Teachers still make a difference without a budget

Editor’s Note: This piece is a personal reflection which serves as a continuation of a series exploring the state of education without an state budget.

Veronica Romanelli is a 10th grade student at Meyers High School. She is a hip hop and ballroom dancer at Cooper Dance Academy. Aside from writing and dancing, Veronica’s hobbies include eating pizza and dog walking.

For 10 months a year, five days a week, and roughly six hours a day, parents and guardians everywhere trust a bundle of adults to take care of their children and teach them all they need to know.

At least one thing about every teacher I’ve ever had has stuck with me, whether the memories are fond or negative is almost entirely up to them. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a copious amount of phenomenal teachers who have influenced me greatly, but I’ve also had to learn to take the good with the bad.

I’ve noticed that no matter who the student is, nobody thrives when a teacher is constantly putting him or her down. In eighth grade, my class had to do a project on what we wanted to be when we grew up. My teacher went around the room asking us what we might be interested in for the future, and when I told him I’d like to dance, he immediately shot the idea down and told me I “might want to choose something more realistic.”

An article from edutopia.org states, “A painful few educators regularly appear bored with their subject material, lecture constantly instead of engaging students in intellectual conversation, or even seem to specialize in classroom put-downs.”

These types of teachers have been the worst to deal with in my experience.  I had this teacher who would gossip about students and tell kids in the class that their questions were dumb, so it didn’t take long for the whole class to stop asking questions altogether.

While I’ve dealt with negativity from teachers, there are also many who have made a positive impact. I had a teacher in seventh grade who was all about making our school and the world a better place. Three years after being in her class, I still visit her classroom every day. Passingthebaton. org lists investment as one of the top five ways for teachers to make a positive difference, and this teacher is definitely invested in her students. She’s the first to say something whenever a kid is being bullied. Her door is always open for anyone who is having a rough day and just needs to talk. Her caring nature reminds me how important it is to be a good person.

Last year, I became too overwhelmed with the pressure I felt at school, so I started cyber schooling. I went back to public school this year, and after a while, began to feel it was a big mistake. I almost made the decision to return to cyber, but the person who kept me in school was my English teacher.

I knew that if I left, I’d miss his class too much. I have never seen a teacher care as much as he does, and it makes such a big difference. He has such a positive attitude, and doesn’t make his students feel bad if they mess up.

Writing about teachers, The Itawamba County Times writes, “I’m sure there were many times they had absolutely no idea that what they were saying or doing before a classroom of students would have the effect that it did,” and I’m sure this is true.

I bet he didn’t tell me my paper was a masterpiece and underline part of it in three different colored pens because he knew I’d beam to my family about it, but that’s what happened.

He treats all of his students with respect, and it’s refreshing to see that he actually cares.

I will always be grateful for the remarkable teachers I’ve had the privilege of learning from.