A Teacher’s Challenge

Jessica - Peoria, Arizona
Entered on October 23, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Have you ever had a teacher who changed the whole way you looked at school? I have always looked at school as something that just taught me useless information that I would never use later on in life. That is, until I met Mr. Redlin. He changed the whole way I look at my schooling career. I do not just come to necessarily learn about the things in my class, but I have discovered, through the friendship of my teacher, that there are many things to learn at school other than the information being presented. I now come to school knowing that if I am willing to work hard, I will acquire such things as responsibility, motivation, and direction. All of these things will not only help me in my schooling career, but also all throughout the rest of my life. I believe that a good teacher can make a world of difference.

The first time I met Mr. Redlin I was feeling overwhelmed from my earlier classes in the day. I came in and sat down in his class just hoping that my day would be over soon. Being the first day of my junior year, there were so many things going on in my head, but sitting in his class and listening to another lecture about all the things we were going to have to do in his class was not what I wanted to do. To my surprise, this is not how things went in his class. He was full of energy and really seemed to have a passion for what he was teaching in my class. What and how he talked about the things we would be learning actually sounded like I might enjoy his class. I began to really listen to the things he was saying. I knew that by the end of his class I now had a reason to work hard in school. I began to see that he genuinely wanted us to have fun and work hard at the same time.

Because of Mr. Redlin’s enthusiasm, I decided to go visit him during his office hours to connect in a one on one environment and get to know him on a more personal level. After talking for a little bit, he came to discover that I honestly thought that school was a waste of my time because half of what I was learning I would never use later on in life. I do not know why, but for whatever reason, it seemed that Mr. Redlin decided he was going to challenge me to discover the many different things that I was going to learn at school that would help me later in life. How he was going to do that was something I soon found out.

During the next couple of weeks of school Mr. Redlin kept asking me if I had been turning my homework in on time in my other classes. I kept telling him yes, and then, I finally asked him after class one day why he kept asking me that. He simply told me that he wanted me to notice that by meeting those homework deadlines I was training myself to be responsible. Then he asked me to think about if being responsible was something important later on in life. I realized in that moment that there were other things to learn at school than the obvious of what my teachers were teaching me.

This realization challenged me to look for other things I had learned or was learning at school that could help me throughout my life. I soon discovered that I found motivation through the challenges brought about by Mr. Redlin. Because of my respect for him, I took on his challenges which were simply to work hard in his class. This hard work rewarded me with high grades which motivated me to keep working hard not, only in Mr. Redlin’s class, but in my others as well. I discovered on my own that he provided direction for me as a student. He helped me to connect the material I was learning in class to life in the real world. Without his guidance I would not have discovered the many different things that school could provide for me other than what the teachers were obviously teaching me.

Now I enjoy going to school, and I owe it all to one teacher who took an interest in my career as a student. Because of Mr. Redlin’s friendship I was shown the many different things to learn from school other then what you hear the teachers teach. Because of him taking the time to show me these things it has made a change not only in my attitude towards school, but also my life. If everyone had a teacher that took an interest in their life like Mr. Redlin did in my life we would all enjoy school. That is why I believe a good teacher can make a world of difference.