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Teacher Appreciation: Respect

Joined: 1/20/2015
Posts: 2
To me, the definition of a great teacher can be a laid back and chill teacher or a demanding, strict teacher. However, I don't believe the best teacher has to have a personal, intimate moment with their students, where they have the ability to change their lives. I believe that the best teacher respects the student enough to let them work at their pace and interfere only when they need to.

I'm not going to tell you a story about someone who made me believe in education and studying or getting good grades, because, in the big picture, that holds little value. I'm also not going to tell you a story about someone who changed my life in a moving emotional way. The best teacher I ever had talked to me about simple things, like music, movies, and the scores of the basketball games from the previous night. This teacher didn't actually say or do anything life-altering, but when you came into his class, you would really see something special. Kids who were usually quiet got a chance to speak up in my teacher's class. Kids who couldn't care less about even attending school were engaged and getting high grades in this class. Everybody loved this teacher, not because he was funny or he was motivational but because he respected us as students.

This teacher understood us as people first and students second, and he could almost relate to us. Due dates and class activities were more relaxed, because he understood that pressure was not going to help turning things in on time. He would even joke around in class and sometimes show us funny videos while we were finished working, to keep us energized and attentive. However, he held us accountable too. If he could see that students were obviously not working or doing what they would supposed to then he would flex his rule over the class, as he so rarely did, and would get us back on track accordingly. However, this teacher clearly left an impact on many students. In fact, during his tenure, he had no students failing his class! He also had tutorials filled with students, although some were there for free donuts.

As you can see, a teacher does not need to be emotional or profoundly moving to grab a student's respect. Mutual respect really shows the good qualities of a teacher, because respect gives students an assurance that the teacher truly believes in them. instead of the teacher just saying it out loud while not actually showing it. This teacher led by action instead of words, and it truly worked.
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