Did You Ever Have A Teacher Show A Personal Interest In You?

Discussion in 'Education & Learning' started by Lon Tanner, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. James Hintze

    James Hintze Very Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2020
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    I grew up in a small town. My graduating class was something like 27. All off the teachers knew all of the parents and students in the other grades. So yes, we all felt that we were somehow treated personally. What comes back to me, however, is a professor in my second (and third and fourth) year at the university.

    How I landed in his class: I had planned on a major of physics, chemistry, or math. I passed my freshman math and chemistry classes, but certainly not at the top of the classes. I had a hard time settling in to do the homework. Something just didn't click. As a sophomore, the foreign language requirement leered up. A year of Spanish was available in high school; I didn't take it. The adviser told me that Spanish is a bit easier, Russian is considerably harder, and either French or German would be suitable for a “hard” science major. I got into the German line because it was shorter. The professor handing out the section cards, pronounced my name as I had never heard; the correct way. I might add that this Professor's last name was Suttner. Yes, he was related to the Nobel Prize winner Bertha von Suttner. He was a Sudeten German, a refugee from post war Czechoslovakia.

    He welcomed me by name in the first class meeting. He certainly didn't disregard the rest of the class, but I had to think that I was something special. After a month in his class, I recognized that, unlike the math and chemistry classes, the German language, with its grammar and words compared to English, clicked. Later that year I declared my major to be German. During the next two years I became acquainted with other students of German, and all had good things to say about him. Later in my senior year, he suggested I spend a year at a university in Austria, where he knew some people. I did that, but stayed a few more years for my doctoral degree, and married my wife.

    So yes, I did have a teacher who treated me personally.
  2. D'Ellyn Dottir

    D'Ellyn Dottir Very Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2021
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    Yes, but it wasn't the kind of interest I was looking for as a 17 year old from a 40 year old music teacher. Yuck.
    Frank Sanoica likes this.
  3. John West

    John West Very Well-Known Member

    Aug 26, 2021
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    I had a 6th grade teacher who took an interest in my interests and did something that led me to major in math. She was teaching the class on numbers squared and square roots (e.g., 3 squared is 9 and the square root of 9 is 3, etc.) I asked her what the square root of 10 was, she didn't know but went out in the hall and made a phone call. She came back into the class room and said, "John, if you really want to know, get on your bike, ride downtown to the county superintendent's office in the court house and ask him." I got a pass out of class, rode downtown and learned how to compute the square root of any number. That got me started and I mastered algebra by 7th grade, which gave my HS algebra teacher fits. By no means either a prodigy or genius, I did well in things that really interested me and less well in things that didn't. One teacher took an interest in my interests and influenced my life in ways she would have never imagined.
    Mary Stetler and Frank Sanoica like this.

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