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Barb Fassbender, Guidance Counselor This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By sirsblk, Waunakee, WI

What most people think of as a teacher is very different from my definition. I believe that a teacher is one who gives time to help and educate, but is not necessarily paid. This can include friends, peers, parents, even the cashier at the grocery store. The person I have learned the most from is not a teacher but my guidance counselor, Mrs. Barb Fassbender. Standing at five feet with an easygoing voice and a warm, welcoming tone, she teaches invaluable life lessons through example. The three most important ideas she's taught me are forgiveness, telling people what they mean to you, and doing anything you set your mind to. Mrs. Fassbender is the most informative, valuable teacher I have ever had.

Forgiveness is the first, most important life lesson. It does not matter what another has done – what matters is how you get past the incident and move on.

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