A Teacher and a Mentor - Varsity Tutors Scholarship Essay
There have been many teachers that have assisted me throughout my time in school, but the one that impacted me the most was my ninth grade Spanish teacher, Mrs. Tamez. It was my first year of high school, I was in a new school, and had just recently moved to a new state. I was young, scared, and immature. I have always been a decent student, and most classes were very easy for me, which made it easy to put in very little effort. Her class was the exception, and I had to work hard to keep up my grade. It was especially challenging because she taught the entire class in Spanish. She did this not because she did not know English, or because she wanted to make her class harder, but because she loved her job and her students, and she knew that it would help them learn. She was a brilliant woman, and an excellent teacher, but as an immature student I did not appreciate her challenging my abilities. I worked hard in her class, but never appreciated her love for her students until well after half way through the year.
It was just before the beginning of the third quarter, and it was the first time that I had not been able to keep an A average in her class. She pulled me aside one day and offered to help me in the few weeks that were left in the quarter. I begrudgingly agreed simply because I wanted the grade. I went to the first extra session with a bad attitude, and an unwilling heart, but she sat me down and spoke to me in English. She said, “You have great dreams, and a good heart, but without hard work and a good attitude you will get nowhere.” At first I was angry, and then a little hurt, but by the time I had to go I had decided to take it as a compliment. She was an amazing woman, who cared enough about me as a student to help get the extra edge I needed in her class. She was a great example of a leader and a teacher.
She worked with me for a few weeks, and by the end of the quarter I not only had an A in her class, but I also had a good relationship with her as a person. We continued to meet, even after I no longer needed her help simply because she was a good mentor, and we both enjoyed talking. She helped me grow up that year, and become more mature. She helped me through all of the high school drama, as well as the academic problems. Little did I know that our conversations were responsible for a lot of the Spanish I learned that year.
That summer I went on a mission trip to Mexico, and thanks to her and her willingness to work with an unwilling student, I was able to speak fluently with the people. She impacted my life more than any other teacher has, and I am thankful for it. The next year she quit teaching so she could spend time with her family, but I still see her from time to time, and we have one of our short but inspirational talks. She was not only a teacher, but for that year she was a mentor to a young and lonely student.
Topic: Write an essay in which you tell us about someone who has made an impact on your life and explain how and why this person is important to you.
Everyone has a person they consider to be their role-model, whether it is a famous sports star, an actress, or a favorite teacher. These people influence you and the decisions you make. The biggest influence in my life is someone often taken for granted but always there, no matter how bad things get: my mother, Teresa.
She comes from a long line of educators, whose goal was to teach the world one child at a time through kindness and wisdom. She was often known as the warm compassionate lady you go to if you were having a bad day. I can remember as a first grader, walking into her room, being embarrassed that she was consoling one of my classmates in a rocking chair, who had just taken a tumble down the slide during a rowdy session of recess. Not to say that her emotions effected her educating, though. She knew her purpose was to teach others and did her job well, but never missed an opportunity to demonstrate valuable life qualities along the way.
She was always the peaceful mediator between my brother and I. When we would argue about trivial things that we viewed as life or death situations, she would always come up with a solution that would appease us. If I could eat pizza for lunch, he could ride to town in the front seat. She would settle simple arguments in a way that most people would not have the patience to even bother with. She's one of the most compassionate people I know, and does not let anything discourage her. In times of tragedy, she has always been the unshakeable fortress that others cling to. Having to live through the loss of a brother and a nephew, she is resilient and knows exactly what to say and how to act to comfort others in times of need.
By being such an example herself, she makes me want to be a better person. She has been my mentor for the past 17 years and will continue to be my inspiration in life. She is a source of motivation and a refreshing reminder of a pure heart. She is my mother, my role model, and most importantly, my friend.