Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Greatest Teachers

Why did you decide to become a teacher?

My personal answer is multifaceted, but I have to give a lot of credit to an excellent teacher I had. He taught me how to think past the text book, define and defend my position, and to love history for the dynamic and ever-changing story that it is.

Jeffrey Eugenides' best-selling, Pulitzer prize-winning, and masterful work Middlesex also describes and excellent teacher. The description makes me appreciate the impact that our greatest teachers can make. A real person, with strengths and weaknesses, that relates to and respects students despite the age gap. Educated but not a know-it-all. Verbose but also a listener.

Can't you just see yourself loving Mr. da Silva's class?
He was a great teacher, Mr. da Silva. He treated us with complete seriousness, as if we eighth graders, during fifth period, might settle something scholars had been arguing about for centuries. He listened to our chirping, his hairline pressing down on his eyes. When he spoke himself, it was in complete paragraphs. If you listened closely it was possible to hear the dashes and commas in his speech, even the colons and semicolons. Mr. da Silva had a relevant quotation for everything that happened to him and in this way evaded real life. Instead of eating his lunch. he told you what Oblonsky and Levin had for lunch in Anna Karenina. Or, describing a sunset from Daniel Deronda, he failed to notice the one that was presently falling over Michigan.
Q. What did you love most about your favorite teacher?

I invite you to contribute by sending in questions, personal stories, thoughts, and articles about substitute teaching. Thanks for stopping by.

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