Online Exclusive: Teachers draw inspiration from students, motivations


Elliot Wang, News Editor

Teachers are an integral part of the school’s education system. They instruct, educate, and assist the students to the greatest of their ability. Often students have been inspired by teachers because of certain characteristics that they admire about them, such as determination and a willingness to work through obstacles. Conversely, students can also inspire teachers through their own admirable characteristics.

Music teacher Carolyn Herman is inspired by student growth. “There’s been a lot of students who I have really enjoyed knowing over the years, and that’s one of the great things about being a music teacher is that I get to know students often for four years and see them grow and develop into the young adults that they’re going to be, and it is often inspiring to see that change happen and be involved in it,” Herman said.

One particular student made an impact on Herman “one of the students I taught when I was at Churchill, is now a professional broadway actor. Also in my first three years of teaching I had an oboe player who is playing professionally now but a lot of students even when they don’t go on to be musicians are still great human beings.”

The challenges of students’ lives also inspires Herman. Herman said, “one young man who I found very inspiring had a really challenging time in high school. He actually was in foster care for a while, and he wasn’t living with his family, and he still managed to get great grades and practice his instrument and and be involved in sports and has gone on to be a very successful adult. He’s very inspiring that he was able to deal with his personal challenges and yet still be super successful. Everybody has  issues they have to deal with and some figure out how to deal with them earlier [but ultimately] they’re all inspiring in different ways,” Herman said.

English teacher Dominique Parker stated a similar story to Herman’s, as it also spoke of a student’s struggle to overcome the specific difficulties in their lives. Parker said, “I think he represents a kind of student. He was a student in my inclusion eleventh grade class, that means it’s co-taught with a special educator. And he was a student with very severe dyslexia, which made reading and writing incredibly hard for him, and he was an excellent student in terms of succeeding academically. … What impressed me and inspired me was how much work he was willing to put in to get a desired result.”

Mathematics teacher Christopher Tucker said that he found students who worked through difficulties inspiring. Tucker said, “[Certain students have] had some tragic life experience happen to them [such as the] loss of a parent, and then they’ve kept on forging forward. Working, keeping on going with life in spite of the fact that they’ve just had some real rough circumstances happen to them, and I always find that encouraging because it’s just such an easy temptation to just give up when something really difficult like that happens, and that’s the case at any age, frankly.”