I think a big part of the problem I had with teachers in high school was that they weren’t people I respected. To this day, I still say that’s with good reason too, because there were a few throughout the years that I had a lot of respect for as people that were worth paying attention to. It didn’t really occur to me until just now, but in retrospect it was their passion and their striving to feed it that caught my attention; these men and women fucking cared, about their students and about their jobs (really, their callings). Not all of them were the typical ‘cool’ ones either, in fact almost all of them expected a lot… some expected excellence as a base line.
Which is something they had in common with a lot of teachers that I wrote off as idiots or lazy twats, but in them I took it in stride because of what it sprang from. The latter wanted precision and perfection because they were snobbish, to lazy to do their part and fulfill their role, and – in my eyes – seemed to hate their job. But the ones I liked expected it because they cared, not just about their students but for their own responsibilities (which, really, is the only way you can do your students much good). And I could see it. I imagine it’s not unlike instilling morale and loyalty in a group of subordinates, or inspiring confidence and receptivity in people you work with on a regular basis.
Ultimately, I students are responsible for their own accomplishments in failures – in school, at the Force Academy or the Order, in the work place… anywhere. And piss poor teachers are only an excuse to fall back on for failures. It comes down to what the student learns, not what the teacher teaches. But if there’s to be an actual, genuine relationship between teacher and student it has to be symbiotic. If a teacher wants to be respected, listened to, or worked with, then their heart needs to be in it just as much as that of the student; it’s a two way street.
I got to thinking about this because of a blog I follow called Mysteries and Manners. See, when I’d first stumbled onto it, I’d thought about this, and before reading through all of her last post I decided to articulate the thoughts that had been simmering on it, because I can already tell she would have been a teacher that had my respect and attention in class. I think it shows in the things she writes that she’s one of those teachers that’s got a calling, and a passion for what she does. The fact that she has so much to say about school, her students, how she approaches them and things she’s learned from her experiences… the blog kind of centers around this, which you’ll see pretty quick if you read the “About” page.
Anyways, that’s what inspired this post (i.e. the passion she seems to have for what she does). It’s admittedly from a student’s perspective and reflections on experiences in public schools (K-12th), which I can’t help but see as a bit one-sided given the experience I’ve accumulated over these last few years, but it’s probably close to what the student in high school (or in earlier grade levels) sees and responds to on an instinctual level at that age, in that setting.