Laura Chen

Laura Chen

I’m Laura, one of your former students, The other day I came by to thank you for the wonderful work you do tutoring English, and for the contribution of knowledge you have made to my life. I felt afterwards that a brief conversation with a few cursory words of thanks did not sufficiently satisfy my debt of gratitude nor communicate fully what is the significant influence you’ve had on my life. And I would very much like you to know.

I study medicine now, perhaps like many of your young students aspire to do, but it was during Year 11 in 2007 that I did the ten week Power Writing course at Tye & English. I remember distinctly the stern, almost foreboding manner in which you began to teach us about the ‘power of words’ and the discipline of the English language. ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ you said, and I believed every word. Your dour tone and illustrative stories affirmed me the power of language to influence and persuade, to communicate and express, to define and shape the world in which we live and ourselves in it. In your class, language became a weapon of battle and influence, and I rushed to fill my armoury.

I’m glad to say I did well for my VCE English component the following year, and I credit much of that to my time at Tye & English, but the study score was not what I felt I had most gained here. Any trained teacher or even student tutor can teach English for basic use and understanding, but I think it takes an inspired and extraordinary teacher to instill in their students a love for the language. For myself, you did both. Your encouragement and passion for English taught me not only methods of phrasing, but an appreciation for good writing, an ability to take pleasure in it and a desire for continued learning. These are skills that continue to serve me long after the end of high school or a 10 week writing course. As a student it has made assignment writing more enjoyable, as a citizen, made news more engaging, and hopefully in future, as a doctor, will make me a better communicator of hope and healing.

I must say I hesitated to write at first because of your position to judge my writing, but I want you to know that I truly appreciate the impact you’ve had on my life, and to encourage you not to underestimate what a few short classes can do for any one of your many students. So thank you for teaching me. I hope you’ll continue to share your knowledge and passion with all the students who come under your care.

Laura Chen
Glen Waverley SC, 2008