This month, in the midst of all the chaos of studying for finals and graduation requirements, Ardice Fogelsong pulled through for the challenge. As we began the month of May it was time to look back at those teachers who have been a source of inspiration. The May challenge was to write a persuasive piece explaining what makes a good teacher. The participants were to include in their piece which teacher or teachers they appreciate and why. In her compelling piece Ardice pays tribute to some of our Buhl School District teachers. Lets dive into her writing and enjoy her memories of teachers that help make a difference.
A Unique Perspective on Personal Qualities of Teachers
I have a somewhat unique perspective on teachers. This is because my mother has been a teacher for over twenty years. She also taught my English class in seventh grade. Because of my mom, I have an appreciation for teachers that is based on my personal experiences, and watching those of my mother. From my experiences with my mom and my other teachers, I have been able to recognize good personal qualities in people that are excellent teachers.
I have witnessed, first-hand, the effort that teachers put in behind-the-scenes. I have seen the long nights grading papers, and the efforts to encourage students to enjoy learning. For a year, my mom baked cinnamon rolls almost every Friday morning to bring to the students who had to attend Friday school at Wendell High School. Her hope was that more students would come if she brought treats, and she was successful. Students came for the cinnamon rolls, but they also actively participated in classwork.
Good teachers are multifaceted people. Many teachers coach a sport or help coordinate a club or activity. Mrs. Moretto is one of the most multifaceted teachers I have met. She has coached several sports, she is incredibly hilarious and engaging in class, and she helps run a business with her husband Mr. Moretto. Her knowledge of world history and her dynamic personality make her a phenomenal teacher, and I’m sure a phenomenal coach as well. I can comfortably say that I cannot think of a better way to learn about world history than with Mrs. Moretto.
I have seen some teachers who make exceptional teachers for certain age groups. It takes a very patient person to want to teach small children, while middle and high school teachers need to show a strict backbone to keep students focused. Mrs. Cooper taught my first grade class and my sister’s first grade class. She understood the social behavior of first-graders very well. When my mom explained to Mrs. Cooper that my sister had Celiac’s Disease, a disease that makes my sister severely allergic to gluten, Mrs. Cooper was more than understanding. She set aside a drawer in her desk specifically for Annie. In that drawer, she kept a variety of gluten-free treats for Annie to enjoy when her peers ate treats that had gluten at events like birthday parties. Because Mrs. Cooper understood that Annie would feel separated from her peers because of her Celiac’s Disease, she made sure that Annie would be able to celebrate with them. If it had not been for Mrs. Cooper, I don’t think my sister would be as social as she is today.
Some teachers are very good at releasing creativity in their students. It could be argued that creativity is essential to learning, and some studies have suggested that an individual’s creativity can be developed, and made stronger. I took my first art class from Mrs. Allen in eighth grade, as a part of the advanced art program. Mrs. Allen gave us assignments that were not like any art-related assignments I had before. She would give us a specific medium, and leave everything else up to us, or she would give us a specific subject, and we could choose any medium we wished. At first, I did not know what to do with this artistic freedom, but I soon found that the freedom would allow me to expand my creativity, and try new things. Because of teachers like Mrs. Allen, I enjoy finding new ways to use my creativity.
I am thankful for all of the teachers that I have interacted with. I appreciate that they have dedicated their time and effort to educating young people. Because of the help of teachers, I, and many other students, are inspired to do the best with our personal abilities.
By, Ardice Fogelsong
1 Ford, D. Y., & Harris, J. J. (1992). The elusive definition of creativity. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 26(3), 186-198.