It was May 1974 our last day of school when I received my report card. I was filled with anticipation as I opened it up to see if I even passed. My grades were always below average and I would pass by the skin of my teeth. The second question that was bearing down on me was did I get assigned to Miss La Rose, as my seventh grade teacher.
Miss La Rose was known throughout the sixth-grade to be the toughest teacher around. Every sixth grader feared that they would be assigned to her class. Unfortunately, I was one of them, and my torment began the moment I opened up my report card and seen MISS LAROSE in the teacher’s slot. I was doomed!
I remembered all those day’s I passed her classroom as I would take the attendance sheet to the office every morning; and I would hear the teachers’ tiny voices squeaking underneath the loud thundering noise of unruly students’. That wasn’t surprising to me, nor was it to anyone else; that was the norm of every school morning.
However, what was unusual, I had never heard Miss La Rose speak, nor did I ever hear anyone else in her class speak. I mean it was so quiet that you can hear a pin drop!
One day I dared myself to stop and take a peak.
I was curious if she even had any real living, breathing students’ in her classroom. I looked around the hallway to see if anyone was around, as I quietly approached her door. All I could hear is my heart beating so loud, I was afraid she would hear it too and take me into her dreadful classroom; and make me into one of her “Students!”
The closer I get to the door the faster my heart would beat; so much so, I could hardly even breathe.
To my amazement, there she was standing right over me with her hands on her sides looking down toward me.
I was so petrified I ran straight to the office and back into my classroom with a record time that no one else has ever broken, even to this day!
Summer vacation was over and the day of dread came much to fast. The first day of school as I walked into Miss La Rose’s classroom, my knees were trembling and chills were running up and down my arms even the hairs on my arms were standing straight up; and my thoughts were repeating the words, “I hope she doesn’t remember me.”
In fact, everyone was so terrified that not one single sound was heard other than hearts beating to the sound of her footsteps. She paced her classroom in slow motion as her long dark hair swayed with the motion of her slender well kept body and she was very neatly dressed. She even kept her chalkboard without any smudges and only two pieces of chalk in the slot. The room smelled hospital clean, and every desk was lined in perfect place. Then she spoke, she said:
“ You have always had the Good Enough mentality in your academic skills. If this mentality is the force of your attitude in everything you do, I would be correct in my assumption that you’ve been cheated of receiving the best. Good enough is Not Good Enough! As your teacher it is my dedication is to give you the best. I give my best by working along side you. I am not here to tear you down, but build you up in knowledge and understanding. This year I will be your teacher and your best friend. I will not get you by as some friends do. I will get you where you need to be fully dressed before the end of this year. By the time you get into the next year, you will be at your best. I am not teaching you perfection; I am teaching how to press forward with your best in everything you do. Through perseverance, endurance and hard work you will succeed in life as adults.”
By the end of the school year I had for the first time ever, all A’s. My assumptions of Miss La Rose were in reality just misguided thoughts of my own fears, conjured up by my own imagination. I seen fragments of what I thought she was like by her appearance, but never getting close enough to get to know her; or even asking her students what they thought about her. I would imagine now that they would have said, “ Miss La Rose was, and will always be the Best Teacher Ever!
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