by Mari McKee
How a teacher inspires students
|as with every other beginning,
she never ceases to be amazed at the perfect staccato
of seemingly flying fingers
which always brought to mind
woodpeckers hard at work,
their texting hundreds of words with perfection
until she closed the door more than firmly.
she looked upon the dull, the excited, the sleepy, the fleeting gazes
as she told them that visible cell phones
would be confiscated immediately,
only to be returned by the Dean of Student Affairs,
as they glanced at one another. Informing them she could read lips,
her title of “the bitch” ceased quickly.
And thus began the art and skill of imparting knowledge
to those who were receptive and eager.
the fact that students remember very little academia
five years after university causes her to throw
the gauntlet down in challenge. They would remember her with either hate
or respect and would use her imparted knowledge daily.
having all students stand, give their names,
and anything they wanted to impart about themselves,
her first test was to have the class recite
each student’s name in harmony.
praise at this exercise the first day,
gave them the feeling of accomplishment.
continuing to praise them daily,
she wrote inspiring words with smiley faces on their papers.
regaling them with personal pertinent stories that related to their studies,
she elicited every human emotion within them.
There were soon volumtary study groups and she taught them
that reciprocal teaching and learning
while she taught needed curriculum,
students taught her invaluable life lessons.
she listened to everything they complained about or confided or confessed to her.
race, gender, ethnicity, religion and culture made each beautifully unique
but they were all the same in finding pride in work well done, with individual praise
in the classroom, conquering subject matter,
bringing them closer to their goals.
she learned long ago that listening
was just as important as talking,
that lecturing doomed many to failure,
that constant praise no matter the grade,
all made students want to succeed.
This is what made her The Teacher.