I love to read. My reading journey is a beautiful story of a teacher’s love. A wonderful story of a summer that forever changed my life. Here we go.
I did not always love reading. It did not come naturally for me. Putting words together was very frustrating. But one summer, a neighbor and family friend made it her mission to help a young kid learn how to read. Not just to read, but come to love reading. That person was Mrs. Speir’s. She and her husband were both dedicated teachers. Mr. Speir’s looked like President Abraham Lincoln. This wonderful family lived two houses down from my parents. Their two daughters were great friends. That summer, Mrs.S took it upon herself to help increase my reading skills. So Monday through Friday, I would walk down to her house for tutoring. Mrs. S, knew I loved sports. She used that to her advantage. Upon arriving for tutoring each morning, Mrs. S would hand me the sports page and have me pick out an article. Mrs. S would then sit down with me and together we would read the article together. She was very patient as I struggled through the article. Mrs. S would always encourage me and let me know she believed in me. What a gift she had for shaping young minds. After reading the article, Mrs.S would have me explain what I had just read. Once again, she had a lot of patience. As the summer flew by, something amazing happened. Mrs. S did not have to sit with me as much. I began reading the articles on my own. I started sharing what the articles were about without Mrs. S prompting me. The words began jumping off the page. I found myself getting lost in the words. The stories became so real to me.
That summer literally changed my life. From that summer on, reading became a passion. I could not read enough books. They became a huge part of my childhood. I would escape into the stories as I read the words. That love of reading followed me into adulthood. I love to sit around with a good book and let the words flow. Nothing like a great book that puts you right in the middle of the story. I love a book that challenges me to be a better person. A book that ignites me to action. That is what reading can do for you. Reading can change your life.
I am so thankful Mrs. S took precious time out of her summer break, to help a young boy fall in love with reading. A side note, something that encouraged me to attend tutoring that summer was the chocolate covered frozen bananas that Mrs. S shared with me on many occasions.
I share this beautiful memory, to celebrate the amazing educators who go above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of young people. I want each of you to know you matter. I would not be the man I am today without Mrs.S and all the amazing teachers that invested in me over the years. Thank You! ~OC