Recently I’ve seen many articles trending on Facebook about coaches killing athletes’ passions for a sport, but today I want to share some good vibes. So let’s talk about the teachers who fueled our passions. You may not think of these people often, but most everyone has one. Someone somewhere along the way in your life triggered a fire in you for a particular subject matter, and here you are today chasing it. Maybe it was a vibrant history teacher who sparked your passion for history or a wildly intelligent math teacher who taught you how to love equations (sorry, I can’t relate to this one), but everyone has a teacher who made a huge impact on their lives hiding somewhere on the sidelines of their life. So let’s take a minute to thank them, because they’re more than just pretty great.
I met mine during my junior year of high school. At the time, I was the stereotypical high school student who thought the path for myself was psychology because learning about schizophrenia interested me. Obviously, I had not thought about my career path much because, although psychology strikes me as interesting, I can’t make it more than a paragraph into a psychology research article without wanting to rip my hair out. Anyways, so there I was, a Freud fanatic stuck in an AP English Composition class with a teacher rumored to be not only strict, but mean. I dreaded the course. I dreaded the workload. I dreaded the weekly essays. But in the end, I learned a set of skills and passions I’d carry with me to college.
I was completely and entirely right about the workload and the essays being overwhelming, but I learned through that experience that like others, I grow the most through challenge, and this teacher challenged me. This teacher saw the fire in my eyes that only writers have, and she pushed me hard. There were times when she drove me insane, but from somewhere inside me, she brought out an incredible passion for writing that has done nothing but grow immensely since taking that class.
And that’s what these teachers do. They challenge us. They push us to our limits. Then they keep on pushing until we realize our potential to become something greater than we ever thought we could be, and those realizations we all have are the roots of passions, the roots of majors, the roots of careers. And in the middle of your stressful school schedule or your hectic job, you may have temporarily forgotten about this person, but do not push them from your mind completely. Even if you do not thank them face to face, be grateful for their presence and influence in your life. Humble yourself. Remember that you’ve taken the steps to getting where you are, but these people, along with others, helped build the stairs.
So let’s stop bashing on the people who killed the passions we once had, and praise the people who have sparked and fueled the passions we have now. Let’s remember the ones who helped us realize our talents, potentials, and enjoyments in life. In lieu of this article, I’d like to thank my 11th grade English teacher, wherever she is, for being one of the many large reasons I am where I am in my college career now and for sparking a passion for writing within me that I know will never die.