When I was thirteen, my family moved to Darmstadt, Germany. My dad was in the Army, and moving every three years was just how we rolled.
I walked into the American school that very first day of seventh grade at Darmstadt Junior High and met Mrs. Kay Weger, the woman who would be my English teacher for the next three years.
It was under her wing that I would be taken into the dramatic Shakespearean world of the Montagues and the Capulets, fall in love with memorizing poems as I nervously recited Casey at the Bat, and discover that while most of the class quietly complained, I secretly thrilled in the challenge of diagramming and dissecting a tricky sentence.
Mrs. Weger was a no-nonsense kind of teacher. She set the bar high, and when we were in her class, we increased our capabilities in order to meet that bar.
I bet there wasn’t a kid that left her class that didn’t know the difference between their, there and they’re.
Those same kids, thirty years later would be able to fill in this sentence:
“The squirrel ran _______ the tree.”
And they would know that any word they put in that blank was a preposition.
If my fellow students are like me, they have thanked Mrs. Weger a thousand times in their minds over the course of their lives as they write letters or resumes or roll their eyes at the grammatical errors so common on social media.
They probably also thank her, like I do, for being a firm teacher that knew how to draw out the best in her students and leave them with an education that would keep giving their entire lives.
Thirty years later, Mrs. Weger follows my blog, and there is never a post when I don’t earnestly scan for errors, hoping I catch them before she does.
Today is Kay’s birthday, and it is a day worth celebrating. She has made the world, my world, a better place!
Thank you Mrs. Weger for your wonderful career as a teacher! It made a difference!