Question: “Do you like school?”

Published 1:15 pm Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Generally, the reply to this frequently asked question is a quick, “No!” Because of a few teachers who made a difference, my answer is the exact opposite.

In my seventh grade year, I was blessed to have learned about writing from a dedicated English teacher and a supportive Gifted and Talented teacher. These two men not only taught me how to write, but to love writing.

My teachers went the extra mile to push me to reach my full potential. If I made mistakes, both were always there to provide encouragement and help me learn how to correct the mistakes I made. I believe today, if I would not have had them to support me, I would not be the writer that I am.

Students need teachers who believe in their students’ success and teach them life lessons, not just the classroom curriculum. If the class is interesting, the students will work harder to do their best at the subject. It also helps for teachers to provide equal encouragement to everyone. No student wants to be ignored. A simple “You’ll do just fine!” on a test that the student isn’t sure about can be enough to boost their confidence.

My teachers made learning more interesting by not always cracking out the textbook and teaching traditional methods. My Gifted and Talented teacher would let us write point of view stories from characters of our choice such as forest deer who stumble upon Rip Van Winkle’s waking body or Dame Van Winkle as she gave up on her husband ever returning from Rip Van Winkle. He would also hold classroom debates about topics in today’s society, such as “Should schools use funds toward healthy eating programs, or should those funds aid classroom needs?” which forced the students to think fast and become better speakers, while also educating students on world topics.

My English teacher would play a song such as U2’s “Beautiful Day” to get out ideas churning before writing an essay on our idea of a beautiful day.Students need a little pushing to become enthusiastic about class. Swapping from routine procedures could be exactly what students need to spark their attention. I know it changed my opinion of school. Taking chances just might change those sparks into shocking results.