How has a teacher encouraged or discouraged you?

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  1. nadp profile image75
    nadpposted 13 years ago

    One of the comments to a hub that I wrote about mathematics said that the writer would never be good at math. A teacher she had 40 years ago scrawled "You deserve to fail" all over her paper, and she has never recovered.  As dramatic as this sounds, I know that it happens all too frequently.  When we are young we take such comments so to heart - especially when it comes from someone we are told to look up to.  And there is no doubt that such an experience leave a mark and can shape our lives in some way.

    On the other hand, I'd like to think that the reverse is also true; That there have been positive experiences where a teacher gave a word or two of encouragement, thereby contributing to the direction one takes in life in a positive way.

    I thought it would be interesting to hear about such experiences from other hubbers, so I decided to start this forum.

    1. profile image0
      cosetteposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      i had a music teacher who really instilled a love of music in me, and an interest in musical instruments.  she also taught dance, and the history and culture behind every song, dance, and instrument. she even taught how to read music, although i moved to another school then. she was really cool! i still remember her fondly.

  2. wyanjen profile image74
    wyanjenposted 13 years ago

    You deserve to fail?

    How devastating for a child to hear that from a teacher! Completely horrible!

    My fourth grade teacher said to me, "Of course you can!" Not in an encouraging way, more like he was surprised and judging me a little bit because I didn't think I could.
    I got all the way through school and still thought he a a fool for thinking something about me that was not true lol

    But when I got to college and found a course that was completely interesting, but very scary, what he said popped in my head and I enrolled.
    Twenty years later, I am still working in that field. I've built a career from it and I love my work. smile

  3. EFPotter profile image60
    EFPotterposted 13 years ago

    In Accounting, if people don't have the answer on their paper, the splutter and say they don't have it, move on. Our teacher says, "No, you can do it, just try it." She's encouraging. But there's one kid that everyone descends upon. They make fun of him mercilessly and degrade him so badly--in a joking kind of way because he's a cool kid, but still, I can see why he doesn't try or think he can do anything in school. Years of that and I'd have given up, too.

    Teachers have always encouraged me. I once asked a teacher if he had a trig book I could use to study on my own. He didn't, but about a week later he found me in the hall and told me he'd tracked one down. So, not only did I feel encouraged, but I felt like he cared that I cared.

    We won't talk about fourth grade. We just...we won't. That was the first and last time my father had to visit my school.

  4. nadp profile image75
    nadpposted 13 years ago

    It's good to hear these positive responses.  A very significant life-changing moment in my life occurred when I was in graduate school.  I was taking Abstract Algebra - actually, I think it was my first course in the Master's degree program.  I had been out of school for quite a number of years, and while I was excited by the work I was also sometimes frustrated with it and had lots of thoughts about my inadequacies.  And then one day the professor, who was obviously brilliant and who I admired very much, said in front of the class "When I was taking this course there was not a single day that I understood what my professor was doing in class.  I had to read my notes and my book when I got home, taking my time until it made sense to me."  Oh, that was so liberating!!!!!  I always think of that moment when I feel like some topic is "above" me.  My mathematical interests and confidence (which were strong enough already to have led me to attempt a Master's degree in math) rose to a new level.  I have taken on challenges that I never would have before, with the confidence of knowing that even though I might not get it at first, if I am tenacious about it, I'll eventually make it.

  5. ChristyJC profile image60
    ChristyJCposted 13 years ago

    I had several teachers that pushed me to be all that I could be.  in 4th grade, it was Miss Davis, in high school it was Mrs. Madden, Mrs. Cole, Mrs. Crawford, Mrs. McVay and Mrs. Adams who knew my full potential and encouraged me in rather creative ways to spread my wings and fly.  I still have contact with them...15 years after graduation! I will never forget them!

    1. nadp profile image75
      nadpposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Hello Christy.  I teach high school - I hope that someday one of my students will say that about me.  Your comment is beautiful.

  6. Dame Scribe profile image58
    Dame Scribeposted 13 years ago

    I had one teacher, Mr. Rykes, history and homeroom class in HS. I got a fever during his class and near delirious. He kept me after class and called my parents. I was whisked off to the dr's office asap. I had tonsillitis n fever of 101 yikes he was the greatest. smile meeting people with such genuine care is rare.

  7. profile image0
    mtsi1098posted 13 years ago

    It was my HS computer teacher that inspired me to work with computers for a career and I have not looked back yet...

  8. kirstenblog profile image80
    kirstenblogposted 13 years ago

    I was blessed with a number of wonderful teachers (angles masquerading as humans IMO). Yeah I had one or two d*ck heads for teachers for whom I had absolutely no respect. Mostly however I had some awesome teachers who I will never forget and feel such gratitude toward its hard to put into words. I had this one teacher Ms. Ready (Ms. Ready is always Ready!) who was supposed to be the second strictest in the school and when I had her she was thought to be the strictest for that year group. She was strict but she was very kind. I remember she showed the class the movie 'cry freedom' and I started crying and got worse and worse, I did not stop for the rest of the day actually. She took me outside and told the class to work on their math homework and she just sat with me for a bit trying to cheer me up. When I left that school she gave me this book by Dr. Suess, oh the places you'll go! and when I read it I felt very highly complimented. That she thought that I was going to go places in life and be a winner, it was special to me and I feel a bit like I am welling up with tears now just remembering that kindness, God Bless you Ms. Ready wherever you are!

    The first compliment I remember was from my 1st grade teacher. I do not remember her name at all but I remember we had had a writing assignment and my story was about the strawberry people. When we had a parent teacher meeting she brought out that story and said that while my spelling and punctuation were in need of a lot of work the creativity in the story was unusual for a kid at my age, that I showed real promise and creativity. I never forgot how that made me feel, that I might just have some sort of talent smile. That teacher was pretty amazing actually. My home life was not idyllic, to say the least. This one day during the morning part of class 2 police officers showed up in my class. This was before the first recess. When the bell rang for recess I was asked to stay in class and not go out to recess. Once all the kids were out of the class my teacher started crying and told me I had to go with these police officers. She gave me a fresh pack of colored play dough. I didn't understand why she was crying but I loved the play dough! They took me to an emergency foster home right from class and I was there for a week. My family had not payed the lawyer bill and the lawyers did this to force payment. At the end of the week if payment had not been made I would have been given to my adopted family for good. I went back home and back to school and was that weird kid who got taken from school by the cops (probably arrested). This teacher was one of many who were my sole source of support at those times in my life when family and the system just totally sucked!

    There are more teachers who have done many kindnesses to me but I am whipped out now. I guess that kinda opened a door to some old memories smile

  9. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 13 years ago

    kirsten, what a memory, I can almost feel that teachers anguish.
    I have spent the last 14 years teachers pre-kindergarten age children and the influence teachers have on children is amazing.

    it's hard not to get too close to some of the kids, usually the ones that need extra attention. it is hard to learn the letter sounds, and how to write and sometimes the kids get frustrated. I wouldn't ever make them feel bad or wouldn't allow other kids to make fun of someone who was having difficulty. if someone was having a problem, I taught them to ask for help instead of saying, 'I can't do this.'

    this past year, I met one of my previous students at a farmers market. she was 8. it sparked so many memories for her that she started crying and hugging me saying she thought about me so much... she walked around with me until I left. I see former students when I'm out in the community. some of them tell me they're going to be teachers when they grow up...  it's a very rewarding, tough career, even more difficult now because of constant stress in families.

    contrary to what we often hear in the media, there are more fantastic teachers than the ones who chose the wrong profession. smile

    1. Sab Oh profile image56
      Sab Ohposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      " there are more fantastic teachers than the ones who chose the wrong profession"

      But not by much

  10. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 13 years ago

    TK, you cannot prove that and it's simply not true. end of conversation.

    1. Sab Oh profile image56
      Sab Ohposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      (again ingnoring whatever cute little code I don't seem to be privy to here - confusing)

      You realize that empty comment could be turned back on you, right?

  11. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 13 years ago

    my statement is not empty at all. yours is just your opinion. have you spent your career in the education field? are you a teacher or administrator?

    until you've worked in the field, been a teacher, you simply can't make such an assumption. teachers are some of the most dedicated, hard working, compassionate people I know.  they dig into their own pockets to buy supplies or special materials, donate $ and needed clothing or food for families with difficult circumstances because they want to. they think about those students who need extra help or are going through tough times at homes. they worry that some need extra help and they can't give it because of time restrictions. they are often the only one who will listen to a particular student that everyone else has given up on, including their parents. they take work home because there just isn't enough time during the day to get it done. it's part of the job. or they work on special committees and projects.

    teachers have bad days like any other human. they don't like to miss work because you never know what kind of substitute may be in your class. they want the best for their students, even though working under difficult conditions and expectations.
    there are parents who blame teachers for everything. teachers have to deal not only with students, administrators, but parents as well.
    and yes, there are some bad teachers like there are bad CEO's, bad doctors, bad accountants, bad assembly line workers, on and on....

    there are more fantastic teachers than there are the opposite.
    I've seen them and worked with them.

    1. Sab Oh profile image56
      Sab Ohposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      "have you spent your career in the education field? "


    2. Sab Oh profile image56
      Sab Ohposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      "there are more fantastic teachers than there are the opposite."

      Not by much

  12. cheaptrick profile image72
    cheaptrickposted 13 years ago

    I had a physics professor I used to go drinking with.One night[after a few Heinekens]we were discussing the point at which matter is created from nothing.I was writing on napkins and anything else I could get my hands on to work the problem.It was not resolved.I went home and worked it for a looong time till the math made sense.I called him at three in the morning with the answer all proud like.I thought I was the first to figure it out[visions of the Noble Prize].he laughed and said"there are fifteen thousand people ahead of you".now I hate Physics AND Heinekens for some strange reason....

  13. profile image0
    girly_girl09posted 13 years ago

    I have had lots of wonderful teachers and professors. I'm especially thankful for the ones I had in grade school as they gave me confidence for future learning endeavors.

    In college, I've only had one professor that caused me issues. She gave me a C- on an almost perfectly written paper. I confronted her about it and eventually had to go over her head. The board agreed that my paper was an A-. Because of that professor, I always check and see how my professor is registered to vote. I know that is crazy, but I like to know whether or not my views will be appreciated in the class. It's not that I'd change my views to suit the professor, rather I wouldn't be quite as opinionated. However, I have also been delighted to have had a few liberal professors that enjoyed what I brought to discussions and I made sure to tell them how much I appreciated their classes and respect.

    Some of the ones that didn't agree with me, but challenged my views in a RESPECTFUL manner are my favorites! I was really thankful to have a great prof in one of my history classes. He thought FDR was just the greatest and I told him that I simply couldn't agree and that my thesis couldn't reflect that. We had great class discussions and I think we BOTH learned a lot that semester.

    Overall, I'm absolutely crazy about and indebted to my past, present and future teachers and professors!

    1. nadp profile image75
      nadpposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      It's so great to know that most experiences have been positive ones.  Very gratifying!


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