A/N: Sorry, littleducklinglove, that your paragraph is so short! Maybe it's easier to convey what I learned from you than that from others…
In my life I've had many a teacher, very few of which have sat behind a desk and lectured to me.
First and foremost was, as anyone who's known me should know, my sister. I learned the words not to say in front of my parents. She taught me her theories—though admittedly mostly false. In a home video made oh-so-many years ago, I can be quoted with the phrase, "This is fun, right, Gianna?" My favorite color at the time was practically decided by her, as she would always be pink and I would always be blue. (Gianna's favorite color is now purple; mine green.) I haven't lost touch with our connection of teacher and student, but as we grew we often switched roles. Now, as she nears sixteen, I learn to drive watching her. You could say I learned to live through her life. I sadly seem to have used her as a decoy for trial and error much more than I would have wanted.
Introduced secondly was a friend of mine, known by you (my audience) as littleducklinglove. She taught me that magic was real, and how to befriend a fairy or summon a unicorn. She taught me to be one with the world; to close my eyes and understand, even only a little, more of what I was meant to do. We were the two, of a group of five, that held on to the past. While the others' belief in magic and dedication to our friendship faded, I tried to tie it back together. I did this because I trusted what I had been taught.
It will almost certainly seem untrue or impossible, but, like not all teachers make a living of it, any being, human or not, has the power to teach. I was raised, as much if not more as by my parents, by my first childhood pet. The mixed-breed dog, Murphy, was given to my family before my sister was born. I can recall more memories of him than I can of some of the first humans I knew. Chasing him and playing tag with him in the football field, feeding him what was left of my meals (and not letting my parents see), I treated him as I would my baby-sitter. Aside from this relationship, he taught what he believed in: never to lose sight of the child in me, the child that desired nothing more than to jump the fence with her faithful dog at her heels.
The one exception to my most-credited teachers being the sort which make no money for teaching me is my honors English teacher for elementary school, Mrs. Haskins. Along with the above-standard educational lessons she has given me throughout the three years I took her class, I was taught several abstract things, which may or may not (likely will) be more important than what little in comparison she was paid to introduce. Mrs. Haskins has become many things to me: namely a friend, something of a mother, and, of course, a teacher.
Last was my marching band drum major and section leader. I don't know that anyone has ever learned as much from anyone else as I have from her. I could conduct only by watching her. My playing and marching have increased greatly in quality after my time with her. I learned to control myself by her comfort and discipline whenever I had a hard time. She one whom rarely shows much affection, but when she does, one knows she means it. From this I learned to do the same. To have such an impact on someone's life is hard to do, hard to come by. Thus, by knowing her, I've learned to try with everything I can to be the best I can be. She told us that we all have a talent, something that we can do better than anyone else. She told us to grab that talent by the wrist and do whatever we can with it; to do the best we could with whatever obstacles life gives us, and never let the achievements of others get in the way of feeling good about ourselves. She showed us, a demonstration with her life, what the fruits of one's undying labor can be. Without such a person in my life, I feel that I wouldn't be anywhere near the person I am today.
The five people I list and describe above are the teachers I gained the most from, but certainly not the only ones. You could say I take what I get and learn from everyone I know. If they left a negative impact on my life, I know not to do what they have. If they left a positive one, I know to follow as well as I can and do the good things they have done. I thank everyone I have ever known for leaving a lesson for me to teach again to someone else. Experience, however, is a teacher stronger than most anyone, and teaches all it can. If I could thank experience, I would unquestionably. However, it is one of the small, nonliving things that comes as it will. If I shant thank experience, I shall thank everyone I know in its place.