Mr. Nathaniel Bailey | Teen Ink

Mr. Nathaniel Bailey

March 30, 2022
By CarolineMay BRONZE, Denver, Colorado
CarolineMay BRONZE, Denver, Colorado
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

When I started my 8th-grade year at Slavens K-8, I was prepared for a lot of things. I was prepared for competitive sports seasons, I was prepared for a year of ups and downs, and I was prepared to have an unforgettable time before I parted ways with peers. The one thing I was not prepared for is my view on the world to be turned upside down by 8th Grade Language Arts Teacher Nathaniel Bailey.

I walked in at the beginning of the year stuck in the same mindset, living from day to day, repeating the same cycle. Then Mr. Bailey unknowingly changed my entire year for the better. In my first semester of the year, I was accidentally put into his Creative Writing class, which is a mistake I can only wish had happened earlier. Creative Writing instantaneously became my favorite class, as I learned to create purposeful and meaningful pieces of literature, specifically poetry. I’ve tried to find the words to describe the pure joy and excitement I get from his class but I can only try to grasp the words that describe this feeling perfectly.

Every morning of the days I have creative writing, little else fills my mind. All day, I’m concentrated on possible prompts, and how to write something to push my limits. Mr. Bailey has encouraged me to challenge myself, going out of his way to provide personal prompts for me and many others. His unmatched talent for engaging students, and making them really think about what he is saying, inspires me to show up to school every day as an active participant. Even a few days ago, I was coughing my throat dry, and should very clearly not be going to school. However, I just couldn’t fathom missing an opportunity to put pen to paper and write all my pent-up frustration down. This was all because I knew that Mr. Bailey would not only help me to improve my narratives and poetic pieces but appreciate my work for what it was, an outlet and a great interest to me. During Creative Writing, he teaches material to help us grow as students and writing, before reading and giving helpful and positive feedback on all age groups of students in class. He is also constantly showing his commitment by spending snow days, weekends, and vacations reading students’ work. Not only is he sparking countless interests in writing by founding and skillfully instructing creative writing, but his classroom is the perfect blend of academically challenging and enjoyable environment.

The aspect of his teaching that I most admire is his ability to teach about real topics and reflects empathy upon us, invoking compassion and realization of actual issues around the world. Mr. Bailey is also a vital part of our community, being an active member of GSA, showing up to countless extracurricular games and performances, and assisting the football team to achieve so much as a skilled and dedicated coach.

Keeping all this in mind, there is absolutely no doubt that 8th grade Language Arts teacher Nathaniel Bailey of Slavens K-8 deserves to be Educator of the Year. I want him to receive this award, not only as a fantastic teacher but mentor and inspiration, so he knows his timeless sacrifices don’t go unnoticed.

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