This Saturday, April 12th, SGWS alumni, Sarah Welton, will be honored for her winning essay about Spring Garden Waldorf teacher Marie Paul. The My Favorite Teacher contest, sponsored by Barnes and Noble, declared Sarah the winner of the 9-12 grade essayist category for her entry about her Spring Garden Class 1-8 teacher. In addition to be honored for her local win, Sarah will also have her essay entered in the regional B&N contest. Congratulations to both Sarah and Ms. Paul!
Here is Sarah’s winning essay:
“Whenever I am asked about the influential people in my life, my thoughts immediately turn to both my parents and to Marie Paul, the wonderful person who served as my teacher for first through eighth grade. She is a beautiful person and a great friend, always there to listen and always there to help. I have much reason to admire her.
Among her many talents, her ability to teach not only from the text but through her own actions shines bright. As a teacher she taught me in such a captivating and enthralling way. She encouraged me to want to learn and to enjoy learning. In the way she taught, she let us make our own conclusions and formulate our own opinions on the subjects we studied, and would always hear us out as we expressed these opinions.
She has always been a wonderful listener, many times I’ve found myself going to her for advice or just for someone to talk to. She has listened intently and offered heartfelt opinions, forever encouraging me to follow my dreams and aspirations. I truly admire this about her. For my classmates and I, she was not only involved with our school lives, but would check that we were doing well at home and with friends. She was always looking out for us, and when I see her now she always checks in to make sure I am doing well.
The dedication and work she puts into her teaching is astounding, often I would come in to school to find that she had drawn, in beautiful color, a map on the chalkboard or had sketched a portrait of a French king we were to begin studying. In addition, when we were to write about these subjects she would give us neatly written articles that she came up with herself. What I enjoyed about these was that they contained the necessary information and made it clear in a way we would understand.
She molded our entire education around who we were and around our individuality. She encouraged us to create our own ideas, and gave information that we were free to interpret in our own way. For example, when we learned about the Greeks and Trojans, we heard the story from each side’s perspective so that we could be open to different ideas and not decide blatantly that one side was good and the other evil. She taught us to be accepting to different views and showed us how to look at things from different perspectives, which I believe has helped me throughout life.
Even after I graduated in 2012 and left my wonderful teacher, she continues to teach me. Not only did she teach me what was required, but she taught me how to be kind, generous, and accepting. Every time I see her she teaches me something new. She has always been there for me and she has always looked out for me, and for all she has taught me, I am grateful.”