Like Clockwork: Meet our Middle School Essay Winner

Tennessee Department of Education

Tennessee Department of Education

Nearly 3,000 essays later, the Tennessee Department of Education is proud to announce the winners of our first ever “Why I’m Thankful for my Teacher” essay contest. After reading thousands of poignant, honest essays (with lots of smiles and a few tears), three stories stole our hearts. We are thrilled to introduce Reva Bagi, a fifth grader at Farragut Intermediate School and the winner of our fourth- through eighth-grade category. Read on and step into Reva’s favorite classroom at Farragut Intermediate School in Knox County.

By Reva Bagi, Fifth-grade, Farragut Intermediate School

Reva poses with Ms. Adams after a surprise ceremony.

Ms. Adams is not an average teacher. She is much more. She is a kind, heartfelt, compassionate, inspiring, fearless, exuberant, and sincere human being. I do not think I could ever repay her for the knowledge she has given me. I owe her a great deal of gratitude. She taught me many things. She taught me about World War I, literary devices, and much more. I would go on and on, but let us start at the beginning.

I was a new student, entering Farragut Intermediate School. I was scared out of my mind! If you were me, even you would freak out. I stepped into the classroom feeling quite uneasy. Then I saw Ms. Adams with a welcoming smile. I immediately felt tranquil. She greeted me with the words, “Welcome to my classroom, Reva.” I gave her a smile, thanking her. Throughout the day we did fun activities. I knew I would be happy about this teacher throughout the school year.

No matter what, Ms. Adams never leaves a day without a joke or a story. Since she is high-spirited, she always tells a crazy story about something that happened to her. I think that makes us calm before the start of a school day. Ms. Adams always encourages people to try their best. You probably do not know this but, I get super frustrated, super easily. I always break down in sweat. Ms. Adams sees the distress on my face. She comes over to me and reassures me that I do not have to get so stressed. When I get mad at problems, I always know that I do not have to; I just have to concentrate on what the problem is asking me and, try, try, again!

Ms. Adams really takes the time to focus on each of our problems. Her mind works like the inside of a clock. Gears are spinning, time is being used wisely, and best of all she slows the clock to make time for our problems. She is not just a helper in academics but also, in self-confidence. One example is bullying. She always seeks out the problems that happen, at school, and at home. She comforts us when there is no one else.

Moments after the announcement was made.

Next time when you see your teacher do not think she is strict or mean. Maybe she is just trying to keep you safe. Next time you see your teacher, be thankful that she is giving you the best knowledge you can have for your future. Maybe you will turn out to be famous just because of her. You may not know this, but your teacher volunteered to be a teacher. She wanted to ensure you can have the best year of your life. Not just intellectually but amusingly. By far, for me, this has been the best year of my life. 🙂

Niki Adams teaches fifth-grade at Farragut Intermediate School in Knox County.