A story from JW’s school days. Another enjoyable look back at the positive lessons in life.
Mr. Peter Hildebrand’s sixth grade class was transformative. He was 27 years old, hawk nose, strong cheekbones, locks of wavy brown hair which he often ran his fingers through when exasperated. Always wore a jacket and tie. Shoes shined like mirrors. His booming voice and shrill Boston accent put the fear of God in each and every one of us. You could hear a pin drop after one of his tirades. He referred to all of us by our last names with the appropriate gender prefix preceding. He didn’t seek our approval or friendship. Instead he demanded accountability, raised our own expectations of what was possible, taught us to believe in ourselves. He was tough, sometimes abrasive but never unfair. As the year progressed we all came to admire him because of how he made us feel about ourselves. We realized his gruff exterior was just a tool he used in order to maintain control and inspire excellence. He came prepared every single day and was never absent. Leading by example he made learning a wonderful adventure, a personal challenge. By the end of the year we all regretted having to say goodbye to him. The kids in Room 13 realized they the luckiest kids in the entire school.If you have enjoyed John Ratliff’s stories please do sign up with your email address in the right hand side bar of your PC or tablet to be notified when a new blog is released. Your email address is not given to any third parties. From time to time we hope to publish more short essays written by John for Memory Matters. So please stay tuned!
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