Apr 062020
 

While reading Lisa Wingate‘s Book of Lost Friends, I thought of the teacher that changed my life. The one that said you can instead of you can’t. Enter Lisa’s contest today. If you have taught or if there was a special teacher you will love this book. Actually, anyone will love this book.
I was the tallest girl in the third grade. That’s what I was and worst than that, I wouldn’t be going to fourth grade, because I couldn’t read.
“Peggy, either do better in reading, or I will have to keep you in third grade,” the teacher told me and handed me a book, Tip and Mitten. January frost on the north window looked like a spring day compared to her face.
I opened the book and studied all the squiggly lines on the pages. Reading was too hard. Besides I could make up better stories in my imagination than a dumb dog hiding in the leaves. “Where’s Tip? Where’s Tip? Here, Tip.”
Boring!
But I did want to go to fourth grade. I could just see me eight feet tall and still in third grade. So I read. “Here…is…T…ip.”
I read to everyone who would listen, even Sally the cow. I worked and I worked. Then one day it happened. I loved reading. I read every Nancy Drew book in the library. I still couldn’t spell and usually made an “F” on my writing papers. I didn’t care about grammar. I thought since I couldn’t spell it didn’t matter. I wrote really messy, hoping the teacher wouldn’t know if it was an “E” or an “I.” It didn’t work. The teacher thought I was dumb and messy.
Then in high school, I had a wonderful teacher who gave two grades, one for the story I wrote, how it made her feel and how my words fit together. I made my first “A.” Of course, there was an “F” below it, but I made my first A on a writing paper. That “A” made me think I had something good inside me, something I could share with others.
Quite a few years later the computer came along, and now I’m an author and a magazine editor. I love writing for children. I never dreamed I’d be able to write, but my teacher thought I could. My mom thought I could. My sister thought I could. Guess what, I have a great imagination. I discovered that spelling and grammar can be learned. A great imagination is a real gift, but determination and working to achieve your dreams is the fact that changes dreams into reality. It only took one teacher to give me the vision.

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