We’ve all had at least one teacher who’s made a major difference in our lives.
The most wonderful teacher I ever had was my junior high English teacher, Mrs. Alberti.
She was a dynamic, warm women who:
- Insisted we speak properly
- Drilled verb tenses into our heads
- Diagrammed sentences with a passion
And she instilled in me a lifetime love of language, opening the door to the beauty and power of the written word.
Her thorough teaching of writing skills (I can still diagram a sentence today!) gave me the confidence and ability to write and publish two books and do the job I love today — work as a professional writer and editor.
Years ago, I wrote Mrs. Alberti a letter and sent her a copy of my first book, along with a front-page newspaper article about it. She was probably in her late 70s then and I figured that not many of her students from that small town in West Virginia had written a book — or thanked her for everything she taught them.
I never heard back from her, but always hoped my letter brought her pleasure.
Years afterwards, Mrs. Alberti’s daughter looked me up on Facebook and asked if I was the person who’d written to her mom.
She didn’t say anything about when her mom received my letter, but she said when her mother passed away, the family read my letter at her funeral.