Teacher, I Thank You

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Published on May 4, 2020

Every student deserves to have the very best teacher possible. That means a teacher who lives to teach, who believes every student is worthy of receiving the best education possible, one whose joy in being with their students is contagious. In a word, a teacher who connects!

In the last two years I have had the pleasure of having two such teachers; one at Gateway Community College and the other here at HCC. 

The teacher here at HCC goes all out to ensure students understand what is expected of them and celebrates their accomplishments. First of all, when he bounds (because that’s what it feels like to me), into the classroom, his students perk up. The interaction that then takes place is energizing. And this is as he teaches and explains and illustrates and his students gain clarity and produce the work that’s expected. 

The way this class works allows all students to see what has been done by everyone and engages all in cross-learning. The pace and rate of submissions is staggering when compared to other classes that have the same set-up, and I think this is attributable to this teacher’s ability to connect.

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He’s accessible in and out of regular class time, so if students have questions they know how to get to him and get responses in a timely manner. That is important to me as an older student who is also technologically challenged, because he ensures his students understand the technology and the methods of operation that are required to be successful in his class and the work world they may eventually enter. So, when he posts information and videos and back-ups and links to ensure we get it, I get it! And the way I look at it (and see it on the discussion board), if I get it, then everybody has already got it. 

Now, not only am I an older student, but I’m also an introvert. So, the very first day I entered my Sociology class at GCC I was intimidated by the large number of students there, all very young. When the teacher entered the classroom, everyone knew right off the bat she was not to be messed with. She laid out what she expected, what students should expect of themselves, and how she would conduct the class. She made us laugh in that first introductory session and she made us laugh throughout the course, even though it entailed too much reading and too much research and far too much writing. (Hey, we’re students! Part of our job is to complain about the workload.) She loved her subject and loved teaching it, and we saw and felt that. Every day I came to class it was an adventure because she engaged and connected with us and did so effortlessly. It was her evaluation on which I wrote “Every child deserves to have a teacher like you!”

As we approach Teacher Appreciation Day, I would like to acknowledge all the teachers who have made me love the subjects and courses they teach, teachers who I credit with the success I have had in my personal and work lives. 

All teachers who teach because they have to because it is just who they are, who care that their students, regardless or color or creed, abilities or challenges, receive the best that they can give, are to be hailed and commended. Every day they enter the doors of their institutions the red carpet should be rolled out for them.