Because my children are older, I have met a lot of teachers. Most that I have met are okay; they're nice, but when asked about them, my kids would have negative things to say about them. Some things were legit. Some where not. Face it, for the most part, my kids don't (and didn't) like school.
There have been only three teachers that I have met since my kids started school back in 1996, that have truly stood out as outstanding instructors. Two were teachers that my oldest son had. One was his fourth grade teacher. The second was his 9th grade history teacher. Both of these teachers were outstanding. They love what they do. They care about their students, and make learning fun.
My youngest son is ending his sophomore year in just over a week. His English teacher is one of the best instructors I have ever encountered. When your child comes home from school, excited about the class, the topics, and willingly does the work -- when he normally isn't one to like school -- it is so refreshing! To see your child happy about himself... there are no words.
She makes it so easy for the kids to enjoy English class. You can tell she enjoys what she does, too. It shows. She's easy to approach. She is kind, caring, and goes out of her way to keep parents informed. Still, she is a strict teacher, and has rules. And yet, my son says she's cool.
So many of my children's teachers have been grumpy, unapproachable individuals. It's bad enough if a person clearly does not enjoy what they do for a living, but it's downright unfair when that person is instructing our children on a daily basis. I know everyone has a bad day. I know teaching is not an easy profession. It just makes me wonder sometimes -- the thought process of some of these teachers. What made them chose to teach children? Sometimes I think some would make better bailiffs, or lion trainers. If a person chooses to go to school to learn to teach children, shouldn't that person be the kind of person that enjoys being around them? It amazes me. I worked in the school system for a few years and some of the comments I'd hear teachers make about the kids would truly amaze me. I wanted to scream:
"So WTF are you DOING HERE!? Thank GOD ABOVE you are not my child's teacher!"
There is a huge difference between a strict, demanding, and yet approachable teacher than a downright uncaring, grump that clearly does not want to be where he/she is. Some teachers fail to realize that respect for them is earned as well. The Golden Rule is just as important in class as it is in the home. Kids want to succeed. They want to feel good about themselves, and there is nothing worse than a teacher belittling a child; no matter how old they are. The effects last a long time. I know first hand. All it takes is one sentence to make a kid feel stupid. Or helpless. Self esteem crushed. And it takes a long time to rebuild that self worth.
And kids want to please their instructors. That's hard to do when a child feels as if their teacher doesn't care, though.
So, to you, good teachers: I thank you. I thank you, Mrs. Barron. I thank you, Mr. Lemle.
And to Mrs. Kenney: Thank you for helping my child like learning. Thank you for lifting him up. Thank you for allowing my child to learn from his mistakes without making him feel bad about himself. Thank you for loving what you do, every day. If only all teachers could learn from you...