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Helen Keller

“It was my teacher's genius, her quick sympathy, her loving tact
which made the first years of my education so beautiful. It was
because she seized the right moment to impart knowledge that made
it so pleasant and acceptable to me. She realized that a child's
mind is like a shallow brook which ripples and dances merrily
over the stony course of its education and reflects here a
flower, there a bush, yonder a fleecy cloud; and she attempted to
guide my mind on its way, knowing that like a brook it should be
fed by mountain streams and hidden springs, until it broadened
out into a deep river, capable of reflecting in its placid
surface, billowy hills, the luminous shadows of trees and the
blue heavens, as well as the sweet face of a little flower.
Any teacher can take a child to the classroom, but not every
teacher can make him learn. He will not work joyously unless he
feels that liberty is his, whether he is busy or at rest; he must
feel the flush of victory and the heart-sinking of disappointment
before he takes with a will the tasks distasteful to him and
resolves to dance his way bravely through a dull routine of
textbooks.
My teacher is so near to me that I scarcely think of myself apart
from her. How much of my delight in all beautiful things is
innate, and how much is due to her influence, I can never tell. I
feel that her being is inseparable from my own, and that the
footsteps of my life are in hers. All the best of me belongs to
her--there is not a talent, or an aspiration or a joy in me that
has not been awakened by her loving touch.”


Helen Keller, The Story of My Life: With Her Letters (1887 1901) and a Supplementary Account of Her Education Including Passages from the Reports and Letters of Her Teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan by John Albert Macy
tags: education, mentor
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