After working incredibly hard to earn an “A” in my 10th grade Honors World History class, I filled out an application to be considered for the 11th grade Honors American History class. 
The instructor was my 9th grade homeroom teacher; a man who ran the Student Government and had a calendar at the front of his room in which he encouraged students to write what their friends did over the weekend so he could call them out on it during class. I didn’t especially care for him, and after I refused to tell him about my friends or my weekend, I don’t think he cared for me either.
Through my 10th grade teacher, a Green Beret who was not only a Korean War POW but also participated in several tours during the Vietnam Conflict, I fell in love with history. In spite of my trepidation towards the Honors American History teacher, I really wanted to be in that class.
As a perfectionist, I had both my parents read over my application as well as my school counselor. However, when I list of class members was posted, my name was not on the list. It took all my courage to approach the teacher and ask him why I wasn’t accepted so I could learn from the experience. He looked at me and said, “You filled out the application wrong.” Then he turned and walked away. I felt so humiliated that I couldn’t bring myself to ask for specifics. How did I fill out the application incorrectly after taking such care and having three caring adults look over it for me?
Six years later, after earning my B.S. degree in Secondary Social Studies, I began teaching American History. 
His classes.
In his room. 
The room I where I felt reduced to nothing. That room was my home – and my students’ home – for ten years. And during that time, I promised that I would do my best to ensure that no student ever felt like that again.

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