An Inspirational Teacher
In 13 to Life, Jessica was inspired by her Lit. teacher, Mr. Miles. I had a similar experience in high school my Freshman year. Most Frosh classes are boring but necessary for graduation, and, with the exception of AP or honors classes, you only get to pick one of them: your elective. Most students at my school picked something easy like Art or Wood Shop. I, being an aspiring author, picked Creative Writing.
Choosing Creative Writing is one of the best things I've ever done for my writing career. I don't think it would have been so influential to me if not for the teacher, Mr. Johnson. He is still the best teacher I have ever had, and his class is what really inspired me to write.
There was just something about the way he taught that made even students who had gotten thrown into the class because nothing else was open sixth period want to write. I'd already been thinking about creative writing as a career choice, but most people I talked to about it had told me that "you have to be really good at that to get published, sweetheart" as if I wasn't, and never would be, 'really good at it.'
Some teachers that I've had, especially English teachers, just sat there and told students what sucked about their work. They didn't suggest ways to fix what was wrong, or point out the good parts, they just said, "That isn't right." What kind of a teacher is that? Not a very good one.
Johnson would wander around the room pointing out the strong points in our stories and offering suggestions to fix parts that we weren't comfortable with, because, in the end, writing is very subjective. He never said that we were 'doing it wrong' like so many other teachers. He even had the class vote on what we wanted to learn instead of teaching what some book written eighty years ago suggested would help us.
Because of Johnson, my writing has progressed so much, and continues to do so as a direct result of some of the things he taught me in that class. It was really great to have a teacher who knew what he was talking about and wasn't just reading from the book.