The word "teacher" invites itself to many feelings. Dread, dislike, and admiration are among a couple of them with the last only being elicited on special occasions. I think about that and how sad it is that it only asserts itself sometimes rather than often. Good teachers are a wonderful thing. It depresses me to think that only some of them are worthy of being admired.
As a freshman in high school, I have met my fair share of poor teachers and undoubtedly have yet to see more. I have a particular memory of one who made me want to scream and boil in anger over what I felt was terrible decisions and explanations. I have seen some who clearly have no passion, no drive towards their jobs. It makes me incredulous to think that they are indifferent when they probably have one of the most important responsibilities in the world. A student's mind is easily influenced by the power of good teaching. They could become world class thinkers or innovators if instead the educator decided to do what she is supposed to be doing. I am continually dumbfounded by those who surf the internet when they're supposed to be helping a student or are continually oblivious to their needs. I often wonder why they have chosen a career at which they show no talent or interest in.
At the risk of sounding like whiny teenager, I say this: I recognize the difference between harsh teaching and bad teaching. There are two fundamental differences between the two and I know them. I welcome harsh teaching if it is in my best interests. If I learn from them and is able to prepare me for what I need, then the end justifies the means. I define bad teaching when the teacher is insufficient in preparation and is not able to fully explain the material in a clear, concise manner. I have seen both especially in the areas of science and math. I have seen fellow classmates crash and burn on tests because they were unable to grasp the concept. Rather than the teacher helping them, they instead got angry or repeated the textbook definition. Of course, not all of the blame can be placed on them. Sometimes, the student will just not be able to get it or is not doing their part. Still, I get angry when I see indifference on the teacher's part while student never ends up asking because she feels that he won't help her.
With all this ranting, I reserve my praise for those who are the antithesis of the paragraphs above. I lucked out this year and have gotten some pretty fabulous teachers. They serve to remind me of what the teaching profession should represent. They have successfully set the bar for me. My geometry teacher is a prime example. Math in any shape or form is a difficult subject to teach because to those who know the subject, sometimes it simply becomes intuition in solving a problem and so, it can be difficult to explain how to get the solution. I could not possibly imagine trying to explain certain concepts in the way he has without it coming out like a jumbled mess. In addition to his wonderful explanations, he always makes himself available after or before school to those who need that little extra help in class. The respect that he gets from students amazes me. Unlike other classes where the kid will text all period, it seems like he actually pulls himself together in geometry. Also unlike other teachers, when a couple guys are messing around with each other, when my geometry teacher makes it known that they're getting a little too disruptive, they respect him enough to stop. My English teacher is similar. She is thorough while teaching and never misleads anyone about anything. They along with a couple other teachers I have had in the past and this year make me have hope.
There are teachers out there that represent all that is truly wrong with our perception of them. Whenever I see them out there doing a disservice to their students, it makes me just sigh. I feel like I embody the words of Dolphus Raymond from To Kill A Mockingbird when he tells Dill that when he grows up that he'll won't cry anymore because he'll become used to it all. It makes me wonder what the country could do to change. Clearly laws like No Child Left Behind won't work since its implementation has done nothing to help test scores let alone teacher quality. I had read an old Time magazine article where it discussed low pay and frustration driving away people from this job. It saddens me that those are the reasons why some of the best and brightest are driven away. Ultimately, however, it is that indefinable spark that makes good teachers and energizes students. I suppose it's like good actors: you either have it or you don't. Thank goodness for people like my geometry and English teachers who can do their job well. I know I wouldn't be able to do what they do and my admiration for them only runs deeper.
This was just the accumulations of my thoughts, praises, and frustrations about teachers in general. I'm welcoming criticsm, and thoughts of any kind. Thanks for reading.