Bri Colorful

Here’s to Good Teachers

Posted on: June 24, 2011

I just finished looking at posted grades for Spring semester, and I am sorry to say that despite my best efforts to skip classes and assignments and put forth as little effort as possible, I was still not able to lower myself to a C-average. My husband claims that I just didn’t try hard enough or give myself enough breaks. Honestly though, I really do feel like I put forth my worst effort while still having a reasonable feeling of responsibility to each class. I didn’t even do the reading or assignments for two whole weeks in each of my classes, and the semester was only eight weeks long! Still, I am sincerely sad to say that I didn’t manage to get below a 3.5. I don’t know how people do it. I honestly don’t say it to brag. I’m very disappointed in myself. I thought I would do much worse what with pregnancy fatigue and baby preparation. Maybe I need to let loose a little, but I think I know the true source of my failure:

I blame good teachers.

If they would just care a tad less about their students and not push us so hard and mold us for the future. I just can’t understand it.  We go in expecting to be bored to tears, write a few essays, and leave with nothing but a letter grade to show, and instead they inspire, uplift, and motivate us to reach beyond the four walls of the classroom and apply our education in innovative ways. I suppose it is my fault for going to BYU. My professors here have been unacceptably exceptional. I just don’t know what to do with myself.

Photo by Oberazzi

For example, I just received an email from a professor who I have taken a number of courses with here praising my work during the semester that ended a week and a half ago and encouraging me in my future. I include a paragraph from the end of the email here:

As you enter the greatest phase of your life, parenting, you go well prepared with a fine education and great habits to sustain you and ultimately to give shape to the minds and souls of your children. I hope to keep up with you as you continue to consume, create, and connect. Thanks for re-upping for another term with me. I only wish I had more students with your ability and maturity. Take care and good luck! – Dr. Burton

Now, I ask you, how are students to go on being apathetic drones, mindless of the future and unenthusiastic about their education, with such personal, attentive, and caring teachers? The thing is, I am absolutely positive that every single student in this professor’s class received the same personal attention and praise throughout the semester and in a concluding evaluation email. It’s not special treatment. Teachers like this just care!

CC licensed image

Then there’s that fifth grade teacher that forever rid me of my ability to half-complete an assignment. Here I was, a happy little fourth grader, content with my C-average, and she spent the entire year building up my confidence in my abilities and forcing me to re-do assignments until she was sure I had done my very best. I remember one instance in particular where I was to stay after school for an hour making sure my math homework problems were readable, that the numbers lined up, and that each problem had the correct solution. Where did such enthusiasm for helping people help themselves come from? If I could remember her name, I’d write her a letter of complaint or nominate her for a Best Teacher in the Nation award or something.

So, the truth is I just cannot take the fall for such good grades. It’s not my fault, really. I did put forth a concerted effort to do poorly, but I was too easily inspired by the enthusiasm and care of good professors. Perhaps I was weak to give in to their encouragement and passion for learning. Maybe I should opt for distance learning …

[note: if you cannot read the sarcasm with which this post is dripping, please do not comment and berate me for my ingratitude. I am sincerely grateful for good teachers which is, in fact, the point of my little exercise. Sheesh]

…..

Oh no, my professors have done such an excellent job that I am now wondering if I should be double checking this post for grammatical errors. Nope … I’ve got baby clothes to fold. See! I can rebel!

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5 Responses to "Here’s to Good Teachers"

I totally agree! My absolute worst effort (and not on purpose) was my last semester. Swamped with so much and going through a nervous breakdown. But I loved my Am. Lit class. He was an amazing professor and I learned SO much. I still remember what we read and what we discussed. Yet he gave me a C on a paper I wrote that not only did I read only 1/3 of it (which he knew), but it was written without a thesis! The final B grade taught me that I didn’t deserve such an amazing professor who worked so hard to make sure I succeeded in learning in his class. I did. And that was not my only experience that semester (or any other).

Your post also has me thinking of the amazing teachers I had before college who inspired and encouraged me. I wish I could thank every teacher and professor who affected me so profoundly, yet I did not know how much until many years and miles later.

By the way, distance learning wouldn’t help. I often felt it wasn’t fair to say I was in school–because it didn’t always feel like I worked as hard. Yet that’s where I got my best grades! 🙂

I have to admit…I have not been trying my hardest to do my worst this semester. I have no doubt that I could do worse…I just can’t bring myself to try. I totally agree that the teachers are to blame. It is simply unacceptable of these teachers to be so caring and thoughtful! Here is an example from my own life. An e-mail sent to me from my math teacher in response to one of my projects “Very nicely done Traci. Thank you for the great paragraph. I am glad you are learning good financial habits in more than just my class. Keep up your great budgeting and life will continue to be good (financially at least).”

Hehe I LOVE this…you made me miss school! I want my awesome teachers back!!! I want to become one!

Shame on those bad, bad, Good Teachers! ruining your plans that way. 🙂 I remember getting those shocking A’s at BYU as well. However, having actually observed your studiology, I would have to assert (and I bet your teachers would too) that your own stubborn sweat and razor-sharp focus pulled you through in brilliant technicolor.

Good teachers and hard-working students work together to make a terrific environment in school. Glad you have enjoyed your experiences. 🙂

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