Building Confidence - A Teacher Changed My Life
My Life Changed
Miss Siegesmund was the most striking lady I had ever seen. When I walked into first year high school Latin class, I saw a smartly dressed lady in a colorful suit, about 5 feet five inches tall, very thin and chic. Her hair looked almost golden, and she was refined and articulate. “Teachers are not supposed to be beautiful,” I thought, with naiveté. She proved to have a winning personality to match her looks. I was in her class for four years, and she instilled confidence in me.
Parent Fails to Build Confidence
When I was a freshman, I was skinny with braces, and my confidence needed improvement. I was so shy I sometimes would cross the street to avoid talking to classmates. I had many friends but was still shy around others. My mother did not believe in praising me as she believed that I would get a “swelled head.” Her belief had a great impact on my childhood. My Latin teacher believed in me. She was full of praise and knew what each student especially needed. I gradually found my niche in high school with confidence in my abilities.
Speech Contest Success
When I was a senior, I had developed enough confidence to participate in a declamation contest. I had to give a speech in front of the entire high school. Can you imagine the progress that I had made to get to that point? I came in third. When I arrived at Latin class, Miss Siegesmund said, “You should have won. You were the best” I thought to myself,” She has so much faith in me” Better things were yet to come.
There were eight students in fourth year Latin, four boys and four girls. We started to have some social events. We were invited to her house, and we went to movies, the nine of us. The friendship among us was a relationship I will always remember. Then along came some Latin romance. Each boy in class asked another girl in class, “Will you go to the prom with me?” Was she also a matchmaker?
A Teacher Changed My Life by Building Confidence
We learned later she never married due to an unforgettable broken romance. She was very private about her life. What I remember about her is that she took me into her life, me, the skinny girl with the braces and gave me confidence. I was like a bird with a broken wing due to my mother’s inability to cast aside misconceptions from her own past. The teacher mended my broken wing and allowed me to soar to greater heights. I shall never forget her. She won praise from many students for building confidence, and she changed my life..
How Teacher Builds Confidence
Praise complete correct assignments.
Praise for class participation.
Give extra credit for taking on difficult assignments
Take interest in each student and special needs.
Learn student interests.
Allow student to direct project
Compliments but only sincere ones that are meaningful.
A Tree in her Memory
At this time the class is preparing to purchase and dedicate a tree for her on the grounds posthumously. May she look down upon the strong branches in memory of her impact on students in a high school in Buffalo, New York. She is one of a rare breed, dedicated to student confidence and integrity in the classroom. Society needs a multitude of such teachers who can change the lives of their students forever through building their self confidence.
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