I probably learned the most from my sixth grade teachers in math/social studies and English. In math, we had to master the 12-times table..or flunk the class, regardless how well you did on tests, etc. In social studies (same teacher), we had to identify each South American country. In English, we had to memorize the Gettsyburg Address. I thought about this when I see high school students today unable to answer multiplication questions even though five-times tables. They need a calculator.
English teacher says I compose my best papers when writing about sports. It made me feel comfortable about writing.
Thanks to encouragement from my high-school newspaper teacher, I had my first published story for public consumption in high school. This paved the way for a future career.
As a reporter, I talked to coaches a lot, not just about sports. One of the things I learned is that it does not matter if a student is college bound or headed to the work force. Higher education is not for everyone. All schools want to do is develop productive citizens.
The DOE creates 2.0 eligibility rule for students taking part in extra-curricular activities. Coaches told me they liked the rule because it forces students to effort in their studies. What they objected to was the DOE provided no alternative for failing students. It did not offer tutoring or anything. So those kids fell through the cracks and continued to fail in school
Calling students by what they want to be identified with. Some do not like the legal name on the school roster. "Don't call me Victorialyn; call me Tori."
I could not understand why this student needed an IEP. She was a model student in my class. She went as far as to help another student struggling in the class without me having to tell her. First sign of compassion I witnessed as a teacher.
I had a special needs student with minor physical defects. Other students would not engage with him. Except this one boy - not the greatest student, as he would not complete his assignments, but did not make trouble. One day, this special boys just said out of the blue to no one in particular that he was hungry. The other boy, the only one who would engage with this special boy, gave him his bag of chips. He could've opened the bag and offer the other boy some, but he gave him the whole bag. I was stunned by this compassion.