Maybe this is just my own personal opinion, but I feel like teachers in general are under-appreciated. For the longest time, I wanted to be one…and what for? So I could teach someone, pass down knowledge. I’ve always been the typical good student: never late, always turned homework in on time, and studied hard for exams. At times, it’s easier to complain about all this work that we sometimes forget that these people are trying to teach us something here. Maybe it’s because that’s how I’ve been raised, but I’ve been taught to never be disrespectful to anyone, especially my elders. The older I’ve gotten, the more appreciation I have for teachers.
Now that I am in college, I look at my professors in a different light. These individuals are the ones preparing me for my future, what I’ll be doing for the next 30-40 years of my life. I don’t try to be the student that “kisses ass” to professors. I do the work that is required of me, and I do it with effort. By the end of each semester, I find that there are certain professors that have affected me in a good way. So sometimes, I’ll take the time after finals to type up a nice e-mail to let them know how much I appreciate everything they’ve taught me in that class.
Last fall, I wrote an e-mail to my TV production instructor. He responded saying that he appreciated my kind words and said that I’m the type of student that makes teaching worthwhile. I mean, let’s face it…times are hard these days, especially for our teachers. They’re underpaid and most of them are getting laid off because of all these budget cuts. Sometimes, we need to remind them why they chose to be a teacher in the first place.
This last semester I went to pick up my final exam from my electronic media professor during her office hours and we ended up having a really nice discussion about film and what I want to do with my major. This was a class of about 40-50 students and I was someone who tended to blend in the background. I’ve always been that type of student. Anyways, I wasn’t expecting her to know who I was because in a class that huge it’s almost impossible to learn names. She was probably one of the first professors so far that believes in me and sees that I have potential and she told me that to my face. She said I was an excellent critical thinker (something I think I am totally not) and she said that as long as I am here and in this department, I should get my voice out there. She even encouraged me to get involved in the summer production our university does every year.
In high school, I had this novel teacher who everyone thought was amazing, including myself. You could tell she was passionate about teaching. She loved her students and made learning so much fun. She really helped me prepare for college in terms of writing and English but she was also someone I just looked up to as a person. To this day, I’ve run into her a couple of times around and even though it’s been a couple of years since I was in her class, she STILL remembers who I am and asks how I’m doing. I just think that’s pretty amazing considering I don’t think I’m a very memorable person. But my mom has told me that teachers remember the really good students and the really bad students. Though I may not speak up much in class, they still see the effort I put into my work, especially my writing assignments. Hence, like I said before, writing is my medium.
I’m not saying you have to go and send all of your professors an e-mail right now, but I think that if there’s a certain professor/teacher who really stands out to you, who’s really helped you…you should thank them. People choose to be teachers because they like helping others. They’re anxious to share what they know with you in the hopes you get something out of the class in the end. Who knows, they might have something nice to say back that will make you feel great about yourself. But don’t expect anything in return…do it because you WANT to.
Which teachers/professors have had a profound impact on your life?