The Progress for Getting a Better Teacher for English
Entering a new school in a new distinct was hard. The environment from where I lived and went to school was different. The new school was located in Downtown Portland, Maine, but this was an exciting change. Meeting new people and finally getting out of middle school was great until I started English class. My English teacher was male, tall, scrawny and had curly brown hair. My expectations for him went from high to never expecting to learn anything in English class. English was always my hardest subject in school, and I thought going into high school would help my writing grow and improve, but it didn’t.
For the type of student, who loves to talk all class, and doesn’t want to learn anything, he is the teacher for them. We talked about so many different topics that had nothing to do with English, including sex, drugs and his life. He told us the difference between getting drunk on beer and getting drunk on wine. We started a book called The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier during the mid-year of school and never finished it. Instead of assigning the reading for homework, he made us read out loud. During this time, he was grading us based on if we read in class or not. If you did not read in class, you failed for the day. This was hard because the amount of time we had for class was never enough for everyone to read.
My grade only included participation, attitude and attendance. All of my short-answer questions, essays and reading was never incorporated into my grades. My hard work was never acknowledged by my own English teacher. However, freshman year was about to end, and we were starting to pick new classes. My English teacher did not request for me to move up to the Honors class, which was disappointing because I did not want him again for next year, and I wanted a challenge. Instead of taking the college prep class that was recommended, I went to my guidance counselor and asked if I could go into Honors English. He didn’t hesitate to say “yes” and made it happen for me. My guidance counselor will only approve classes that were challenging for me, if there was a point where I wanted to give up he wouldn’t let me do so.
Taking the challenge of entering a higher level class was the best thing that I could have ever done. This class was different from the class I took freshman year, we started out with having to read The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger during the summer. We took time to go over the book, discussed and wrote an essays about the book. By the end of the year, we probably read about a dozen books. Every book that we read, we always went over it, discussed it and wrote at least one essay about the book. Not only that but we also went over vocabulary, the short sentences and questions for the SATs. We were more productive in my sophomore year English class than we were in my freshman year English class.
Not only the materials were different, the teacher was also different. My new English teacher was a part-time teacher, but would always make time for her students if we needed help. She was petite, had grey hair and there was always a smile on her face when she sees her students. She was patient with her students when they were struggling on parts of their writing. Her assignments were challenging, but she was willing to help the students get started on it. She greeted us every morning before class, and knew us all individually. We were not just a number in her attendances booklet.
In addition, my writing was improving throughout the year. I received my first essay with tons of red ink. My face was bright red and I was filled with embarrassment. Seeing so many red marks on my paper I assumed that I was getting a bad grade. However, the marks were not all negative, there were also positive feedback. I had many issues with my first essay because I did not have punctuations where it was needed, I was having different tenses and there were no transitions between my paragraphs. As the school year went on, the red marks of negative feedback became less and less. There were still minor issues here and there, but by the end of the year, I had finally developed a well written essay.
Along with reading and writing better I also learned that to grow in a difficult subject, you need to take matters into your own hands and take the challenge. If you don’t, you will be stuck dealing with the same problem as before. It may not be easy taking the challenge or changing into a different class, but it will be worth it at the end. If I was too scared to take the challenge, I would be stuck with my problems unsolved. My writing would have not improve and my troubles would be even more worst than before. You never know unless you try.