When I was in high school, I didn’t care too much about the impact my teachers had on my education, much less the impact they would have on my life. Their roles were simply to be guiding hands through my academic career, pushing me to finish homework, emphasizing deadlines and timeliness, that sort of thing. But teachers have the potential to be much more than that: they can be mentors, counselors, friends, and even role models. On the other end of the spectrum, a teacher with a poor attitude or worth ethic can bring about disastrous consequences in a child’s life, which is why it’s important to take care when choosing a career with the ability to have such a profound affect on others.
I have had both negative and positive experiences in regards to teaching, particularly in high school, but I want to focus on the latter. My 10th grade science teacher is one such example. He somehow managed to flawlessly consolidate learning with the challenges of real-life. What I mean by this is that after any given lesson, the class ended up feeling like they knew more about the world itself, and not just fundamental science formulas and problems. We created experiments, brought them outside, and used the world around us as a template; we participated in group activities and got to know each others’ opinions before jumping to conclusions; we listened to his stories and shared our own; these life lessons and social skills are vital outside of the classroom environment, and as a teacher, as a human, he did a superb job in throwing away the shell of someone who was purely an transmitter of knowledge.
I wish more of us, teachers and students alike, would realize that the boundaries between school and our personal lives are not only easy to break, but need to be broken. How have teachers in your past helped you through difficult obstacles in life?–or how have they broken the barrier between academic vs life coaching?
Thank you for reading,