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To Turn Over a New Leaf

I have a great passion for writing fiction, articles especially writing for children.

A Game Changer


The Chosen Teacher

When I was promoted to grade seven, my new English teacher, Ms. Mary Joseph happened to be my Game Changer. For every student, she was a favorite and the dearest one. As for me, she was much more than that – An Angel.

At the time of joining my charitable School in 5th grade, I was very weak in studies due to no proper coaching from my previous mediocre school where I was sent to by my parents. But gradually I picked up my studies with the support of this school system. I even made my name reflect in the list of good rankers in class. Even though I showed radical progress in my studies, I was not selected for any kind of extracurricular activities, especially for any opportunity or role in the class assemblies. I have seen several of my friends get the opportunity to be the Emcee in the school assembly, as a newsreader, enacting a role in a skit, singing, and many more. Maybe, I was hesitant and not outspoken and thought that I’m still not qualified to think of participating in such activities and thought there is still a long way to go.

All this was just until the arrival of our new English teacher in the school. She discovered something I’m capable of. A girl with a non-stop delightful smile and an appealing voice. Once, for the first time in my life, I was selected by her to lead our class assembly after observing the way I read a paragraph from an English textbook with expressions during her class. It was only because of her I held a mic in hand for the first time in my life. It was through her support and encouragement that my voice was heard by the entire school. It was such a frightening thing to hold the mic and speak for the first time and to hear my own voice bounce back at me through the sound boxes. Indeed, I did well as my teacher expected even though my hands shivered. It really seemed out of the ordinary but I managed well by not expressing it through my expression. Since then I was noticed by all the teachers.

Few months down the line. A memorial service was held for the Tsunami victims especially in commemoration of the survivors who were well associated with our school. Surprisingly, I was being selected for emceeing the show. Mary ma’am, helped me to prepare everything. She was by my side off stage helping me out with the citations and leads. My principal, the headmaster, the staff, and all the guests were impressed. I was living a fangirl moment I would say. It made me feel so special.

After several months down the line, there was an elocution competition going to take place. I was selected to represent my team Blue Jays from my batch. There was a tie between me and my classmate who was also part of the blue house to be selected as a participant in the contest. This time my teacher put me and my friend through an audition assessed by a volunteer from Australia who used to visit my school quite often. Surprisingly, I got selected by her because I never got the chance to represent my team in any contest like this. My classmate who was always a class monitor and once a head-girl of the school used to be part of all such activities representing the house. This time I was selected with high hopes on me.

I was all set to showcase my talent in the competition. But this time fate played a cruel trick. I went up the stage with sheer confidence at peak and I could view my teacher from the audience showing me a sign of thumbs-up. I smiled and went on with my poem recitation and then I don’t know what befell on me that I got blanked out. I got too nervous hearing people’s cheers and howls before I started my presentation. That was the first experience of mine when people in my team cheered me up. I abruptly flopped everything. I was so devastated and defeated that I couldn’t face my teacher after that. I felt guilty for letting her down. When my teacher asked what happened I couldn’t explain anything to her. I said I became too conscious and she replied with a smile, “You were selected and preferred because you were exceptional”. When I heard those words I was broken from inside. I regretted it, not because I couldn’t make my team win but for disappointing my ma’am. After that, I just kept myself away from all such activities as I felt so shameful.

As days passed by opportunities were coming my way but I wasn’t interested. I thought enough is enough, I’m not going to disappoint anyone. A few months later our favorite teacher fell ill and was away from school for a while and I was beginning to feel worried. Days became weeks and weeks became months, still no sign of her. Then, later it was officially declared she was not going to come back since she had to be in complete bed rest and soon a new person would be replaced. I felt so sorrowful because she helped me get out of my comfort zone and gave me all the recognition that a deserving student needs. At times we need to accept things that life throws at us hoping one day will turn out the way we expect.

The following year, there were arrangements made for the Annual day program that was going to take place soon. Among all the events the most significant one was Shakespeare’s play ‘The Merchant of Venice’. Astonishingly my name was being nominated by all the English teachers this time out of the blue. It was indeed this opportunity I was longing for but the embarrassment that I’d been through in the poem reciting competition kept daunting me. However, I couldn’t deny this opportunity because it was more like an order and not a request. It was no joke because this particular event was taken under complete scrutiny by the authorities.

I thought this could be an opportunity to prove everyone wrong. It is always better to take criticisms and embarrassments in a stride rather than losing hope. So, I took it up sincerely putting everything aside. I had to prepare for my class tests and exams alongside but I gave priority to the play. I was trying to be very cautious because this time there are a lot of expectations from me. The narrator is the backbone of the whole play.

Finally, the big day arrived. I went up the stage and performed as though this is the only opportunity I have ever got in my life. I could see my mom from the audience from a distance feeling so proud of me.

I just can’t thank my angel enough. There are certain people who are angelic beings. They come into our lives for a short period of time and disappear soon out of our sight. Even if it’s very little time of engagement, the impact they create in your life is huge and incredible. Such was my teacher Ms. Mary Joseph’s caliber. It was only because of her that I turned over a new leaf.

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