Teachers Matter

Subtext: the right teachers matter.

We all know I’m currently in college. I’ve had the experience of good teachers and very BAD teachers. There are all types of teachers and usually the good ones leave and do something different/better and the bad ones get tenure? No, I’m kidding, that’s purely in jest. I’ve had my fair share of bad/poor teachers in community college. There are plenty of teachers who are just phoning it in and don’t care what you learn, just so they can tick things off on their, created by someone else, lesson plans. Those teachers hurt, they hurt my bank account, they hurt the college image and they hurt the quality of degrees.

But – good teachers matter. I’m sure we’ve all heard me bemoan my absolute dislike for math and having to learn it all over again. That’s actually where I got this post idea. I was sitting in my math class this week, and realized, the reason I like this teacher, compared to the one I had last term in which I dropped the class because I wasn’t getting it, was that he has an enthusiasm for the subject, he enjoys math. I mean, he’s REALLY jazzed on math. I don’t know what kind of person in this world likes math, some certainly warped people, indeed. Though, he may be warped, I’m learning and I have the energy to try harder, study more, and the confidence to ask more questions.

Teacher perspective
(Photo credit: Krugazor – Creative commons via Flickr)

I’ve also had a great teacher in my speech class. Now, speech (public speaking) is something that comes easy to me. The first couple times with the data, I tend to be a little rigid, but then I loosen up, get someone to smile, do the song and dance, and have a great time with it. That makes it worth it. My speech teacher, only teaches on weekends, has a full-time job in the meantime, and does this because she loves to talk in front of people (and realizes she’s a bit of a ham!), and loves to help people through – what is normally – a very difficult class. I wish she taught other subjects, I’d take the classes just for the enthusiasm. It was well worth coming in on Saturday mornings to speak in front of a group of strangers!

The third teacher I really like is my current science teacher. A professional in the industry she teaches in, she realizes that not everyone is going to be a scientist, she also realizes that most of us are not science majors; that’s refreshing from a teacher. A teacher who understands that we’re trying to take the least painful requirements and can scale their presentations to bring it to a level that we become interested in and understand how these things affect our life. And she’s great in a nerdy fun way. I can appreciate nerdy fun. 🙂

Falling teacher
(Photo credit: Pitel – Creative Commons via Flickr)

I think the key in all cases, has been: Enthusiasm. When you’re faced with that kind of enthusiasm, you find yourself wanting to try harder, work harder to understand. It’s matching that enthusiasm, even when you’re completely exhausted from the full workday, you still strive to make it through, and if you’re like me, you want a good grade; Yes, teachers do matter.

3 responses to “Teachers Matter”

  1. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head… and I suspect it applies to all professions, not just teaching. Those who are enthusiastic and genuinely enjoy what they’re doing are going to do a better job than those that are just there for the paycheck.

    It’s really important with teachers because of what they do; a good teacher or a bad teacher has the ability to influence so many students…

    • Yes, Aaron, I think you’re right. I think it’s so apparent when someone likes their job, when they feel passionate about what they’re doing. Those are the people you want to be around. 🙂

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