Mr. Ray was my seventh grade teacher in a Montessori school and was the first middle school teacher I ever had. Transitioning into his class difficult at first because I had never experienced a traditional classroom. Initially as I walked down the dauntless stairs to the door of his classroom, I was nervous and doubtful I could manage a drastic change. To my surprise, the situation quickly changed as I walked into his classroom and was welcomed as a student.
He saw the distress I was in and walked towards me. I looked up at him and he smiled and said, “This will be the best school year yet.” I could tell he spoke with positivity and wisdom. He had maintained considerable compassion as he aged which turned my worries into pure happiness. I knew that I was lucky I would spend the next two school years in his class.
I was taken aback by the irregular curriculum he taught. Prior to entering his class I experienced the average school pattern of math, science, and English but that changed with his class. Mr. Ray taught important topics such as sustainability, food safety, and I got the chance to take care of a greenhouse with fish.
The things he taught were not required by the curriculum but he taught them because he knew that it would help us grow as students and people. Learning about the positive effects of maintaining a greenhouse was a main reason behind my current advocating for the use of sustainable systems and renewable energy. He enlightened our class about the importance of using clean and efficient energy such as solar panels and garden grown produce.
Overall, I have never had a teacher that has impacted me as much as Mr. Ray. He not only is he the kind of person that would sit down with me and talk about personal problems and struggles but would also teach our class lessons that were important to our class to be an educated and informed group of kids. Mr. Ray has changed how I perceived educators as a whole and has opened my eyes to the passion that a teacher can have for the well being of his students. As I have entered high school since attending his class and as I soon move on to college, I have applied the lessons he taught me and never could have imagined that one person would have so much impact on my life.