She was strong and intelligent. 
Young, but wise, she was full of advice. 
She encouraged me to think outside of the box.
She helped me come to realize that I could be someone, that I could do great things.
She helped me find my gifts and utilize them. 
She was my 10th grade writing teacher.
Sophomore year was difficult for me.  Things beyond my control were happening all around me. I felt lost and alone. 
Writing class was a sort of escape.
Everyday in the beginning of class we were to write freely for 10 minutes.  It was 10 minutes of quiet to write either using a prompt or write about what we wanted.  It was literally a freeing time for me.  I had written for myself some before, in fact I loved writing, but I had not realized what a useful tool it could be for me. 
After a few months, my teacher became someone I talked to, she was my confidant.  I trusted her, and that was something I rarely did.
She listened, and gave me advice when she knew I needed it.. 
But she knew sometimes I just needed someone to listen.
I would write her notes and letters, and she would write me back.
She was encouraging, caring, honest, yet tactful.
She cared about all of her students.
Anytime anyone needed to talk, she was there. 
Even though she was busy, she always made time.  
She was also really funny.  She could cheer you up on your worst days. 
One of my favorite qualities about her though, was that she believed in her students.  She believed in me. 
I never had many people believe in me.  People didn’t seem to expect much from me.
She did her best to help me believe otherwise. 
This teacher is the reason I write as I do today.  She is also the reason I decided to become a teacher.
Without words, she defined what a teacher should be.  She showed me the type of teacher I want to be. 
Because of her, my definition of a teacher is not someone who stands in front of the class listening to the sound of their own voice.
It is believing in your students, encouraging them, being there for them, knowing them and understanding them. It is helping them realize how much potential they have.  Encouraging them to believe in themselves when no one else does.  It is helping them feel that their dreams, opinions, and thoughts matter, that they matter. 
These are the things my teacher tried to do for me.  Now I want to do the same for others.

This teacher and I still occasionally keep in touch. She is someone I will always remember. Though she was my writing teacher, she taught me so much more than writing that year.