Mr. Wasinger - My Inspiration To Be a Teacher

He Inspired Me To Teach Them

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Mr. Wasinger

Mr. Wasinger was my favorite teacher when I was a child. He taught fifth grade. He wasn't really my home room teacher, but I was in his class most of the time. He was a great teacher. He knew how to make learning fun. For writing assignments he did silly things like have us draw both of our feet on construction paper. Then we had to write a poem about one foot talking to the other foot. These were then laminated and put down in the hallway leading to our classroom. Another time he took the class Christmas caroling to a retirement home. At school the next day we had to write about our experiences. We then had to pick a favorite resident and make a Christmas card just for them.

Mr. Wasinger loved to read out loud to us. Every character had its own voice. When he read "Where The Read Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls to our class, Billy, his mom and dad and grandfather, and his little sisters all had different voices. When he was Billy's mom, he talked in a high pitched voice that sounded like it really could be coming from a mom. And Dad's voice had a deep resonating sound.

Mr. Wasinger saved me from a paddling once. I was waiting in line in the lunchroom and we were all supposed to be quiet. A group of kids in front of me and behind me were talking. The lunch aid told them all to be quiet. When the talking began again, the lunch aide came up to me and told me to stop talking. I tried to explain to her that I had not been talking. She called me a liar and told me that I needed to go to the office for a swat. I hesitated, and she grabbed me by the arm trying to drag me out of the lunchroom. Mr. Wasinger walked in just at that moment. He asked what was going on. The lunch aide told him her version of the story. Mr. Wasinger looked at me and back at her. Then he began laughing. "Her?" he questioned. "She NEVER talks! If she was talking, that's a good thing. Now, let her go!" If he hadn't already been my hero, that would've done it!

He Was My First Hero

©2012 LaDena Campbell aka justateacher


In fifth grade Mr. Wasinger instilled in me

A willingness and eagerness to write

He made all learning fun, of course

For him I wanted to do it right

I was shy and quiet and the new girl

The one without a voice

Mr. Wasinger showed me how to write

Didn’t give me any choice

The first poem I wrote for him

Was written on a drawing of my feet

I wrote about one foot’s need for the other

Mr. Wasinger pronounced it sweet

I also was asked to write a short story

Pretending I lived in the past

I wrote it in less than the hour we were given

Mr. Wasinger said “Wow, that was fast!”

When I was in his classroom

I did everything that I could to please him

He, in return, showed that he valued me

I told him I would always remember him

When I moved shortly thereafter

I thought that him I would never again see

I thought I would never have the chance

To tell him what he meant to me

But fate has a way of working things out

I eventually one day had kids

They went to school a mile away

From the fun little school that I did

When I walked into the school

To enroll my first child

I saw the principal was Mr. Wasinger

My heart went absolutely wild

I went up to him and asked him

If he would remember me

He looked at me for a minute

As if the past he was trying to see

He said, “You are LaDena!”

I shook my head through my tears to agree

I told him then how important he was

To a little shy girl in his class

He told me then how proud he was

How I had grown up way too fast

He asked me what I did now

I told him, I now had my own class

He smiled through his tears

Said fate had worked its way at last…

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Comments 10 comments

whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

A beautiful tribute to a very good teacher and human being. Yes, despite a trend in today's news media, teachers are wonderful human beings that care and sacrifice much in helping the children entrusted to them for their education.


HattieMattieMae profile image

HattieMattieMae 4 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

Very nice, it's nice to have memories like this to inspire us. :)


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

whonunuwho and HattieMattieMae - thank you so much for your kind comments - He was indeed inspiring!


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

Very beautiful tribute! Great to know about a person who inspired such inspiring writing in you! :)


MazioCreate profile image

MazioCreate 4 years ago from Brisbane Queensland Australia

How lucky you were to have a teacher who had such a deep understanding of children. It must have been wonderful to eventually meet him and tell him the impact he had on your life. Thanks for sharing.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

This is so sweet. You are blessed to have a teacher such as he. In His Love, Faith Reaper


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

That was lovely and he must have influenced you a lot for you to follow in his footsteps. Loved it and blessings.


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Blossom-he truly was an inspiration!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Beautiful write--beautiful story!


justateacher profile image

justateacher 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... Author

Thank you Audrey! And it was you that inspired me to write 30 poems in 30 days! Thank you for that, too!

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