If we could ask some students to reveal their experiences in the classroom, we would surely find some –victims of unprofessional or poorly trained teachers without vocation– who would be bored, feeling trapped in a system that fills them with irrelevant data and keeps them tied to their desks, as if they were ballasts.
On the other extreme, we would find those who are enjoying learning and whose teachers inspire, encourage and commit to giving their best. We would like to talk about these.
If we look into our memory, we will easily find the features and glances of these exemplary teachers. We will see that thin woman with dark brown skin that emphasized our advances and made us feel capable, powerful, unique.
We will also recognize the gray-haired, mustachioed professor with such a jovial and enthusiastic personality that he seemed to have twice as much the energy as any of us. And what about the ones who combined sweetness and rigor, challenging us to go further and further by using that “innocent” question: Does this work reflect your greatest effort?
They will live forever in us, those who managed to get us so excited with a reading that today we have a pile of books on the bedside table; or those who managed to explain the force and velocity after experiencing the vertigo caused by a rollercoaster. And of course, those who have lent us a hand after a fall or showed us the importance of congruence and generosity through their testimony.
Good teachers are distinguished because they accompany, advise, strengthen and guide their students. They teach, with their example, that life is a great gift, and that it deserves to be lived with passion. They work knowing that each student – regardless of their particular abilities – has the necessary tools to build their own knowledge and be better day by day.
We celebrate and thank these great teachers who recognize a perfect work of God in each person, and in their mission of bringing art and science, and have the enormous opportunity to lead others to discover and appreciate the greatness of the world that has been commissioned to us.