A Tribute to a Teacher

Dr. Niemczura-das Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt-Berlin0001

Difficult as it is to recall the names of teachers,

Mrs. Hughes was my ninth grade English teacher.

In her class, I discerned that I wanted to be a teacher.

From her I learned kindness and compassion.

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From her I learned the joy of grammar. 

In her class, I learned to love learning.  She had

the keys to unlock the mystery of grammar.

Still today, I love learning, reading, and writing.


She taught us the questions to ask when diagramming

sentences.  How, when, where, why, and

to what extent.  Sentence structure took

on new meaning as I diagrammed. And still does.


Around Thanksgiving, Mrs. Hughes needed

some help changing her bulletin board.  I

volunteered and asked for black and white

construction paper and scissors to cut out Pilgrim



figures freehand.  Mrs. Hughes was impressed

and told me her teacher daughter would love

my idea.  She asked what pattern I had used for

the figures.  It was my own creativity.


I didn’t know it then, but I was learning more

than English grammar and diagramming.  The

instincts that Mrs. Hughes nurtured with her students

brought out the best in us.  She valued us. She


listened to us and was patient.  She smiled.

She had unconditional love for us.  Amazingly. 

I learned to use my creativity and ideas in my

own teaching career years later.  I was


fortunate to be able to study in Heidelberg,

Germany for about three years.  The icing on the

cake was learning aspects of language, literature,

culture, history, and geography.  While

Tom & Emily in Schweindorf 6000001

I did not diagram sentences in German, I

instinctively understood the grammar thanks

to Mrs. Hughes. This school year, I wish

for teachers to impart their own love of learning.


This entry was posted in diagramming sentences,, English teacher, grammar, learning to love learning, paying tribute and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to A Tribute to a Teacher

  1. Emily says:

    Love this and all the memories and photos! Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Darlene says:

    She sounds like my grade 3 teacher, Miss Roll. She made learning fun. And had a huge influence on my life. Thank heaven for great teachers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful words and photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anne, thank you for the great comment. I hope you had a special teacher along the way. Enjoy the weekend. oxox


      • I had many excellent teachers that I loved. I don’t think I had a special relationship with any of them like you did. That is very special. oxox

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anne, some teachers stand out in my mind more than others, but I have to admit, I thought they were excellent as well. If students love learning and school, the teacher’s job is made easier. oxox

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll bet you were one of the outstanding teachers that everyone loved.

        I thought teaching would be easy, but I found I had NO GIFT for it AT ALL!! I watched my sister-in-law in the classroom, and I called her the World’s Best Teacher. Her husband was in the same category. I appreciate everyone who is willing to impart knowledge enthusiastically.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anne, I believe I was firm but fair. I had a passion for teaching German and have thus had several students go on to teach German as well. Those that loved me remained for all five years and pursued college credit German with me. Highlights were the two hour video conferences with a school and classes in Germany. We were all transported for those two hours to Germany in our dedicated video conference studio. Over the years, I managed to receive several awards and grants. I loved my students and teaching German and still remain in touch with several. Lucky sister-in-law and husband to have the gift of enthusiasm. I did too. Lucky me for almost 50 years in the classroom. oxox


      • Oh, yes. I can tell you are a world-class teacher. You may be retired, but you’ll always be a top-notch teacher. Students appreciate firm parameters and fairness.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anne, thank you for the affirming comment regarding my teaching. Once a teacher, always a teacher. I am glad you think I am top-notch. You are pretty top-notch yourself. Enjoy the weekend. oxox


      • I’ve seen my relatives teach. You and they are gifted, something I greatly admire. oxox

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anne, I am humbled by your kind words. It takes a special person to be able to teach, I believe. At age 16, I taught piano to neighbors. My first attempts. It takes a great deal of patience. I recall my husband’s words about soccer refereeing: one has to be a bit blind, a bit deaf, and possess thick skin. Ditto for teaching. Thank you once again, lovely lady. Be well and blessed. oxox


      • Your words bless others, too. You are very special to me. oxox

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anne, thank you too. You are one in a million. Hugs and blessings to you this lovely Saturday. Be well and enjoy the weekend. oxox

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is perfect, Mary Ann! 💞 Thanks for inspiring and encouraging teachers and students everywhere… xo P.S. I loved diagraming sentences and even taught my 4th and 5th grade students how. Mrs. Lawn, my fourth grade teacher inspired me in so many ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bette, thank you for the very kind words in your comment. A soulmate! Who knew that you loved diagramming sentences and even teaching the skill to your students. Mrs. Lawn sounds like quite the teacher! Some individuals are simply born teachers who have a passion and impart it to others. So nice to have found you on this blog too. Who knew we had so much in common? I bet you also loved penmanship! Be well and have a great weekend. oxox

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not only did dI love penmanship, I TAUGHT it to my students as well. My name, day of the week and date were always written by me at top of board. I was once reprimanded by the principal for exposing students to cursive and print on the same board… YOu ave a great weekend too, Mary Ann! ❤ xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, Bette, that principal should “get a life” and just let it be. Your students were used to it by the time he/she came by to observe. I turned my back to erase a board and made the mistake of “talking to the board” instead of to the kids. For those few seconds? Enjoy the weekend. We should swap more teacher stories too with one another. oxox

        Liked by 2 people

      • Penmanship P.S. I had to teach my students who never learned it so they could write pen pal letters to Germany. One student wanted to learn cursive the way the German kids learned in school so I printed out a sheet to practice at home. He literally told me he spent 1.5 hrs. writing his letter which I have to say was done nicely. Both our children learned cursive in Germany as well as here. ox

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m with you! Kids who are exposed to it, not only love writing in cursive, they’re able to read historical documents too. 😍 Have a blessed and beautiful week, Mary Ann! xo

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is beautifully framed. I already like Mrs. Hughes!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. He was my ‘form teacher’ for my first year in secondary school, and thereafter history. He was a great communicator with the wonderful gift of sincerity.

    Liked by 2 people

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