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Teacher Appreciation: "Gang Signs"

Joined: 5/26/2015
Posts: 1
Nothing is more exciting than watching someone talk about something they love. When they are passionate, it becomes evident through their words and expressions, and lights up the entire room. A passion such as this in the classroom is dynamite; it gets students excited and willing to learn, excited to be taught knowledge that has such a positive effect on the person teaching it. This is why students need teachers; because not everyone can be passionate about every subject. Teachers can overcome that, and by getting their students excited about the topics, they open their minds up to new areas of study.
I have been lucky to have had teachers such as this throughout my career in school, but none stand out to me more than my Honors Humanities teacher, Mr. Currie. Getting a room full of moody sophomores excited about pre-Renaissance art can be a challenging task, but with his creativity and humor, he makes it look easy. His unbounding enthusiasm for literature and the expansive knowledge that comes with it makes his class the best literature course I have ever taken. He breaks down Shakespeare in ways that finally get it to make sense, and can even get Sophocles to be engaging. High-level works of writing can be difficult to understand, as they require a different level of thought that other styles do. Mr. Currie’s class invites students to engage in that style of thinking, even if it is after they have read the piece. By thoroughly analyzing a work with his students, he makes it so that all can understand what makes it significant.
Mr. Currie’s creativity shines in making literature easier to understand. The “gang signs” he created are harmless ways to help students remember ancient Greek authors and tragedians. By holding up their “Greek wings,” three fingers on each hand, students recite and eventually memorize “Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle; Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides-you pay for them.” By making a play-on-words out of the last name, Mr. Currie entertains students as well as helps them remember a complicated name; unintentionally, he also teaches students study skills for when they need help memorizing information. Mr. Currie’s passion for art and history also help to make his class extremely interesting. His humor throughout the course makes learning about the different kinds of art fun and enjoyable. He helps students to learn the different styles and eras of art, while keeping them engaged with plenty of examples of the styles on a power-point. The joy he inspired helped me find my love for classical art, which I owe him a big thank-you for! Teachers hold such an important position, because they educate the future! Mr. Currie has helped me grow and finesse my passion for literature, and the experience of his class will stick with me for the rest of my life.
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