‘To the world, you may only be one person, but to one person,you may be the whole world.’

Never was this quote truer than for one little girl’me. I attended six different elementary schools, moved twice during my junior high years and transferred into four different high schools. In the absence of extended family, teachers became my mentors. In the absence of a busy social life, books became my friends’and the CLASSROOM was my whole world. Teachers were the one constant that I came to rely upon when my father’s occupation moved us so many times.

My new teachers were always especially kind during those transitions. Many days I would not even know my own phone number, having hastily scribbled it onto a denim binder cover just in case I needed to call home. But sure enough, a gracious teacher would purposely seat me next to a model student who could show me what page we were on or help me find my way to the lunchroom. School was my refuge, and I learned success at the hand of many a compassionate teacher willing to soothe my anxiety with seamless poise and a warm smile. It’s no wonder I wanted to become a teacher myself, one who could give even the most lost and uncomfortable student a sense of belonging.

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