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.
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My parents have shaped me into the person I am today. They are the two most influential people in my life. My parents teach me everyday by example. I value the ability to listen because my dad’s ability to do so makes me more eager to talk to him. I strive to speak up for myself because I see my mom never afraid to do so. I see my parents sacrifice so much of themselves just as other parents do for their children. Parents are so crucial to providing a child with support and love.
Yet, my culture also shapes how I see the world and what I am passionate about. I am Chinese and living with an Irish, white father and Chinese mother. My mom says that I am definitely my father’s daughter because we both love soup and rock music. My physical traits prove that I am instead my mother’s daughter- our brown almond shaped eyes and our freckles. While I have adopted the habits my dad has and want to learn Cantonese because of my mom, who is from Hong Kong, I find it hard to identify myself to them.
This is because I am adopted.
I have known this ever since I was little and am thankful that my parents told me early. The fact that I am adopted has in many ways influenced me more than my own parents have. I have always wondered what my life may be like had I not been adopted and think about the person I would be. Many people do not suspect that I am because my mom is also Asian. Recently, I have become more open about the fact that I am adopted. While I feel more comfortable because people aren’t asking questions, I am becoming more proud of my identity.
Recently, my mom brought up the possibility of finding my birth parents. This is a journey that I am confident I want to go on. My life is so much better having been adopted and now living in America. I have access to better education. I have opportunities that I wouldn’t have as a young woman growing up in in China. I am lucky to have grown up using chopsticks and eating rice. I am familiar with traditions of the Chinese culture not only because my mom celebrates them, but also because my parents exposed me at an early age. Regardless of this, I hope to meet my birth parents and expand my vision of parents.