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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

When the back-to-school season comes around, we recall memories of classes, clubs, and grades, but we often fail to think of the people who facilitate our education. These people cultivate who we are, almost as much as our parents. They are the ones who teach us how to read, how to write, and how to interact with others, among so many more things. Teachers play a monumental role in how our world’s children grow into human beings, and it is so important to acknowledge their contributions.

Throughout my education, I’ve had many teachers, good and bad, but two teachers, in particular, have made a very significant impact on my life. The first of the two teachers taught English and literature at my middle school and also directed the school musicals and plays. As a middle schooler, and sometimes even now, I was a very socially anxious student with very little confidence in myself. I heavily valued my grades and struggled to make friends.

I had always done my best to respect teachers, even though I wasn’t very talkative, but this teacher always supported me. In addition to helping me recognize the value of my own work, she encouraged me to try out for the play. While I am no longer involved in theatre, that experience made me feel that trying new things wasn’t as scary as I thought. 

The second teacher to deeply affect my educational career didn’t appear until my second year of college. After spending my freshman year learning virtually at home, I stepped into one of my first in-person lectures on a Tuesday morning. After several classes of feeling overwhelmed, I worked up the courage to ask the professor a question after class. He took the time to engage thoroughly with my question and provided the answers I needed.

Following that interaction, I approached him almost every single day to go more in-depth with the lecture material simply because it fascinated me. He never hesitated to fulfill my curiosity and was happy to provide me with a multitude of sources for my Honors Thesis, as I am researching a topic in his area of study. His course changed my understanding of what I wanted to do in the future, and his genuine desire to help students is one reason why I care so much about the subject. 

Regardless of how you approach the topic, teachers are incredibly important in the development of a child and their education. They are the ones who watch children have their first social interactions, the ones to teach us how to read and write, and the ones who nurture our interests as we grow old. In lieu of this, it is imperative to recognize that teachers have the potential to change the course of a student’s life and encourage them to grow into better people. I encourage you to think about and recognize all of the teachers that have contributed to your life, good and bad, and really think about the ones who have changed the course of your journey.

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Lucie Daignault

U Mass Amherst '23

Lucie is a fifth-semester member at HerCampus and a senior psychology major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Outside of HerCampus, Lucie is the vice president of the criminology club, a small group leader with CHAARG, and a volunteer with MASSPIRG. She loves writing and is excited to share her ideas and learn from her peers!