Throughout my life, I have been blessed with some of the best English teachers around.
Yet, at the same time, I have also been plagued with some of the most ruthless and evil English teachers known to man. Since the beginning of my middle school years, back when we called it Language Arts, my English experiences have ranged from fantastic to horrid in the blink of an eye, but still some “special” scenarios will always remain with me. The year was 2002, and I was in the middle of my seventh grade year. Now, if you did not know, the seventh grade year is supposed to be one of the hardest years of a student’s regular education because it is really the introduction of what is in store for a student’s future in high school and even after. So most students start to stress about workloads and begin to picture themselves sitting on their beds at 1 AM with a textbook in their laps and a cola by their sides to keep themselves awake. This situation is normal for the average seventh grader. But I was never an average anything. First of all, I am a twin, and my twin is a female. So for everything assignment I do, she does also. It became a competition. So, to start off my stressful seventh grade year, I have to compete with a twin sister who is not only extremely creative and bright, but she has never gotten lower than an A in a class. So, as you can see, I am up against a machine, and it doesn’t look good for me. Also, being a twin, my parents like to compare us academically. So when my sister comes home with straight A’s for the 100th time, and I come home with an A-, I am still considered second rank under my sister’s perfection. Now you can picture myself, being a somewhat short seventh grader walking into school on the first day, with all of these things on my mind. Now, every year for the past six years, I had come to the first day of school with the same ideas boggling in my head. How would I compete this year? Maybe my sister will have an off year? But I knew that if I wanted to change things, this would be the year to do it. Thinking to myself, I knew that language arts had always been a strong subject for both my sister and I, but I knew that if there was one subject that I could pull ahead in, it would be LA. For the first two months, I studied very hard in LA and kept up a consistent A grade, but it would still only tie me with my perfectionist sister. That was until we started second quarter. During second quarter, all of the students from our grade were forced to write autobiographies that would be a large portion of our LA grades. This project would be a grade breaker between my sister and myself, so I knew that I would have to really give the project my all. My sister and I both had the same LA teacher that year, so she would get to grade both of our autobios and choose which of ours was better. At this point, I don’t want to say that I wrote for sympathy, I simply wrote the truth about my childhood. I wrote about the constant competing, about my parents playing favorites, and actual things about my childhood. On the other hand, my sister wrote about her childhood, and our stories were somewhat different because they were written in different perspectives. Reading both of our autobiographies, our teacher was able to see both views of what happened in our childhood, and how we both felt from what had happened. The day that we got back our autobiographies, my sister and I were astounded to find out our grades. We each got the exact same grade, 97.5%. My sister, being accepting
with her high A, walked off as if nothing had happened, but I was astounded. I had poured my heart into the book and worked so hard, just to see myself fall short again. Unlike the other times where I would go back to the drawing board, this time I went up to my teacher and asked her what she thought. She explained that she had read both of our books, and thought that they were both fantastic, but in the rubric; they equaled out to be the same. My heart sank. I started to explain to her how hard I worked on the book, and I told her my whole plan about beating my sister for once and trying to succeed. I told her how much it would me to me if she bumped my grade up just a half percent, just to out edge my sister. My LA teacher, being the sweet teacher she was, took my words to heart. She was sympathetic to my situation and decided to bump my grade up to a 98%. The feeling was indescribable. I had not only gotten a 98%, but I had finally outdone my sister. My self-esteem was at an all-time high, and to this day, I can’t think of a time when I was happier. This is the kind of teacher I am looking for. I am not saying that I am looking for a teacher who would bump me up when I ask, but someone who would feel sympathetic to certain situations like these. Someone who can understand my feelings and realize how hard that I work. I feel that sometimes, teachers don’t understand how hard students work on assignments. Sometimes a student can put hours into an assignment, and still not score well. Grading should not just be based on point rubrics. Teachers should take into consideration the amount of effort students put into their work. I know that I am not the best writer, but I do work extremely hard when it comes to writing assignments. Since that day, I have always tried my hardest when it comes to English/language arts, and it has certainly paid off. I am proud to say that I have gotten straight A’s in English since the beginning of seventh grade.