This I Believe

Tyler - 11598, New York
Entered on September 1, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Have you ever sat in class extremely bored, not listening to a thing your teacher is saying? You hear his/her mono-tone voice carrying on, yet you find yourself doodling in your notebook, not paying attention. Anybody can be knowledgeable about a given subject but it takes a separate skill to then be able to take that knowledge and teach students while inspiring them to want to learn more. I believe that it is more important for teachers to find a way to connect with their students rather than just being experts in their given subject.

I believe that it is the teacher’s responsibility to make students want to come to their class every day. If it’s not the material that grabs their attention, I believe it’s the teacher who should. With so many classes offered at Syracuse University, it is important for teachers to make their class stand out. What is it about any given class that would interest a student to enroll in it? Teaching is about going above and beyond to connect with students enabling them to learn more.

Though many students are always eager to learn, there is always going to be a percentage of students who don’t care about the class they are in and have no interest in the material. It is these students who teachers must strive to inspire. Though every student is going to be different and have his/her own way of learning, there are always those given techniques that can connect almost all students. I believe one of the greatest ways to connect with students is through the use of enthusiasm and humor.

An example of a teacher who has found tremendous success in using humor and enthusiasm to drive his class lectures is Professor Laurence Thomas. Professor Thomas is a philosophy teacher here at Syracuse University. The class he teaches is Philosophy 191: Ethics and Value Theory. Though philosophy may be interesting to some, this class is not the typical class that would attract hundreds of students every semester. The motivator that packs Grant Auditorium every class lecture with students is Professor Thomas. Using comedy, music, and a lot of enthusiasm, Professor Thomas is able to entertain students while teaching them about the course and enticing them to learn more. It is teachers like Professor Thomas who understand what it takes to be a successful educator.

It’s easier for students to learn when they feel at ease and are comfortable with their teacher. Something as simple as telling a joke to begin every class lecture, sets the mood in the room enabling students to feel more relaxed and ready to learn. You can be the most brilliant and qualified teacher whom has every degree known to mankind, but if you can’t connect with your students it all goes to waste. The real brilliant teacher is someone who is able to combine their knowledge with the skills necessary in connecting with their students, to create a relaxed and enjoyable classroom environment where students can strive for success.