Pin It

Thank God for 12th grade English


By teh time I was a senior in high school, I was pretty over it.

I had all of my credits finished the year before and had begun taking classes at hte local community college, but I left 12th grade English for 12th grade becuase everyone told me that I shouldn’t miss out on my senior year.

Even though i could have easily finished it the year before, i left it so i could have my “senior year experience.”

Turns out, I thought it (school in general) was a giant waste of time and wished I had just finished up the year before.

But soldier on, i did.

School was always easy for me. I didn’t have to try very hard. (Unless it came to memorizing stuff like science terms or historical dates.)

In my 12th grade english class I never even read the books. I could easily join in class discussions and even write essays abotu the books just based on what others said in class. (I’m an excellent bluff-er.)

I was a total faker. A faker getting straight As.

And then my teacher – Mrs Hurley? – assigned The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

I’m not even really sure why since it was a thick, thick book, but I decided to give that one a try.

I read the entire book in about three days. Loved. It.

And that was my turning point.

I read the book, engaged (for real) in class, and wrote a stellar essay about it.

After that my teacher asked me to be a student teacher and help her mark the other student’s papers.

I didn’t grade them of course, but I did critique their writing, write remarks and comments, etc. and then pass them onto Mrs. Hurley for the “real” grading.

it was my saving grace that year.

If it weren’t for that class I may have never started reading again. (And I might have never gone to class again either.)

I loved Mrs, Hurley. I loved that she not only saw something in me, but then she gave me a platform.

I’ve always loved reading – ever since I was a little kid. But that’s the class where I discovered I wasn’t just good at writing, but I enjoyed writing.

Thank you Mrs Hurley for helping me to discover a little something about myself. Now here I am, 17 years later, actually beginning to do something about it. (I stil have a long way to go, but hey, at least I’m going.)

I never did tell her that all of my “A-graded” papers until that point had been based on a bluff.

STOP. (just went nearly a minute over!)

Q for you: Did you have a teacher that changed things for you? How did he/she influence your life?


Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.


  • Reply Branson 22 February 2012 at 5:00 am

    I was often a total bluff-er as well, haha. I love to learn, and teach now, but I was fairly lazy in HS because I could get away with it. 😉

  • Reply Kristin 15 September 2015 at 1:28 am

    I actually had quite a few phenomenal teachers…but my favorite by far was my Biology teacher in high school (though I majored in English and Spanish). He was amazing. He was full of life and knowledge, and he loved God (which was one of the coolest things since I felt like I was the only Christian in my entire high school growing up). He taught me SO much. He was challenging, creative, and driven. He is the reason that I held on in high school—he taught me how to love learning!

    • Reply Adriel Booker 5 November 2015 at 11:59 pm

      Well my goodness Kristin, how did you find this little buried freewrite post? 🙂 HA! In any case, I’m glad you did. Thanks for sharing about your biology teacher. Sounds like exactly the kind of person who should be filling our schools. How wonderful!
      Adriel Booker recently posted..Wings and roots: Of mixed metaphor and the search for homeMy Profile

    Leave a Reply