Reflections of a Well-Worn English Teacher

                In all of my years as a high-school English teacher, I have had the fortune of experiencing only one student who, had I the chance, I would never like to teach again. I have had my share of troublemakers, but they were hardly ever intolerable; I found, and still believe, that the escapades of the young to be quite charming, especially when those who were most troublesome were my most intelligent students.

                Looking back, the most heartbreaking of instances involved those youths who were somewhat, or rather more than usually talented, and knew themselves to be so. I enjoyed instructing my students in the ways of proper grammar and strict punctuation, as well as of the more refined arts of polished writing. Sadly, a few of those who showed the most talent also came with an ego which succeeded well in preventing them to ever grow without overcoming it. Who was I, a mere teacher they would have for one year, to tell them that they were not, and would never be the best, the very opposite of which they had been told all of their lives.

                When we are young, we are told we can be whatever we want, as long as we work hard and be good. While there is certainly some merit to this, it is a sad untruth that we must learn to live with. Headstrong young high-school students with an affinity and natural skill for writing may, indeed become what they dream of, but very few will ever attain the fame and recognition that they desire. I certainly have never seen it, and my most talented student now works for a publishing company, still striving, I am sure, to be that famous author one day.

The End

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