I would have to say my teachers in grammar school made me feel as if I was special. I remember feeling their pride when I did especially well on a test or on a paper which we were just starting to learn to write properly. The feeling that someone was proud of my accomplishments and that I was capable was a new feeling. I don’t really remember feeling connected to my mother when I was younger, I know that I was scared of my mother, I never wanted her to be mad at me and doing well in school was not a choice but rather it was expected. I did have an aptitude for school, I had a pretty wonderful memory, a casualty of the aging process unfortunately, but back then it was pretty awesome. But she didn’t cheer my successes because I guess it wasn’t a big deal since I had the advantage of having an easier time than everyone else. My teachers didn’t focus just on how “easy” school was for me, they emphasized the results and how happy they were with them. One of my teachers Mr. Urso used to say in 7th grade that I was ready for high school and my science teacher Mrs. Musso, also gave my praise as being ready for high school when she graded my report on early man and gave me an A+++. In high school however, I kind of lost my way, socially and academically. I felt like an outsider in the beginning years and then I jumped into full rebellion mode and ran away from home. I didn’t feel the sort of support I felt in grammar school until I got to N.Y.U. There I was blessed with professors who took the time out to get to know me as a student and as a person. I really felt that they were rooting for my success as a student of their classes and as a person in life.
My experiences with teachers who helped me has convinced me that unfortunately our country has taken the wrong path regarding our educational system. Teachers nowadays have little to no resources and they have lost all support from the parents, the government and from the system itself. Teachers, when they are given the proper support, can do wonders for children, being there for them when there isn’t anyone else. I hope, that we as a country, wake up and come to our senses and start funding education and the children as we should. Children, as they should be, are our greatest resource and we need to make them our greatest priority. Unfortunately, in this hostile political environment, teachers are getting trashed in the media and in the public discourse, they are not the problem, only a political scapegoat in our battle over whose vision for America is correct. If this continues, the children are going to be losers in this equation and I hope that it doesn’t come to that.