In November, the Leesville newspaper staff was contacted by North Carolina Public Radio WUNC. Our staff has the opportunity to participate in a project called the My Teacher Project. The project is student-led and involves a 30-40 minute conversation with any current or former teacher of their choice. During the interview, the teacher and the student highlight their relationship.
When I heard about the project, I knew that I wanted to participate because I thought that it would be a great opportunity to respect one of my teachers. It didn’t take me long to choose which teacher I wanted to interview; I decided on Misha Gregory, my former third grade teacher, who has always inspired me. She is a dedicated teacher and her love for teaching kids is apparent.
Mrs. Gregory is a teacher who I feel that I have a strong relationship with. I remember that I first felt a connection towards her when I found out that she went to school at Clemson University. My mom also went to Clemson around the same time she did, so I was, and still am, a huge Tigers fan.
Our connection extends beyond the classroom and remained steady long after I finished third grade. When Ken, my brother, was in third grade, Mrs. Gregory was his teacher, too. Ken is also friends with her son, and they would constantly meet together to play and hang out during elementary school.
Due to this, both of our families have stayed in contact over the years.
What makes Mrs. Gregory a great teacher is the example she set for her students to always work hard and enjoy what you do. When I arrived to school everyday in third grade, Mrs. Gregory would be in her classroom with a huge smile on her face and always had a great attitude. This motivated me to try to act more like her and always stay positive when it came to school work and anything else I participated in.
During my conversation with her for the radio project, I talked to her about her teaching career and even some of the little moments that occurred between me and her over the years. It allowed me a chance to reflect on many memories from the past that are special to me.
I also learned new information about Mrs. Gregory, and why she decided to go into teaching. She told the story of how when she was a child, she would play pretend school with one of her friends. Mrs. Gregory said that because she would pretend to be a teacher with her friend, she knew that she wanted to be a teacher in the future.
Mrs. Gregory also talked about how she enjoyed teaching my third grade class. She said that the year before, it had been a tough class to teach. So, when she noticed that our class was hard-working, intelligent and well-behaved, she appreciated it and had a great experience teaching us.
At one point during my interview with Mrs. Gregory, I described why she stood out in my mind as a very inspiring teacher. As I continued to describe her as being bubbly, energetic, loving, and dedicated, I noticed that tears started to form in her eyes. Mrs. Gregory’s reaction touched me and reminded me of why I appreciated having her as my third grade teacher.
I had such a great experience participating in the My Teacher Project and having the chance to talk to Mrs. Gregory. Mrs. Gregory is a great example of an inspiring teacher, and I am glad I had the opportunity to pay tribute to my long-lasting relationship with her.