Sophomore Year, Thus Far

It’s been great to be back at college. I can see friends on a regular basis, engage my mind, and always have something to do (although that can be an overwhelming problem as well).

I’m only taking four classes this semester since I took one over the summer to even it out. I primarily did this because of my increased responsibilities.

I’m living at one of the local fire stations this year, so there are some terms to follow. One of them is becoming current with my training as a firefighter, so the classes I’m taking to accomplish that are very time consuming. Overall, it’s not too bad though. I’m going to end up graduating college with little to no debt, a reality that most people envy.

My classes are intimidating, particularly Accounting and American Legal Environment. I feel as if I’ll struggle with them the most, but that I’ll still do well. I’m forming more study groups this year to branch out. I’m usually the lone wolf kind of guy, which has worked plenty of times, but I believe group work will be just as beneficial in terms of studying for exams.

My new leadership positions are thriving, which I’m ecstatic about. Improv has seen an increase in membership, and I’ve got talented people with amazing ideas to make it better than before.

The weeks are passing by too quickly though, or so it seems. That’s not a huge problem, but it’s quite overwhelming when my schedule is packed to the brim with things.

It’s still early, but I’m confident that this year will lead to great things. The optimist in me is sure of it.

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My Thoughts on an Outstanding Teacher

While cleaning my room several days ago, I rediscovered an essay that I wrote in 9th grade with my thoughts on what makes an outstanding teacher. So, I’ve decided to post it, regardless of the horrible writing that defined my adolescence, as is. I still can’t believe I got an A on this, but here goes:

I believe that the most important quality of an outstanding teacher is understanding. A teacher must be able to understand everyone around him or her. Whether it is students, fellow teachers, or administrative personnel, a teacher must be able to adapt to each environment equally and without pause. This switch must be immediate and demonstrative within each situation. When I say understanding, an outstanding teacher must be able to relate to any individual, and in any situation.
A key element in understanding is the ability to communicate with others. A teacher must be able to speak clearly and precisely. Another important quality is the ability to listen and actually hear what is being said. The ability to think about appropriate responses and to word those responses in the appropriate manner is an imperative tool for an outstanding teacher. They should also be able to tell the difference when privacy is warranted, or when it needs to be breached, for the safety of his or her students.
An outstanding teacher should also be very charismatic. They should be able to command the attention of their audience, the students. They must also be able to maintain that attention once it is gained. The ability to captivate an audience is vital. The primary goal of a teacher is to reach their students, but best way to do that is to be able to hold the students’ attention. An outstanding teacher should be able to both give and receive respect. I am a firm believer in giving respect in order to get respect back.
An outstanding teacher should be very knowledgeable in their subject matter too. The teacher should know the material prior to teaching it, and be well informed. Understanding what goes on within the classroom and how to approach the subject matter are both intuitive in dealing with students. However, an outstanding teacher would not be afraid to admit if they’re wrong, and should have the capabilities to apologize and fix mistakes when necessary. I feel as if these are some of the most important aspects of an outstanding teacher. But, there is no limit to the amount of qualities an outstanding teacher should possess. Above all else, and outstanding teacher should be able to adapt to any situation and should be able to make that situation work for their students.

Whew, I’m glad that I’ve learned how to write better essays since then. Teachers have been some of my greatest role models in my life so far, the qualities I listed were the ones that made me admire them. Never underestimate the sacrifices they perform and their importance in the world, we’d all be less knowledgeable without them.