The power of teachers


Brynn Blizzard, Opinion Editor

Throughout high school, students are given a range of teachers that may or may not transform who they are and what they will do when they graduate. If a teacher is able to connect with a student and make him/her excited to learn about the subject, then that teacher has succeeded. That teacher has opened up so many opportunities for that student’s career. Unfortunately, bad teachers have a similar power that can end up disengaging all interest in a subject and essentially take away many potential opportunities.

Imagine hating writing all of your life, but miraculously getting assigned to a transformative Language teacher your junior year of high school. You learn to love grammar and communicating your thoughts because that teacher was able to spark an interest. Now you are considering becoming an author or a journalist and you have the potential to make a difference in so many more industries than you thought possible.

Now imagine the complete opposite. You’ve had a passion for math all of your life, but unfortunately getting assigned to a dull, ineffective Algebra teacher sophomore year of high school. You are excited to advance your math skills because it is what you do best. However, you quickly learn that your teacher is confusing and complicated. You try to teach yourself the material but it is too complicated and seemingly impossible. Now you hate math and have no desire to become the mathematician you dreamt of becoming.

It is crazy to think that one bad teacher has now impacted your future so drastically. The number of teachers who improve student lives is great; however, the amount of teachers aiding a passionate hatred for a subject is concerning. There is no reason some students have great teachers while others are stuck with terrible ones. That is a huge disservice to the students of WJ and should be spoken about more.

It’s not the lesson planning or the test grades that define a teacher, but instead the power of a good teacher is how much the students know he/she cares, how much they learn from him/her, and how much they remember the excitement and passion for something they once thought was extremely dull.

Teachers, be the change. Be the teacher who gets students excited and be the teacher who opens up new career possibilities for your students through education. Make the students excited enough to want to learn more and have a career that involves your subject. That is what defines a good teacher.