by Sandi Martinez
When I was a freshman in high school, I thought I wanted to be a psychologist when I grew up. I loved the idea of learning what made people tick. And then, I got older. And I realized that maybe humans are way too complicated, and maybe learning how my own mind worked first before I started figuring out others’, would be the best idea!
My English teacher used to give us writing assignments. I remember everyone grumbling. I thought it would be different to write a poem, which was one of the assignments. So I began diligently by positioning my paper and pen, and then something funny happened; I didn’t have to think very hard for the words to flow. Before you know it, I was on a roll – word after word spilled onto the page like water rolling gently over rocks in a river.
I was stunned at how easy it was. But looking back it wasn’t the act of writing that was easy, it was how my teacher, Mr. Curry (I’ll never forget his name!) treated the pen like a magic wand. He created a world of magic with the very thought of words creating a story, or a particular poetry assignment.
Now I must admit I was a fidgety student! But when I think back, how did he do that? Give me the motivation to actually sit still, pen poised in the air as words flowed? Because he had the following qualities:
• He set high expectations for all students.
• He had clear, written-out objectives.
• He was prepared and organized.
• He engaged students and got them to look at issues in a variety of ways.
• He formed strong relationships with the students’ and showed us he cared about us as people.
• He was a master of his subject matter.
• He helped us to find, and utilize our learning styles.
• He encouraged creativity to enter the picture; allowing us to better grasp a particular concept.
• He was eternally patient!
When enrolled in a learning institution, one thing is certain: It is not the quantity of a teacher’s material, but the quality in which the information is taught.
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