In Turkey, one definition of who is a teacher, is “One who leads you from the darkness to the light – the darkness of ignorance, light of understanding.” This is a poetic expression of the inner wish of every true teacher – it is my wish. There is nothing like the expression on a student’s face when s/he has achieved comprehension and mastery of a concept s/he was working endlessly with.
The mode and means of teaching/ tutoring for me must be in response to the situation. Bona fide considerations include: age/ gender of students, how many at one time, ability of each in the subjects to be taught, physical location, books & other materials available, a myriad more.
Adaptability and creativity may be the answers, but as often the rudimentary foundations need to be included.
Since 1963 through this term, the first one in 2017, I have taught/ tutored at least 9500 students, ages from primary grades through advanced courses in high school and the USNavy.
There have been memorable incidents:
In Physics class, my gentlemen all learned the applied laws to understand how to beat the games of the carnies. Off they went to the County Fair, and were winning at booth after booth. Several carnies called the sheriff over, who questioned the students. They told him the assignment based on classes. As a last ditch saving, I was following them. One ranking sheriff got rude, so I walked over. I am a short person, and my students were all football or basketball players. They explained who I was, and as I stood there silent, told the men all toys were going to the local hospital.
One of my seventh grade students worked with me on composition and public speaking. She won the Patriots Award that fall.
In the test taking skills class I taught to high school students, all passed the exam for a diploma. In the class for Navy personnel on the same skills, all of them passed the exam high enough to be promoted.
Travel to within cities of Camden SC or Sumter SC is 10$.
Consecutive hours on same day after travel and first hour is 45$ per hour.
Very willing to meet student at public library. In Sumter would rather be at Library on Westmark. They have "talking rooms."
My education has never stopped. As I came up through high school there were ups and downs. At our 50th reunion we talked about how I would sit at the front and the others in a “v” and copied my answers. But in social studies, our teacher every day wrote on the board an event that occurred in some year on that date. Every quarter we were asked to write all the event and years. I would get the common one, and Appomattox, my birthday. I did enjoy singing the alto part leads in choirs. The first day of drivers ed, I drove into the school building. Despite small strange times I was second in my graduating class.
When I graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College, there was group of three of us who received diplomas last. I watched the man ahead of me. He was escorted on stage, the entire audience stood up to applaud, he ceremoniously received a medal and his accomplishments read. Then here came my two major professors. I just said “No.” I never was one for much public recognition and hoop-la. Over came the Bursar and told me if I did not get up there he would find I owed $1000 I had been excused from because of my gradepoint. Here I go up ont the stage. Just never looked up much. I received my Bachelor of Science Summa Cum Laude.
My son rode with me every afternoon 55 miles to graduate school. We would sit at a table in the back. He would color and do other three year old things. One afternoon he got hold of a paper I would turn in at the end of class, and drew bright colored squares on one page, circles on another etc. I wrote on the cover sheet “Composition by MEH 34 yrs old. Illustrations by MRH 3 yrs old” In good humor the professor gave me a B+ and my son an A. Finally my Masters Degree in Education was finished.
Next came attending The Citadel (Southern Military College) in night school. Because of my carrying three emphases, I was back to 4AM stomping in a swamp with the leading ornithologist in the South. And revisiting physiology and anatomy with side trips to the medical college. My license for principal was confirmed, as was my license for supervision, all part of my Masters plus thirty.
Time consumed and wear and tear on my car doubled the following year. I totally enjoyed every last moment of graduate classes in education, application and theory. I was excused from teaching many times to accompany my own Superintendent to meetings and school events. We were a strange couple: I am about 5’4” he is about 6’7”. When we went to Columbia to accept the state award for the best Business Partnership in SC for the class of our school, I had to stand on a chair to be seen. Graduating with my Master of Education Degree put me in position to move up in education if I desired.
The last two years of formal, credit classes was an arduous time. I was again commuting a long distance, and carrying too many semester hours. Many people take leave for these last two years, but I could not afford to. By then I could see the last years of public teaching/ administration ending. I decided to return to the classroom. I was teaching for the SC Department of Juvenile Justice, Felony Level, Maximum/ Medium Security. It really was a good example for the student in study time to see me working on my dissertation. I was very proud to achieve graduating with Doctor of Education Degree ( Administration/ Supervision/ Special Education).
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