My Influences Part II: Favorite Teacher

It was year 2004, I was just going into high school. Little did I know my life was about to change and one of my teachers would be (partly) to thank.


Most people in my life at that point were under the impression that I loved school. Honestly, I didn’t love school itself as much as I loved the getaway from home. I’m not going to go into great detail, but life at home was less than perfect before around the midpoint of my freshman year.

It was that year when I finally felt understood, like someone actually believed in me and didn’t make me feel like what I could do in life was so limited because of minor disabilities. It was that year that I met Ms. Cody, who would go on to teach me for all four years of high school. She was more than just a teacher to me… she was a friend and a mentor and so much more… and she still is, to this day.


Before high school, college was never really an option that crossed my mind. I don’t know why, but I just never really felt smart enough for college and never felt like I was good enough to actually succeed. That all changed when Ms. Cody took me under her wing, so to say. For once, I felt like I had a chance in this world… of course I still felt like my chances were limited, but just feeling like I had a chance was enough.

She made school and learning fun for me. Things, especially math… along with other things that never made sense to be before, suddenly made sense and I loved the feeling of actually understanding what others have failed to teach me for so many years before. Because of Ms. Cody, I decided to go onto college to major in math with the intention of being a math teacher. Of course, we all know how that turned out, but it’s a step I would have never even considered had I never met her, and it’s a step that I’m pretty sure lead me to the choices I’m making today.


We had lost touch for a while after she moved out of state not too long after my grandma died. We recently got back in touch, and even though there’s a two year gap… it’s like we were never out of touch.

She is no longer a teacher, and I will admit that is hard to imagine and it does make me a little bit sad, knowing she’s no longer changing lives like she changed mine… I do understand. She’s in a new chapter of her life, much like I’m starting a new chapter in mine.


I met with her for lunch and we talked about me ditching the math major and changing to photography, and venturing out to see the world. I knew she would be excited for me and she’d support me completely, because she’s never once doubted me. She has never told me I can’t do something because she knows all that I am capable of being. I can really never thank her enough for just believing in me on the level that she did and still does, because it’s shaped so much of who I am now… I wouldn’t be the person I am today without  all of her influence.


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