Friday, March 30, 2012

The Importance of Our Favorite Teacher

By Sean Scarpiello

Everyone has that one teacher that they remember from high school, college, or even elementary school who they remember as their favorite teacher. People remember these teachers because they did not just teach, but they inspired. Many teachers these days simply teach the material in the curriculum, which is fine. However, the teacher everyone remembers was the one that pushed their students harder, went above and beyond their duty as a teacher, or had faith in their students when everyone else had lost it.

Teachers at all different levels, from kindergarten to graduate school, should aspire to be this one teacher that is remembered. Being a teacher is not an easy job and teachers’ roles in students’ lives are often downplayed by society. For many students as in poorer areas of the country, teachers can replace the role of a parent. School is sometimes the only place in some students’ daily life where there is structure. For this reason, teachers are on the forefront of fixing many of the problems in the poorer intercity schools. Students who have a teacher that truly inspires that a young, will be more likely to enjoy school, and not see learning as boring.

When everyone thinks back to their schooling, their favorite teacher did not usually teach their easiest class. Actually, it is quite the opposite. The teachers that inspire students make the work challenging by keeping students on their toes. One professor that I heard of during college showed up to class on the first day and said that his class will probably be the hardest class that his students will ever take. He tells the class that few, if any students, will get A’s, but he also tells the class to prove him wrong. A couple lazy students drop the class, but the majority of the class is driven by the professor’s attitude. In attempt to prove the professor wrong, students work harder and longer to do well. Ultimately, most of the class ends up with a good final grade. On the last day of classes, the professor tells his students not to give away his secret to success. To this day the professor continues this tactic and keeps finding that it motivates his students.

In all, everyone has the teacher that they remember. Teachers’ jobs are juggling acts between parents, the curriculum, administration, and students, so it is often easy to forget ways to inspire students. Every now and then, we should take time to remember our favorite teachers and what made us go above and beyond to achieve success in the classroom, because more often than not, teachers’ inspiration can help us succeed in the real world too.

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