you got Miss Finch! I remember jumping up and down screaming so loud i lost most of my voice.
The first day of school had arrived and I got up early that morning to make sure my new clothes and shoes I begged my mom to buy me which were snow white reebok classics were laid out and ready for me to wear. I wanted to look my best for my new fourth grade teacher Miss Finch.
We lined up,found our home room class and I remember waiting in line for lunch that day and as Miss Finch was doing a student headcount, she walked past me and said “ nice shoes”. That made my day,week, and year.
Later that fall I saw Miss Finch after school posting flyers around school for the upcoming spelling bee. I was somewhat of a shy kid who would only show my true personality around my family and cousins when we would see them at birthdays or gatherings. So I asked Miss Finch who could participate in this spelling bee and her reply was any student in the school, would you like to sign up?” I froze up and didn’t think and blurted out “Yes of Course I can”.
In the next few weeks that followed I practiced all of my words from my study sheets and random words I would have my mom pick out from my elementary school Scholastic dictionary I bought from the book fair from the year before. Miss Finch would stay after school with me twice a week in her classroom, where she would help me by saying a word sometimes once,twice or even a third if i needed her to then she would also give the definition. She would have the greatest snacks . There would be a different variety of sweet ,salty, and sour snacks when we practiced.
I had a vivid imagination when I was younger and I thought to myself I get smarter and smarter everytime I would eat her snacks. We practiced every Tuesday and Thursday until the school wide spelling bee.
I didn’t win the school wide spelling bee that year, but I did make it to the fifth round out of ten. I was satisfied knowing that I made it that far without passing out or throwing up from my anxiety. I was extremely thankful that Miss Finch took the time to encourage me and teach me patience,kindness, and to believe in myself to overcome my shyness. Even now she is one of my top five favorite teachers who inspired me to try new thing and step outside my box.
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