Correcting My Bad Behavior
In second grade I really loved my teacher. She was very nice to all of the students in her class. I think what really stuck out to me was how she hardly yelled at kids when they were misbehaving, but found was to remedy their bad behavior without raising her voice. She also taught me a few lessons about my own behavior. One time I said something in class that wasn’t super appropriate, and she explained to me why it wasn’t ok to say, and to this day I remember her lesson and how it positively impacted my life. Two years later, in 4th grade, I had another teacher who will forever be one of my longtime favorites. He promoted the idea that people should be individually accountable for their own actions. If a few students were misbehaving, rather than punishing the whole class, he’d reward the other students for their good behavior while not giving a reward to the bad students. This taught me the lesson that doing what you’re told is very important if one wants to move along in life.
First Experience with a Bad Teacher
My first experience with a not-so-great teacher was in sixth grade. She was constantly in a bad mood, and it reflected in her teaching. She seemed disinterested in the topics she would teach, seeming like she just wanted to get everything over with and get us out of her classroom. Yelling at students was a common occurrence, and I felt like I was stepping on eggshells everyday in that class in order to keep her nasty attitude at bay. It was in her class I learned the lesson that no matter what one does, they can’t please everyone.
Seeing Teachers as Mentors
In high school is when I really began to see teachers as mentors. In my freshman English class, I felt like I really was challenged. My teacher was straight and to the point, and I liked it. She helped me improve my writing, as she wasn’t afraid to tell me if something sucked. She taught me that keeping up with your work and putting good effort into it is crucial to be successful in high school. I also learned that one has to be able to cope with things not always going their way, as a few of her decisions weren’t the same that I would have made if I were in her shoes. Over the course of that year, I appreciated how she attempted to make a personal connection with all of her students. By the end of that school year, I felt like I knew and trusted her enough to ask her to be a reference for the job I was applying for at the time, and she said yes. Having her support inside and outside of school meant a lot to me.
All throughout my career in school, positive and negative experiences with teachers have stayed in my memory. These lessons they have taught me have shaped who I am as a person. I believe that everyone should be able to have good experience with teachers so they too can see them as personal mentors as I have throughout my life.
Multiple of the pieces we have read so far in this unit relates to my belief. In Clint Smith’s speech “The Danger of Silence” he talks about how he connects with students, “…to create a culture within my classroom where students feel safe sharing the intimacies of their own silences, I have four core principles posted on the board that sits in front of my class” (Smith). This quote reminded me of how teachers have made a personal connection with me, and the efforts they went through to make sure their classroom was a safe place for me. In Obama’s speech addressing the death of Osama Bin Laden, he talks about how America is strong, “..we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to … our commitment to stand up for our values abroad” (Obama). This quote reminded me of how teachers throughout school have helped shaped me as a person while teaching me the difference between right and wrong, as well as how to teach those values to others. In Rupi Kaur’s book “Milk and Honey”, the section called “The Healing” is about healing from past traumas. A quote from that section relates to my belief, “If you were born with the weakness to fall you were born with the strength to rise” (Kaur 156). This quote reminded me of all of the times I’ve struggled in school, and the teachers that helped me get through it and become a better student.