I learned at a very young age the definition of a teacher was: To hurt, intimidate, and humiliate a child.
Funny thing is only a few of my teachers were ever unkind to me personally. I played a shy quiet roll in elementary school, and avoided contact with the adults as much as possible.
Words teachers used to say to me: “Go back and read it again!” Usually had a tone of discussed and a furrowed brow, that I was afraid of, so I thought teachers didn’t believe or trust me, which makes learning difficult.
In seventh grade this changed, Miss. Barnett was my reading teacher. A class my mother signed me up for, that I did not want to take. Miss. Barnett always greeted me with a smile. She asked question’s and listened carefully to my answers. She never once embarrassed me in front of my peers. She used magic words and said, “I believe you read it” instead of the usual “You have not read it go back and read it again!” She then invited me to join her for after school tutoring. I can not tell you how relieved I was when learning turned into a game and I looked forward to time with my teacher after school. I was not the only student in the after school tutoring, there were many who received of her kindness and love.
Many years have passed since I had her class at T. H. Bell Jr. High but I recognize her at a shopping center a few years back and told her how grateful I was to have had her reading class. She told me it was funny that I said that because she was very upset when the administration threw a reading class in to her schedule, she had been hired to teach art. She said she felt like that was not the place she should have been.
Well, without the skills Miss Barnett taught me I would have a very different life. I would not be reading today, there would be no point, before her class all I read was words. Now I read stories! This wonderful teacher changed my life. I have even volunteered at my children’s schools tutoring, using the very same techniques I learned from her. I’d like to nominate Miss Kathy Barnett for the Teacher Feature award she is very deserving of it. I believe she now teaches art at Bonneville High in Washington Terrace. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love reading!
Katherine Jenne Guymon