How Did Two School Teachers Impact My Love for Writing?

QoR8Bv1S2SEqH6UcSJCA_Tea. CarliJean.Unsplash

Photo Credit: CarliJean.Unsplash

My love for writing began in elementary school.  One day my third grade teacher, Mrs. M. asked us to cut photographs from magazines and bring them to class. Mrs. M. had a cardboard box sitting on her desk and we all obediently placed our pictures in that box. We did that over several days, not knowing what she was going to have us do with them.

Finally the day was here, Mrs. M. told us to choose a photograph from the box and write a story about the picture. As my hand went into that box of photographs I remember the fear starting to set in. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to write about anything.  As I sat there looking at the picture I felt my body relax. The usual panic subsided and all of a sudden I started to write a story.  I looked forward to those days when we would pick a picture from that old cardboard box.

If only I had kept all those stories. I would love to be able to read what that little girl was dreaming about so many years ago. Mrs. M’s writing assignments woke up a creative part in me and from that day on I wanted to write a novel.

However, in just one quick moment all those dreams would be taken away.  Why would I allow that to happen?  I had been writing for a few years, I was no longer in the third grade, I was now sitting in my 8th grade classroom.

We were reading “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck.  Our assignment was to take the book home and finish reading the story and stop right before the last chapter.  We were not to read it, but instead write the last chapter ourselves.  I wasn’t even intimidated about finishing John Steinbeck’s words; it didn’t even occur to me until now that I am writing this!  I just remember being so excited to get started!

I did what I was told and closed the book right before the last chapter. I sat and wrote what I thought should be the ending of this amazing book and the next day handed it in to my teacher.

A few days later the teacher handed out the books to all of us and we were to read the last chapter silently.  As I was reading the ending my stomach began to knot up, I know I must have changed several shades of red.  As I shifted in my seat I looked up and the teacher was looking straight at me. I had written an ending almost word for word, identical to Mr. Steinbeck!  Instead of being proud and excited, I was sick as I knew I was now in trouble.

To this day I remember that old desk I was sitting at, the American Flag to the right of the chalkboard, the posters on the wall and even the aromas coming from the cafeteria, as it was soon going to be lunch.  My heart was pounding out of my chest.  I didn’t know how I was going to explain this; no one was going to believe that I hadn’t cheated.

The teacher then said those dreaded and expected words, “Someone here decided not to follow directions and copied the last chapter of the book.”  She also continued on with a long discussion about plagiarism. From that moment on all I could hear was the loud pounding of my heart in my ears. 

Inside my head I was screaming, “No, I didn’t cheat, I swear, those were my words, I didn’t read the last chapter!”  I knew no one would believe me; I just sat there speechless, sickened and sad.  I had never cheated or lied in my life and to be accused of something that I hadn’t done was devastating.

My dreams were stolen that day.  I never wrote again until now, almost 40 years later; as I write on this blog. Would I have written that novel by now if that hadn’t happened?  I will never know, but it’s never too late!

I will be forever grateful to Mrs. M. for always encouraging and praising us. I do not fault the other teacher, I can’t even remember her name. I suppose if I had been in her shoes I may have thought the same thing. Although, I would have handled it differently, it was my decision to stop writing and pursuing my dream.

Do you remember a time that changed the course of your life?

Lisa Ladrido (66 Posts)

Lisa is an R.N. Mom Blogger and the author of Mom Blogger Buzz. She writes about Social Media, Technology, Product Reviews, Blogging Tips, Travel, Family and Health. She and her husband live in the Seattle area. They have 5 sons, 4 grandchildren and 3 furry four legged children!

19 comments for “How Did Two School Teachers Impact My Love for Writing?

  1. July 11, 2015 at 4:02 AM

    All it can take is one bad teacher to discourage a student and that memory can last a lifetime. But then another can have such an inspiring effect, pushing you to reach your goals.
    Maria recently posted..Crazy Easy Two Ingredient Coconut Cream PopsicleMy Profile

  2. July 11, 2015 at 7:40 AM

    Our experiences when we’re young have a profound effect on our lives! One can only wonder what would have happened if you had kept writing!
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  3. Robin Masshole mommy
    July 11, 2015 at 9:24 AM

    I can totally see you how you were discouraged after that, but actually it’s truly amazing that you came up with almost the exact same ending as the author did. What a story.

  4. July 11, 2015 at 11:53 AM

    Wow that is quite a story. I had one teacher who installed in me the desire to do the best I can in school because she saw my potential going to waste. To this day, she still claims I’m not living up to my full potential. It’s amazing how much of an impact teachers really do have on our lives. I’m glad to see you’re writing again. There’s still time to write a novel! When you do write it, I want to be one of your book reviewers!
    Crystal Green recently posted..Holey Granny BehindMy Profile

  5. July 11, 2015 at 3:44 PM

    I was blessed to have some great teachers. They make all the difference.

  6. July 11, 2015 at 5:48 PM

    Wow, what a story! It just shows the impact — both positive and negative — a teacher can have on a student and how important it is to have good ones!
    Lois Alter Mark recently interview with author linda castillo – plus a book giveaway!My Profile

  7. July 11, 2015 at 5:52 PM

    I can really only remember the teachers that praised me and helped me through each grade. I do wish I would have had a teacher that would have challenged me more.
    Janell @ Saving You Dinero recently posted..Watch Now – STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Comic-Con Reel!My Profile

  8. July 11, 2015 at 7:36 PM

    There are some great teachers out in the world I have had some very near and dear teachers and I have had some awful teachers. So far my daughter has not ever had a teacher tell her she couldn’t do something I think if that ever did happen to my child I would sharpen my mommy claws.
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  9. July 12, 2015 at 12:03 PM

    Teachers can be amazing – they can really make an impact, sadly mine seemed to make an impact in the wrong way though. x
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  10. July 12, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    Teachers can leave postitve and negative impressions on children. I had my fair share of both.
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  11. July 12, 2015 at 7:24 PM

    As an educator, and a reading/writing teacher, I love this post. It’s nice to see that we teachers do have a lasting influence in the lives of our students.
    Toughcookiemommy recently posted..Candy Soda Crush MixMy Profile

  12. July 16, 2015 at 7:37 AM

    When I was in middle school, my favorite teacher asked me to enter a state competition for writing. I won 4th place. Now, I’m a 6th grade language arts teacher. Your post inspired me to keep encouraging my students, the way that I was encouraged.
    Dede recently posted..Cranberries help keep you beautiful from the inside out #AZOCranGummiesMy Profile

  13. July 18, 2015 at 8:41 PM

    I always love when you end up having a teacher that can inspire you so much. I’m glad you got to take part in something like that.

  14. August 2, 2015 at 11:38 AM

    Guess I was lucky to have great teachers at school, I started writing late though.

    I try to do the best I could and I’m blessed to have great people around me who inspire me all the time.

    Thank you for sharing your experience.
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  15. Elizabeth O.
    August 7, 2015 at 1:38 PM

    My dad is my inspiration for writing. He’s been a great influence on how I’ve been writing all these years. This is a great story, thanks for sharing it with us.

  16. March 3, 2017 at 4:16 PM

    Hello Lisa! I love your blog and articles, I also rad a teacher who influenced me in a positive way! We never forget!
    Guilherme recently posted..Curso de Bolos Caseiros Faça e VendaMy Profile

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