Our Readers Write: Teachers I Will Remember
By Sara Hebert
My name is Sara Hebert, I’m 14 years old, and I’m from Brandon, MS. I’m a freshman at Pisgah High School, I write poems and short stories (yes, for fun), and I hope to have a collection of my work published sometime soon.
Preparing to go back to school this year has taught me one basic principle: there are two types of students. There are probably more, but primarily, I see two emotions connected to students during this time. I see students that are eager to go back, waiting to shove their brains full of things they need to know. And there are those who just don’t care – at all. I believe that the differences in these types of students stems from their experiences with their educators.
A teacher’s responsibility is to connect their material to their students’ lives. An English teacher reading The Outsiders, for example, would not talk about the Socs and Greasers directly. Instead, they would talk about the status quo, and how both groups should be recognized as people, rather than the group they’re associated with. What some teachers fail to recognize is that students should not just be learning material. They should be learning both how to think, and how to apply the concepts. If teachers aren’t teaching these things, then what are they doing? Simple answer – they’re giving their students information to memorize, reiterate, and forget. Most of the time, students forget everything in a matter of weeks, or even days. Teachers are giving students knowledge of concepts that they will most likely never use, and they know they’ll never use it.
Regardless of whether or not the students will use the information they’re taught, they should feel that it applies to real-world concepts. As stated by many sources, such as the New York Times, Teach.com, and emergingedtech.com, students learn best when they can apply what they’re learning to their own lives.
Leah Ivey, the 7th grade English teacher at Pisgah High School, is a prime example of the type of teacher I described, the type of teacher that makes a difference. I don’t remember everything I learned in her class, and that’s okay – because she taught me how to think for myself, and how to voice those thoughts productively. That’s one of the most important things I’ve learned so far, so I appreciate her and teachers like her.
All of this ties back to my original point: there are different types of students. We should all expect our teachers to teach us, and to teach us things we’ll use in our daily lives. On the same note, we should also put in the effort to work on applying ourselves.