The Power of A Good Teacher

The Power of A Good Teacher

Teaching is so much more than just grading papers
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Think back to your days in school, I’m sure your thoughts turned immediately to the clothes you wore, the friends you had, the drama that went on, and a million other things but did you think of a specific teacher? When things go wrong the people immediately blamed are the schools and the teachers that work within them. Teachers are blamed for crime rates, test grades, and everything in between but when things go right teachers often never see thanks. Sure there are bumper stickers with catchy phrases like “if you can read this, thank a teacher” but do the thanks actually ever come? Most teachers don’t expect thanks or any kind of appreciation; they are by virtue selfless and get enough rewards simply by teaching. That’s why I wanted to focus this week on the true power of a good teacher, it comes not from the thanks or appreciation given, not from fame gained or viral videos but instead the power of a good teacher can be seen in the future of their students.

I may be a little biased because I am in my last year of college on track to become a middle school teacher but before that I was a student who was lucky enough to have many good teachers to guide me through some of the toughest years of my life. Middle school is always a time people look back on and cringe, just the mention of it can send people back to all of the awkward and confusing feelings of the time, for me especially it was a time of personal loss, health deterioration, and all the typical bullying on top of it all. Under all of the bad parts though there were a group of people who never let me get so downtrodden even when I wanted nothing more than to give up; my teachers who gave me so much of their time and energy all the while not expecting any kind of recognition or praise. This continued into high school and beyond to college where I finally began to realize just how lucky I had been to have these teachers who genuinely cared about not only my academic performance but also more importantly my well being.

I’ve been student teaching in the same classroom with the same teacher for a couple of months and everyday I see him treat our students with respect and compassion. The kids I teach could easily be written off as hopeless cases or “bad” kids but my teacher has often skipped lunch to talk to students one on one about their behavior and runs a club for young men to learn professional and life skills. The students still act out sometimes, they are in middle school it is in their DNA, but they also like and respect him because they know he genuinely cares. One day after the kids had left I asked him why he went through so much to go the extra mile for our students and he said, “It’s simple, I have been trusted with these kids. They look to me to guide them and help them find their way to their best possible future.”

As I move towards graduation and my own inevitable future as a teacher I try to carry all of the wonderful parts of the teachers who helped me become the person I am today. I’m beginning to think about the kind of impact I want to have own my students’ lives and how I’m going to achieve my goal of helping them become their best selves and maybe help them love school and education while I’m at it. That is the true power of a good teacher, it’s not in the lesson planning or the standardized testing grades but instead it’s in how much the students know you care, how much they learn from you, and how much they remember your kindness.

Cover Image Credit: AMC Metropolitan College

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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