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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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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10 Ways English Majors Are Figuratively, NOT Literally, Ted Mosby

To write or to read, that is the question all English majors must face when working on homework.

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Rather you're an English major or lit major or a writing major, there are a few things that we all have in common. And if you watched "How I Met Your Mother," you probably related to Ted Mosby more than you wished to.

1. Restraining yourself for correct people's text

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It's you're not your and it irritates me to no end.

2. Not understanding the difference between an English major and an English writing or English literature major

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My friend from another school is an English major and I'm an English writing major. I still don't know what the difference is.

3. Having one grammar rule that you care a lot about

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Whether it be "your vs. you're," "affect vs. effect," or "literally vs. figuratively," there's a good chance you go crazy throughout your day.

4. Writer's block

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Especially because your grade counts on it. Although, it won't be fun when it turns into your job depending on it.

5. Having to write all genres in one class

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Even though you prefer one genre and hate the others.

I don't care for nonfiction tbh.

6. Workshops

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Not your best moments.

7. Knowing how impossible it is to have a favorite book

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It's like picking a favorite child... but worse.

8. Feeling bad when you forget grammar rules

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Are you even an English major???

9. People telling you your major is the easiest one

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I get it, but at the same time, we can have a lot of work to do. We just drown in papers, reading assignments, research projects, presentations and portfolios. I still prefer it to exams and labs.

10. Figuring out life

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Honestly, there's too many things I want to do for a career and I can't pick AND each one is under my major. It is a nice problem to have. But hey I can run away from making a choice until the time comes.

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