How Teachers Got Inspired By Their Teachers – Alexandra blogs

When I was in 10th grade, I had a U.S. History teacher named Ellis Howard.  This class was a requirement, and I was prepared to be bored for an hour every day.  When I first entered Mr. Howard’s class, I was sure my suspicions were confirmed.  He was older, wore a stuffy suit and tie and looked very serious.  I am sure from his perspective, we were a bunch of rowdy, young teenagers who had little interest in learning anything except who had the newest stone-washed Jordache jeans (it was the 80s after all).

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I was always a pretty good student.  I was what I call a coaster.  I got decent grades with minimal effort.  I would complete and turn in my assignments, but I often started and completed them the night (or hours) before they were due.  I could learn information and pass a test by reading textbooks and listening to lectures.  Having classes incorporate movement, music, hands-on or virtual experiences was unheard of at the time.

At some point I learned that Mr. Howard wanted a student assistant to help with filing, making copies, and helping prepare his lessons.  I got the position and would stay after school twice a week for an hour to help out.  This is what changed my life because I realized the amount of work that Mr. Howard put into each hour-long lesson.  I saw him struggle to find other resources beyond just our text book. He would ask for my ideas on how to make lessons more interesting and he taught me why we need to appreciate history.

Had I never been his assistant, I doubt I would have become a teacher. Before Mr. Howard, I didn’t really see teachers as people just obstacles to my free time. I didn’t appreciate their dedication, their senses of humor, their patience, and their compassion.

I wish Mr. Howard was a teacher today.  He would have embraced new technology from SMART.  He would love SMART Response and the ease of creating assessments, scoring and recording the results.  He would have created SMART Notebook lessons with interactive tools.  He would have used the SMART recorder to demonstrate what he wanted us to do.

Mr. Howard was a wonderful teacher and I was blessed to know him.  He has passed away, but his legacy lives on with me.

Alexandra Vick, Kindergarten Teacher at Eagle Nest Elementary in the UK

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