Teacher Appreciation

by Avery Prudenti

Four years ago during my freshman orientation, I listened to the then seniors’ advice on the dos and don’ts of high school. At that time, I thought that I knew everything I needed to know and hardly paid attention, but I vividly remember one of the seniors talking about how much easier and enjoyable school is when students take the effort to build real relationships with their teachers. I ignored this advice because I thought it was better to sit quietly in class and just get my work done. I spent most of my time in high school doing just this–walking into class, doing what needed to be done, and leaving—and it was boring. I never realized until my senior year how much more enjoyable school could be if I just took it a little less seriously and treated my teachers as more than just my teachers. If you know what I mean.

By taking the time to talk and build a relationship with my teachers, I have had an easier time finishing work and can relax more in class by joking and sharing stories with them. These relationships are vital because not only can they make class fun, they give teachers the opportunity to actually know me as a person and for me to see that they are people, too.

As someone who has never particularly liked math, having Mrs. Byerly as my math teacher this year has changed my perspective entirely. I went from struggling to get a B in my math classes to having a solid A just because I was able to build a real relationship with her and this led me to better understand her teaching of the material. I felt comfortable asking questions and staying after to make sure I understood what we were learning. This same thing happened in my AP Lit class with Mr. Huck and my Environmental Science Class with Mr. Miller. I have had Mr. Huck for three years now and so I feel confident asking him advice and implementing his corrections with my writing, and it has improved so much throughout this year. These relationships have helped my grades but also they have led me to enjoying my senior year much more than I would have if I had just sat at the back of the classroom silently going through the motions instead of actually learning.

Years from now, I most likely won’t remember the derivative of x or the how many syllables are in an iambic pentameter, but I will remember the relationships I formed with the teachers who taught me these concepts.