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Teacher Appreciation: 'The Six Week Sub'

Joined: 3/28/2014
Posts: 3
It’s the middle of March and everything feels routine. Our teachers are just as tired as we are, the promise of summer seeming close and far away all at once. We are cramming for AP tests, falling asleep in the middle of lectures, and wearing the same sweatshirt three days in a row. It was senior year.

But there’s a break in the routine when our AP Literature teacher announces that next week she will be taking her maternity leave until the end of the year. Sure, we all saw it coming, but right before the AP test? We selfishly wished she could stay longer; we were scared that we would be having a random substitute prep us for the exam. However, she assured us that he was qualified-he had been teaching English in China before taking this position, and that he knew much of what we had read earlier in the year.

Still suspicious but wanting to trust our teacher, we decided to see for ourselves just how well this sub could possibly teach us. A week later, we met Mr. Lang. He introduced himself, and it was almost as if the whole class took a sigh of relief. We were in good hands. He was cool, stylish in a sense, with tattoos and holes in his ears that once held earrings. Then, he started teaching.

Now, let me just clarify that the class Mr. Lang had just taken over was an AP Lit class. All thirty of us knew the difference between teachers that talk and teachers that teach, and Mr. Lang was a teacher. He stated that we would be reading 1984. He gave us background and just when it seemed like the class would become disinterested, he connected it to something taking place in our society today. We, as a class, were so intrigued that we would go home and watch YouTube videos relating to what Mr. Lang was teaching and share it amongst each other. We were watching documentaries, and we liked it.

We prepped for the AP test next, and when we had questions or concerns, Mr. Lang tried his best to help. We took interactive quizzes on our phones. It was so much fun, and we were learning more than we had been all year, because we had a teacher that really cared, and when it came down to it, everyone taking the AP test felt prepared.

Mr. Lang was always reaching out the students, asking them how they were. He told us stories about living in China, and always listened when a student wanted to tell him something. On his last day, he borrowed a student’s guitar and played while we sang along. We all laughed and clapped and on that day, it felt less like a class and more like a family. In just six weeks, he had become my favorite teacher, and someone that I would admire forever.
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