Saturday, May 2, 2009


Well, we're getting down to the wire with school. I'm T minus 10 days from the end of the semester and this morning I finally finished my final project for my Technical Communication class (18 pages later). Have you ever had a teacher that changed your life? Either your outlook on life, or really impacted you as a person? I have.

My 7th grade science teacher, Mr. Carson was the single most caring and wonderful teacher I've ever known... he made me care about science when I would have rather not. He was the kind of teacher that made you want to do well just to make him proud. I worked my butt of for him and I ended up with a 97% in that class. My little brother Hayden had him too years later... great teacher. (And sadly, Mr. Carson has been battling cancer the past few years... God I love that man.)

Then my high school junior year History teacher, Mr. Asher, was a Veteran and ran his class like it was the military. You stood for the Pledge of Allegiance out of respect, even if you didn't say it, his classroom walls were bare, and he spoke all of his lectures without the use of the whiteboard, like so many teachers did (I think I got carpal tunnel from the dozens of notebooks I filled with notes from that class). He gave out a list of criteria that told you exactly what grade you would earn if you put in the work. Every single person had the option of getting an A if they did the "A" work. (I got an A, heh). Then he told a story of being shot down in Vietnam during a school assembly honoring Veteran's and I cried my little eyeballs out. (The man still sets off metal detectors because of the metal in his leg that put it back together.)

And now, my sophomore year of college I take what is undoubtedly one of my least-favorite classes... Technical Communication, but where I am blessed to have an instructor who is worth learning from. Throughout high school and college when I'd get my papers returned to me, there would be the obvious corrections: capitalization errors, comma splices, etc. But Dr. Battalio is one of the most knowledgeable English teachers (or people, with regard to our native language) I've ever met. He has taught me things I have literally never learned from anyone else in my 14+ years of prior schooling. I have a rough time with people using poor grammar and spelling as it is, even though I often do it myself. But this teacher has actually changed the way I think about my future. Instead of complaining about the grammar habits of my peers, why not do my part to change future generations' grammar faux pas'? (ML, did you ever figure out how you ACTUALLY pluralize 'faux pas'? Haha!) Guess what? I'm going to get an A in this class too... do we see a trend with good teachers???

So, thanks to yet another teacher changing my outlook on life, I have decided to change my degree's emphasis (from English with an emphasis in writing) to English with an emphasis in teaching (with the goal of being an English teacher in a few years...). If "you can't fix stupid", I might as well try my hand at preventing 'stupid' in the first place.


  1. Good for you! It really is SO important the way teachers interact with their students. If a teacher is burned out, a student will know it. You would be a GREAT teacher! Yay for those A's and keep it up!!! (And no, I never did figure out how to pluralize faux pas!)

  2. This blog made me cry! I hope these few teachers that made an impact on your life will read what you've said about them. This is a very great tribute to them and to all good teachers everywhere. When you DO find a good teacher, it makes the whole learning process seem so much easier, especially if taught in a kind and honest way. Way to go, Sydney!! Congratualtions on choosing a career path to help prevent "stupid" out there!! Papa will be so proud!!!!!

  3. I still love Mr. Carson too :) I get to see him occasionally at LCHS basketball games and he puts a smile on my face every time. It's so funny that I had both teachers in the exact same classes five years later and came away with the same feelings from them. Another teacher of note, in my experience at least, was Mr. Scanlon- senior Government. After taking PoliSci this year I emailed him copies of all the tests I took- to prove that his class was more challenging than this college level class. :)

  4. If my French is coming back like it should be, "faux pas" is singular and plural! I will check with my French speaking friend to be sure!

  5. That is so great!! Good for you for following your heart and doing what moves you. I think you'd make an awesome teacher, especially just judging by the respect you have for others who made an impact on you. Plus I'm just glad someone wants to help prevent any more stupid in this world!! :-) It's neat that, even in a class you don't particularly enjoy, you can come out with a good result. (Glad that paper's done too!)