Parker Palmer

Mrs. Sanders, my senior year British Literature teacher, embodied what I believe to be a compassionate teacher both within the classroom and outside of it. She was a tiny ball of energy who began each class with “The Word De Jour”–something so simple, but we all looked forward to it every day. She connected with us on our love for Chick-fil-a (The most crave-worthy fast food place. Yes, tis better than In-N-Out hehe) and invited us to bring her a chicken biscuit and large lemonade whenever we did so please. She taught so energetically and so personally that I can still remember her explaining and drawing on the white board how the English language took shape with the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. Somehow learning the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales in Middle English is still burned in my memory. I recite it from time to time just because. She encouraged me in the classroom with the smallest gestures such as simply telling me “Good job!” or “Study harder next time, LB”. The most impactful characteristic for me was the fact that she took interest in us outside of the classroom. She and her husband were present at mostly all of our basketball games, home and away games. By doing so, without having to say anything, she let us know that she cared about us as people. We weren’t just students in her classroom, we were young people with differing interests and an array of talents that she celebrated along side of us. And this isn’t something that ended when graduating from high school. She has encouraged me even to this day not only with her comments on my Facebook page about working toward a MAT, but also in her devotion to her students and love for teaching she displays in her everyday life. I hope to be half as influential to my students as she was to me and I’m sure countless others.

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