Teachers and What They Taught Me: Mrs. Sheerman
If you are as lucky as I am, you had one or more teachers that truly believed in you. One of those teachers that made me believe I was smart and talented academically was Mrs. Julie Sheerman. I was fortunate enough to have her as a teacher for the first time my sophomore year and honestly my life has never been the same since. She inspired me to actually enjoy learning, which is not easy to do. She also inspired me to allow education to empower me and take me places. She challenged me to try harder and do my best work in her classes and beyond. She truly expected my best work and she would let me know if I wasn’t giving my best effort.
I know that many of my classmates loved her classes as much as I did, but I can only speak from my personal experience and that experience was the best education I could have ever asked for. I learned how to write and construct papers in her classes that has carried over into nearly everything I have done academically, professionally, and as a blog writer. Her unwavering belief that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to has really helped me follow through on things when times get tough. She has also inspired me to truly take an interest in students that I have taught or worked with and encourage them to believe in themselves. So similiar to my post about Coach Brackey, I’d like to reflect on a few stories/memories involving Mrs. Sheerman that have had a lasting impact on me.
I’ll begin with a story…
“You need to take the practice ACT”
So it was the end of my sophomore year and even though I managed to get pretty good grades, I wasn’t convinced that school was good for much and I couldn’t think past Friday night, let alone about going to college in the future. Luckily I had great parents to look out for me in life, but also a great teacher to keep my best interest in mind at school, whenever I would attempt to make bad decisions.
In this particular moment, I had decided that I was going to skip the practice ACT and go down to the gym and “chill” where all the students who chose not to take it were being supervised. Thankfully for me, Mrs. Sheerman caught me before going downstairs and basically told me that I was taking the practice ACT and that I needed to think about my future. In her stern tone, she struck a chord with me and I went in a took the test. Literally from that point on my new goal was to go to a four year college.
My first ever 4.0
Honestly, Mrs. Sheerman inspired me to take a more active interest in school and doing my best in academics (or close to it, most of the time). At the beginning of my junior year I told her that I was going to get a 4.0 that quarter and she encouraged me to do just that. Long, story-short, I did get a 4.0 and that was my first one ever. In all honestly, I was fairly proud of myself, but more importantly I wanted to report this accomplishment to Mrs. Sheerman, so that she could see what I was capable of. What I didn’t quite realize at the time was that she expected that from me all along because she believed in my ability to succeed.
Reading and writing can be enjoyable
It was in Mrs. Sheerman’s classes that I realized that reading and writing can be enjoyable, mostly because she had a passion for literature and teaching it to us. We would read a book as a class and she would get so excited about it that it was hard for me not to get excited about the story myself. She would also allow us to pick books to read and write about and this really peaked my interest. Her way of teaching us how to write was exceptional. I feel like my grades my freshman year of college were decent because I could make up for lack of studying and lower test scores by writing good papers, thanks in large part to Mrs. Sheerman. Overall, Mrs. Sheerman’s enthusiasm for the subject she taught helped me build up my own enthusiasm for aspects of it, as well.
She believed in me more than I believed in myself
I know there were many students that feel the same, but I can only speak for myself on the fact that Mrs. Sheerman believed in me and what I could accomplish much more than I believed in myself. She encouraged me to work hard and seek out opportunities that I may not have without her pushing me. She was stern with me whenever I needed it, but she was also comedic relief at school when that was needed as well. Ultimately, the greatest gift Mrs. Sheerman ever gave me was a belief in myself that allows me to seek opportunities and not shy away from taking risks.