Prof. Glenn Moller
EDC 20/ Sec. DO3B
March 16, 2011
I remember walking into second grade wondering about what I was going to learn. I had many questions in my mind; I always wanted to know what I was learning and to be able to have an understanding.
Mrs. Eng was my second grade teacher in P.S.199; she cared for me in every way. When I didn’t understand the material I was learning, she took time to explain everything to me. She told me that no question I asked was stupid. I always looked forward to seeing her. I never knew she would turn out to be the teacher that would impact my life the most.
My parents didn’t speak or understand English, so I was never able to have help at home. When I didn’t understand my homework, I would cry only because my parents would say, “Why didn’t you pay attention to your teacher?” I felt horrible and stupid because I didn’t catch the native tongue like my other classmates. I was caught up with many missing homework assignments and many incompletes. Due to the lack of missing homework, I was sent home with a homework letter.
I remember being so scared to show my mother my homework letter. I begged my uncle to sign it because I didn’t want to hear my mother’s criticism. I knew I was going to be in big trouble if my mother knew about this letter. My uncle understood how I felt, so he decided to sign it for me. Although I received a homework letter, second grade was still my favorite grade because my teacher was always there for me. Mrs. Eng made me feel important. I wasn’t the smartest child in the class, but she always encouraged me no matter how stupid I felt.
One day while I was in class, Mrs. Eng told me I owed a school library book. She told me I had to bring in money to replace the book if I didn’t bring it back. I told her I had returned it and I had an expression of horror on my face because my teacher had just told me I didn’t return the book. I was in a mental state of shock because I knew I returned the book. I was scared my parents would yell at me for losing a book; I was even more scared of being hit by my parents. I had told my teacher that my parents would be really mad at me and that they might hit me. I was crying and I just felt awful.
That same day, I was kept in school when all the children I knew had already gone home. I thought my parents didn’t want me anymore or just forgot about me. My teacher had told me to not worry and that I was in safe hands. I was sent to social services and my parents were not allowed to see me. Since my parents didn’t understand English, my parents told my uncle to help them translate. They were able to bring me back home, instead of having me sent off to foster care.
That evening my parents yelled at me saying, “What kind of child sends their parents to social services?” They told me that I was a horrible human being; that I had no ethics and was just selfish. I was told that I was a disgrace to my family; this made all the confidence I had as a child, shoot right into the garbage can.
Even though I lost my self-esteem, I still acknowledge Mrs. Eng as the most important teacher I’ve had; as well as, my most favorite teacher. With her guidance, I knew I wanted to become a teacher just like her. I told myself that I wanted to be able to impact a child’s life like how she impacted mine. She taught me how to be myself. Most importantly, I learned to be who I wanted to be and to not be who my parents wanted me to be; it’s the most extraordinary lesson I’ve ever learned in life.
Mrs. Eng will always be a part of my recollection in life because she inspired me to pursue the career in becoming a teacher. People will always ask me why I chose her as my favorite teacher, but if you’ve gone through what I’ve gone through; she would be your favorite teacher too.