Features

What Makes a Teacher Great?

By: Dareen Abukwaik

What comes to mind when you hear the word “teacher?” For some, an authoritative figure pops into their head. For others, they picture a supportive figure. Teachers help students acquire knowledge about different subjects such as: Math, History, English, Science, and World Languages. However, they are much more than just instructors. 

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Teachers have a huge impact on their students, as they can truly affect the way their students learn. Passionate teachers can inspire students to work harder and to participate actively in class. When teachers interact with their students, their classes become more memorable and enjoyable, even if the subject they teach might not be the most fun. School can be quite tiring and draining for teenagers, but when they have teachers that make class more engaging, it changes the whole environment.

As a child, high school was always portrayed in one of two ways: extremely stressful or extremely fun. Usually, the extremely fun portrayal was due to an eccentric teacher who made TV characters’ days more interesting. For example, Sikowitz from “Victorious” was the favorite acting teacher among the teenagers on the show. What made him memorable was his love for teaching his students different acting styles, as he would engage them in different situations to learn how to deal with Hollywood when they

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became real actors. He was also honest in a manner that helped his students, such as teaching Tori to be confident in her acting skills with the “Bird Scene” episode. She attempted the scene three times, asking for his thoughts after each one, to which he would tell her that she didn’t pass. It wasn’t until she told him that she was proud of herself and how she performed that Sikowitz passed her, as he wanted to teach her about the importance of self-acceptance. I was in awe of how such a strange teacher could actually make a difference in his students’ lives.

It wasn’t until I went to high school that I realized such teachers existed in real life. They obviously aren’t drinking coconut milk and teaching acting classes, but their attitudes towards the subject they teach and teaching itself is what draws parallels to Sikowitz. Whether they teach English, History, Spanish, or even Math, there is a spark within them that makes their class special. These teachers have inspired me to push myself harder in their classes in order to show them that their dedication means something to me. Their

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ability to take a subject that could be deemed as “boring” or “hard,” and to turn it into an interesting lesson is a talent that is extremely unappreciated. To the teachers that have transformed their classes to break the status quo of high school being a boring experience: thank you!

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