As a follow up to yesterday's post, I thought I'd tell you about my 9th grade English teacher. Coincidentally, she is also the advisor for Academic Decathlon.
If I had to pick one teacher that influenced me the most in high school, it would be her because she is the one who got me excited about reading again.
I loved reading when I was little. I would read all kinds of books, and we had bookshelves of them to choose from. For some reason, I just stopped reading in my early teenage years. I can't remember a specific experience that caused it, but I just never did it anymore.
During the year, we had several required books to read, but in between, she had several extra book report assignments. She did something that I thought was pretty ingenious for kids like me. She let us pick any book as long as it had a minimum of XXX pages. Any book. The freedom was exhilarating (remember the nerd comments in previous posts). Even better, we didn't have to write anything about the book. All we had to do is sit down with her, and she would open the book to random spots in the story and start reading. As soon as we knew where she was, we would stop her and explain what was going on in the story. If we could adequately explain, she would pass us off.
All of the sudden, I remembered how much fun reading was and I've been hooked ever since. I rarely go to bed without reading a chapter first.
I'll always be grateful to her for reminding me that books won't kill you.