My adolescent stream of consciousness

The Power of Teachers

I have had many different teachers over the years. Some have been great, others have been not so great. However, both the best and the worst have helped me in different ways, and I have learned that the kind of teachers we have really influences not only our education, but also our lives.

I’ll start with describing some of my bad teachers—and I’ve had my fair share. The first one I remember was in grade 3. To keep identities private, I will use fake names. Let’s call this teacher Mrs. X. In grade 3, I was in the middle of elementary school. Unbeknownst to me and everyone else, I would be diagnosed with ADHD the next year. So, you can imagine that I wasn’t the easiest kid to handle. That said, my behavior did not give Mrs. X an excuse to treat me the way she did. She did not put a lot of faith in me, and by doing so, my self esteem took a hit. In addition, she put me down on numerous occasions. For a child like me, who is extremely rambunctious and distracted most of the time, I understand discipline. But this teacher made it personal, and I remember loathing going to class because I hated her so much. It really affected the way I learned. That year, I did not enjoy school as much and my grade performance reflected that.

Many years later, I had another bad teacher. We’ll call him Mr. Z. I was in my freshman year of high school, and the class was physical science. In a nut shell, this teacher did not teach us anything. He spent most of class on his computer, usually while we watched Bill Nye the Science Guy. Despite this, he still gave us tests. When it came time for the end of semester exam, many of us were shocked. The final exam was merely a compilation of all the tests we had had that semester. Like, literally just one stacked after another, with the exact same questions. To put the cherry on top, about 90% of the class cheated on it. We were even openly talking during the test. It was a mess, and I learned absolutely nothing.

Now, I could continue to talk about my bad experiences with teachers. But the point I’m trying to make is not that teachers suck, it’s that teachers are more influential than you think. For me, those teachers decreased the enjoyment I got out of school. They also hindered my learning. Mrs. X gave me doubts about my abilities in school and hindered my self-esteem, and Mr. Z caused me to be behind when I hit sophomore year biology. Although I cannot blame all of my struggles on these teachers, I owe some of the credit to them.

Luckily for me, I have had more good teachers than bad, and those that were bad did not ruin my love of school. In addition, the good teachers have virtually reversed the negative influences of the less-than great ones. My grade eleven history teacher, for example, made me love U.S. History, a class that I never thought I would like or do well in.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that my teachers have been extremely influential in my life, and I suspect other students feel the same way.

So, to students out there – try to make good relationships with teachers! And if you’re struggling in school, it may not always be your fault. Certain teachers mesh better with certain students (just like in romantic relationships or friendships, certain people compliment each other better than others).

And to teachers, thank you for providing children with role models. Keep trying your hardest. And maybe try a little extra to help those misfit kids. Everyone can use compassion in their life!


A special thank you to Mrs. Costello, Mr. Wallace, Mr. Thornsberry, Mrs. Donaldson, Mr. Villeneuve, Mr. Huse, Mrs. Kane, Mrs. Chambers, Mr. Lawson, Daniel Ahadi and Russell Day for being such great teachers/professors!

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