[Editor’s Note: This column originally appeared in the Thursday, May 10, 2018, edition of The Reporter.]

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I thought I’d give a shout out to my favorite teacher (one of them anyway).

Now, with my mother being a teacher, you would think it’s safe to say that she wins by default, right? But after thinking about it, while the decision becomes harder for me, that’s not quite fair for all of the others so I’m taking her off the list.

My favorite teacher has to be … well, let’s think about it.

When making such a decision, I think it’s important to factor in all the variables. For example, what was the subject? If I didn’t like the subject, well … sorry. But sometimes other things trump different measures. Like, how much fun was his or her class? How much could I goof off without having a meeting with the teacher’s paddle or an appointment in break detention?

After calculating the results and carrying the one, I’ll tell you it wasn’t any of my math teachers – sorry but numbers make me cringe and nothing will ever change that. I really enjoyed science, history and all the elective courses during school, but unfortunately they don’t take the cake either.

To no one’s surprise, this honor, if you’ll have it called that, goes to my 12th grade AP English teacher, Mrs. Martin.

“Oh, that makes sense! You’re a writer so naturally …” No, it’s not that simple.

Quite frankly, I despised all things English and literature in high school – and college too– and can I tell you why? I’m not a big fan of reading and never have been. To this day, the only book you’ll probably ever find me reading is the Bible or a project I may be working on. Sorry but no library card for me.

In Mrs. Martin’s class we were supposed to read two or three books over the course of the year. Instead, I would just stumble through the first and last chapters of each book, take good notes during each discussion we had, and then, scholastically, I would B.S. my way to an A or B on the book essay. The funny thing is, she knew I did that. She always tried her hardest to get me to read the entire book, but I refused. She has always told me, and my mother, that she’s never seen anything else like it. Luckily, I never got in trouble.

With all kidding aside, I love each and every one of my teachers and truly appreciate you for guiding me over the years with great influence. But the reason I chose Mrs. Martin is because even though I hated the subject she still made the class fun for me and, honestly, I believe she did what no one else could ever do – open my eyes to the wonderful world of writing.

Taylor Beck is managing editor for The Reporter. He can be reached at taylor.beck@sandmountainreporter.com.

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