5th Grade Teacher Helped Me Grow Up!

by Erin
(Tucson, Arizona, USA )

My favorite teacher was my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Perry. Mr. Perry was different from all my previous teachers. He told us we were adults that didn't need to ask permission to use the restroom - we were able to get up and leave when we needed to go.

As a 5th grader, that was huge! I always felt so grown up. Mr. Perry would sometimes walk around the room playing music on a little wooden flute as we read or worked on assignments. On the best days, he'd turn off the lights and tell us "grampy stories", about crazy adventures he and his grandfather had long ago. We spent a lot of time using our imaginations in that class, always doing creative writing and projects that really required us to stretch our minds.

We took awesome field trips to places like the Grand Canyon, where we'd learn about wildlife, plants, geology and how to pack a lunch for a mile-long hike! Mr. Perry was a great science teacher, and he treated each student like he or she was a special individual.

I remember one time I was drawing a picture of something and he asked if I'd draw one for him. When I did, he hung it up in the art gallery he'd created behind his desk. I was so proud to have my art up on his wall. I felt so valued - what an amazing feeling for a 10-year old. And what a great art teacher, too!

I learned so much that year. Not only lessons that could be found in a text book, but lessons about how to treat others and how to be a responsible citizen of the world. He was the first teacher to treat me as an individual, not just a carbon copy of my older sister, whose shoes I'd always felt obligated to fill. Even now, some 18 years later, I am still so grateful for the lessons I learned from that one teacher way back in the 5th grade.

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