Mr. Combden taught me in 8th Grade when I attended Amalgamated Academy. He was not only a teacher, but a friend and a mentor.
Mr. Combden was such a great, lighthearted soul, but he taught what needed to be taught and made sure we learned. He also didn’t let you mess around in class; I learned that after a trip or two to sit in the hallway.
I have so many things to thank Mr. Combden for, including the confidence I have in myself now. When I was in his Grade 8 ELA class, I began to love a subject I always had a hatred for. But sadly, I still had no confidence even as I began to love it, until our Poetry unit. We had to do a project and write a poem about one of two different pictures; I wrote a poem about a set of hands that belonged to an elderly person. I really didn’t think it was all that special, but Mr. Combden thought it was astonishing. As we worked through the unit, my confidence built up greatly in my writing. By the time we got to the end project, I was so excited to do it—I still have my book of 6 poems. I still continue to write to this very day and it is all thanks to Mr. Combden.
Although I didn’t have him for anything in Grade 9, I made regular trips to see him in his prep period when I had music class, to catch up and see how he liked his new students. I always enjoyed talking to him even if it was just for 2 minutes in the hallway between classes.
I have so many fond memories of Mr. Combden and that class. No teacher has ever compared to him or made me learn as much as he did, whether it be education wise or just life lessons. I do not have the words to describe how thankful I am for the knowledge and confidence Mr. Combden instilled in me for the short year he taught me. He really helped me become who I am today and helped me realize the potential I have as a person. Having a bond with a teacher as great as I had is an absolutely unforgettable experience and it is most definitely something I hope every student gets to experience throughout their years at school.
I now attend Ascension Collegiate and had my heart absolutely broken a few months ago when I went to Amalgamated to see how everything was and to have a chat with him, only to find out Mr. Combden is now teaching at a school in St. John’s. Having such an amazing teacher who really helped build me as a person is something I will forever be grateful for.