Even the greatest of teachers don't work for everyone. You might not realize it, but every teacher adopts a specific style, sometimes without even knowing it. Some teachers are more aggressive (those of you who have seen the Academy Award nominated Whiplash will have seen a rather extreme example of this style!), while others are laid back, and a few are akin to a cheerleader.
I'm sure every student has heard about a teacher that few like and become nervous when seeing that said teacher is on the schedule. However, I'll also bet that many students have found out they end up liking the supposedly "difficult" instructor -this happened to me a number of times in college. The opposite occurs, as well. There will be a beloved teacher that some students just don't click with and they end up wondering why it didn't work out.
Why Is This?
It's for the same reason that we all have different interests, different friends, different strengths, and different weaknesses. None of us is hardwired in exactly the same manner so we end up experiencing life differently. After teaching SAT, ACT, and English for over three years, I have seen how each student has his or her own unique way of learning. There are certain teachers who work better with visual learners, and some who work better with auditory learners. Some students need a teacher that will really get on their case, while others need a teacher who pats them on the back and tells them they're doing a great job (that's usually me).
It's worth taking some time to consider what type of student you are and what type of teacher is your ideal for your education. Don't shortchange yourself and think, I want the one that gives no homework! Consider what type of teacher will push you and allow you to grow and succeed. This will become a large issue in college, because in college, and even when choosing colleges, you will find that certain teachers and departments are more to your taste.
When I was in college, I took a professor four times even though he was outside of my major. His approach in the classroom was lively, challenging, and respectful of the students' intelligence. I'd still take classes with him now, if I could. I also had a professor who came highly recommended and, while he was good, he wasn't too my taste and I did not find myself getting too much out of the class.
Once you know what type of teacher you work best with, you can start seeking those teachers out. Do you know you get lazy? Pick a teacher who is going to challenge you. Do you know you work best with positive reinforcement? Pick a teacher who has an optimistic attitude. Do you want a teacher who allows for a lot of class discussion? Pick a teacher whose approach is more democratic.
For every student there is a perfect teacher, and the right teaching style. As you reach the end of high school and begin considering colleges, it's important to recognize how you prosper because you're going to have more and more control over who you get as a teacher.
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