If we can all agree that we got here now today thanks to the support of friends and loved ones I think we can also agree that it is also thanks to people who have motivated us.
One of my favorite teachers whom I’m grateful to is a man named Mr. Phil McGreevy. For some reason when I was going into high school I was told there was an experimental math class where ‘bright’ students were going to be experimented on. Like little hamsters. I still consider myself to be lucky that I was chosen to be in this class because the 24 of us had the honor of having the same students with the same teachers for the four years of high school.
Consistency, Relevancy and Going the Extra Mile.
Mr. McGreevy was a great teacher for so many reasons but mostly because he took the time to slowly explain everything from the start to the end. I always felt I could ask him at any time any question with out him getting angry. I loved the way he wrote on the blackboard because he had nice writing. He was consistent because he did things like draw squares around the answers. He also seemed to choose relevant homework.
Even though I had him for four years I remember one day when he asked who was interested in getting straight As – he was offering a Saturday workshop. Like most of my students they’d LOVE to have straight As but for various reasons their grades are all over the board. Most of them do follow what Mr. McGreevy called the Bell curve where he demonstrated that most students lie somewhere in the middle. I always wanted to be one of the students with the As. Maybe if I just did that little bit extra it would pay off.
Pay attention ~ here’s the key.
I attended his class and after doing various exercises and reading he got to the point of the argument. He said,
If you want to get straight As then all you have to do is develop a love for learning.
I was shocked. I was little bit disappointed because I thought he was going to give me the answers to that Friday’s test. I had to love learning?
Who loves learning? We only went to school because we had to. Love learning. That was the key. He was right. I don’t care how many times my mother could tell me about the starving children in Africa who didn’t have shoes or school it still didn’t make me want to study.
I don’t actually remember doing homework although I do remember it was assigned. I’m pretty certain I did it either during another class or before the class started. I’ll have to check with my classmates on that one.
I do agree that the key to learning is to develop a love for learning. I since have gone on to become a teacher. I found something even more important and that is the love of teaching. I truly love being infront of the kids and seeing them smile. I feel like it is an enormous privilege and honor to have this responsibility. I try to do my best with it.
One day I’m going to retire from teaching and just be an American living in Italy with her family and garden. God willing. In the mean time, I’m going to love learning.