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Monday, February 15, 2010

What Do Students Remember about teachers?

From the "Gladly Would I Teach" blog:

What Do Students Remember about teachers?

Posted in General on 15.02.10

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For the past two days, I have written about the loss of a good friend and inspirational teacher. I suspect I should write about a different topic today, but as most people can understand, most of my thoughts right now center around Ed and his students.

Ed’s facebook memorial page now includes over 850 members, and hundreds of current and former students have written beautiful notes to and about Ed. These notes are indicative of the true measure of a teacher. While education experts emphasize curriculum, instruction, and skills needed to pass state tests, the poignant notes on Ed’s memorial page illustrate that a teacher’s personality, compassion, and interest in students are the traits that students most remember.

What do Ed’s students in the past four decades remember about Ed?

  • He loved students, encouraged them, and believed in them even when they did not believe in themselves.
  • He had high expectations for himself and for others and never hesitated to correct them when he thought they were slacking off.
  • He loved his subject (drama, literature, and music) and was enthusiastic in sharing that love with students.
  • He gave the best hugs of all time! One person wrote, “When Mr. Deavers hugged it… was as if he was hugging your soul, he hugged as hard as he could and even though you probably couldn’t breathe, it was a good suffocation.”
  • He often stayed in touch with students even years after they left his classroom.
  • Ed had an infectious sense of humor.
  • He emphasized academics and required students to remembrer what they had learned. One student wrote about how Ed required students to recite famous passages from Julius Caesar whenever he pointed at them – in class, in the cafeteria, at a basketball game, etc.
  • He was an enthusiastic learner and reader.
  • In addition to being a memorable teacher, he was a wonderful friend to students.

One student who took Ed’s class over twenty years ago wrote, “Ed always said that he had to work harder than others because he would have a shortened life [because of Type I Diabetes].”

While Ed did indeed have a shortened life, oh, how he lived!

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