While checking out several of the posts on the “Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers,” one in particular caught my eye. Secret Lifer Judy Lee’s story is one I could relate to very much. As a child I was also EXTREMELY shy to the point where I wouldn’t speak in school. Our friend, Amy Smith, as an adorable little girl I had a couple of good friends I would share things with, but felt anxious speaking before adults or speaking up in class. Often I was misunderstood because of my shyness and had some tough times adjusting to new social settings. Luckily I did have teachers during my school years who were patient, understanding of my nervousness in social settings, and were able to draw me out a bit by encouraging my creativity and curiosity.
As I clearly recall, my first and second grade teacher truly made her classroom environment so much fun that I looked forward to going to school. By having a comfortable environment in which to grow, learn, and thrive I began to feel that my school experience could be rewarding, rather than intimidating. I changed from being a fearful, hesitant student to wanting to participate in classroom activities and experiment and explore more in a school setting. With my teacher’s guidance, encouragement, sense of humor, and with her support I managed to make a lot of progress during those years.
I am grateful for these teachers that did take the time to get to know me, and I will never forget that their passion for teaching and students has made a difference in my life. They are my heroes and role models. Many thanks to those encouraging teachers I knew through the years and to Judy Lee for sharing her story!