I had many people in my life, both teachers and non-educators, who shaped the way I learned. They caused me to love a subject even more than I already did, force myself to become self-sufficient in a subject, or know that I and other students deserved better.
Photo CC by Chiot’s Run
My first person shaped my love for art. When I was in fourth grade, a woman named Priscilla came into my class a few weeks before Christmas break. She brought in little ceramic bear ornaments for us to paint. She took these back to her shop, fired them, and brought them back to our class. I was home sick the day that Priscilla brought the ornaments back, and someone took my ornament. I was sent home with the wrong ornament, and, to a nine year old, that was the end of the world. My parents took me to her shop to paint a new ornament. In doing that, my mom and I discovered a love for painting pottery. Over the next few years, Priscilla helped me develop my talent by teaching me new techniques. She was a key person in my decision to become an art major.
Photo CC by Angus Mcdiarmid
Another person who caused me to choose an art major was my high school art teacher. She was not influential in a good way at all. Her method of teaching was to yell at the class, give an assignment, and then yell some more. I powered through her classes because I loved art so much, but I knew I deserved better. It made me realize that I wanted to become a teacher to give younger generations the chance to have a more positive experience than I had. However, she did teach me to persevere no matter how much I hate the situation I’m in.
Photo CC by Sean Macentee
One of my math teachers in high school was absolutely horrible. I almost failed the class and fell far behind because of his lack of ability and drive to put in any extra effort. The only thing I took away from the class was self-sufficiency. I was forced to teach myself the best I could to at least pass the class.
Photo CC by Marco Nedermeijer
Another math teacher of mine was the polar opposite. She took the time to work with each students individually if she had to in order to ensure everyone got as much out of the class as they could. I took away a sense of self-confidence from that class. I might not have had A’s in the class, but she helped me keep up the best grades I could and be able to work through the math problems I was given. She was very patient and showed true care and love for her students.
Photo CC by Jesse Kruger
My middle school music teacher taught me so much. He taught me to know I could always be doing better and taught me the drive to achieve a higher level of performance. He was an amazing teacher that, even in high school, would still let us schedule private lessons so that we could get better. He taught me to have patience with myself, but to never settle for less than what I knew I was capable of.
Each of these people had an impact on my learning career. I may have not liked some of them, but I took away at least one positive thing from each of these people.