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The Antelope

The Antelope

Don’t underestimate the power of a good professor

Lloyd Breeding
Lloyd Breeding

I’ve always had a passion for learning. I love the excitement of pursuing a new hobby or skill and growing within that field. It is really rewarding for my hard work to pay off in this way. 

That excitement, however, doesn’t stay when I’m learning something new in school. This is an issue many students face when having to learn new material in a class. During the school year, students’ most common talking point is complaining about not wanting to go to class or do homework. 

This is where the problem arises. As college students, we pay for our education, meaning we should care about what we are learning. We are investing in our knowledge and growth, yet most students could care less if they get something of value out of a class. 

It should never be the expectation that students hate going to class every day. The class environment should be one of active learning and excitement for the subject. Good teachers have the potential to change this standard.

It is crucial to acknowledge how a good professor can change the students’ outlook and motivation significantly. 

It’s not hard to find a student that has had a bad experience with a teacher. Or several. 

In fact, it’s probably less common to find people that have had really great teachers. Many teachers don’t focus enough on supporting student growth and learning. It takes a lot more than lecturing a class about a subject, assigning readings and making them take tests. 

Not everyone is meant to teach, and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

With how popular the education major is, many people think they have what it takes to teach. Just because someone has a passion for a topic or field doesn’t mean that they can teach other people that skill. Teaching is understanding that everyone learns differently and some need more support than others.

Good teaching doesn’t follow the traditional class experience. 

It’s important that teachers focus on fostering individual growth. Students should not have to jump through hoops to understand what’s happening in a class. A good teacher pushes their students, while helping them understand the material in the way that makes sense to them. 

This should be the bare minimum of the job. It’s so important for teachers to realize how much we need as students to have a healthy learning environment. 

As bad as student mental health is, it can be very difficult for students to find personal motivation and drive for their degree. 

Helping with this comes with providing an environment where students can feel comfortable learning. 

Above teaching the course, students need clear and honest communication. 

They need to understand the expectations for the class, as well as the support that they can get from their teachers. Teachers need to establish a space for students to be honest and open, as this helps them feel comfortable in the class and be able to focus on learning. 

The role of a good teacher is so much more than we give credit for. Good teachers are role models. They’re counselors. They’re supporters. They’re listeners. They’re comedians. They’re friends. 

Good teachers change lives, and we don’t acknowledge that enough. 

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