High School English and Academic Decathlon

by Corey
(San Antonio, Texas, USA )

My favorite teacher was Ms. Wiles. She taught high school junior English (regular and pre-AP) along with being a sponsor for Academic Decathlon.

I suppose she was my favorite and most memorable teacher since she didn't talk down to us. She made sure we knew what the real world would be like outside of high school and talked to us like we were adults too, not just 16/17 year-olds that knew nothing.

For our English class, she provided us with literature that we would be able to relate to what was going on in our lives. We read the Great Gatsby and discussed what we would do in similar situations in present day.

Academic Decathlon was the time when I really got to know her though. This was much more free learning, and thus free time. We took several out of town trips and spent weekends together as a group. She was able to tell us things about the real world that would not have been possible or appropriate in a school setting.

After the work for the year was over, she assigned everyone a personal project - whatever you wanted the project to be, but you had to work on it during the whole period, no down time. I choose to write a short fictional story that included everyone from the class. The two previous years I was able to complete short stories for various classes and was very happy to have the opportunity to continue the tradition.

Even after I had gone away to college, I still went by the high school every time I came home to check in with her. She stayed involved in my life through college. I attended Academic Decathlon meets that were held near my college. She was the first person to call me on the morning of September 11th to ensure I was safe and not scared. My husband and I were happy to have her as a guest at our wedding.

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