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Descriptive Teacher Essay

Mrs. Gagnon: More Than Just a Teacher - Varsity Tutors Scholarship Essay

            A good teacher can teach you something that you will remember for a day, but a great teacher will teach you something that you will remember for the rest of your life. A teacher can influence many important characteristics in a person’s life. Teachers are much like a second parent, and you could say that they spend just as much, if not more time each day, with a child than parents do. They help mold and shape a child’s personality, and often times their future. They can teach you the importance of trust, and being trustworthy. A teacher should also be able to recognize each student as an individual. I was lucky enough to find all of these qualities in my U.S. History teacher, Mrs. Gagnon.
            Mrs. Gagnon has influenced who I am as a person. She has taught me to work hard and always do my best. I would describe her as always being happy and cheerful. It doesn’t matter what my mood is before I walk into her classroom, because she will always bring a smile to my face. She demonstrates kindness and patience to each and every student in her class. Those are character traits that I feel I have improved upon because of her. Another important thing that she has taught me is to believe in myself. When a teacher believes in you, you cannot help but work even harder, which only leads to success. I hope that throughout the rest of my life, I can demonstrate the same great qualities that I find in her.
            Having these characteristics would mean nothing if she weren’t also trustworthy. I can always go to her to seek advice, or just to have a friend to talk to. Knowing that there is someone there who will listen to you, makes all the difference in the world. Whether it’s a relationship problem, teenage drama, a bad grade, or something that you feel that your family just wouldn’t understand, Mrs. Gagnon is always there to listen or help in any way that she can. I always know that I can trust her to keep our conversations private. However, trust with her is never a one-way street. On the first day of class, she invited us into her personal life by telling us everything there was to know about her. By the end of class we knew where she went to college, her professional experience, and many things about her family. Whether it was intended or not, she taught us that it was okay to let people into your life.
            Mrs. Gagnon takes her time to get to know each student as an individual. She takes pride in finding out how to help each student excel in their own way. She uses various teaching styles in effort to reach the needs of everyone in her class. We often play games to study for a test, which is an exciting and easy way to review the information. She closely watches who works well together, and places them next to each other when we are doing work. This year, I am a teacher’s aide in her class, and this experience has given me insight into how well her teaching style helps her students succeed. There are very few kids who don’t do well in her classes. Clearly, she has worked hard to figure out what is best for each person in her class. This has made me recognize that each person has their own individuality, and that they should be respected for who they are.
            The lessons that Mrs. Gagnon has taught me are invaluable. Not only have they strengthened the foundation of my life, they are the building blocks of my future. She has been an exemplary role model, and has taught me to have many strong traits. I can be trustworthy and hard-working, while never losing sight of who I am as an individual. Mrs. Gagnon has been the one teacher that has affected my life the most. She did not need to influence me to be a rocket scientist or brain surgeon, but she has influenced me to become the best at anything that I set out to be.



My favorite teacher is my history teacher, and he is by far the best teacher that I have ever had. He has the ability to make a subject that many students find incredibly boring come to life through his enthusiasm and passion for history, and his love of being a teacher. Going to his lessons is something we look forward to, not dread, like we do with most other lessons.

It’s ever so funny to watch him get excited about something, which happens in every lesson. It’s easy to know that he’s getting excited because he begins bouncing up and down slightly in a way that no other sixty-something year old would ever managed without looking completely ridiculous. He has this dark (with more and more grey streaks these days), springy hair that lines the edge of his growing bald patch, and the hair bounces up and down with him like thousands of tiny little springs. Then, he takes on his whole new persona, often going into role and becoming the character or figure he is talking about, doing the voices, the actions, and parading up and down the room gesticulating wildly, but all the while there’s a gentle ‘bounce, bounce, bounce’, as though the springs are not just on his head but on the soles of his shoes too.

A teacher that doesn’t take himself too seriously always will be a big hit with teenagers, although he’s not afraid to impose his authority if he has to. I’ve only ever heard him properly shout once (although thankfully it wasn’t it me), but it isn’t an experience that I would like to repeat. When he lost it, the room suddenly became more silent than I’d ever known it to be before. We all sat slightly paralyzed, not even anting to breathe too loudly, because hearing such a jovial and jolly little man lose his temper was a huge shock. It certainly had the right kind of impact though, because he’s never needed to shout since.

It is actually this teacher that I have to thank for my love of history. In his lessons, history does not mean copying out of textbooks and writing pages and pages of notes. History is alive; history is something tangible, that you can see, hear and feel, and we can live it through dressing up and acting out scenes or taking trips to important places of historical interest. And although he’s getting on in years and may not be teaching for much longer, he will have an important place in history for many of his students, because there has never been a teacher able to bring a subject to life in quite the same way he does.

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