The Teacher Who Educates the Mind

December 27, 2010
The plasticity of the human mind is impressive; it can be molded into a creative tool, or a latent organ. The only way to teach is to awaken the slumbering passion for the particular subject found within each student. My sophomore year English teacher has done a remarkable job in inspiring the minds of each individual student. Mr. Vona makes class interesting with his charismatic demeanor, and effective teaching style.

Mr. Vona’s exuberant personality allows him to connect with his students to make class interesting. His lectures always tie in humor, which generally appeals to students. As a precursor to Native-American captivity stories, we discussed the journey over to America. I remember the class laughing as he described the situations Europeans were placed in that caused them to “…get on a small stinky boat, smaller than the size of this classroom and infested with rats- not to mention any other stowaways- and risk death from food spoilage to get to an unknown continent only to practice your religion without persecution?” Another talent of Mr. Vona is mimicry complete with exaggerated hand gestures and meaningful words. This form of visual representation allows students to enjoy the lesson while better understanding it. Mr. Vona’s ability to make class interesting is bolstered by his unique personality.

In Mr. Vona’s class, everyone is always keen on participating because of his introspective teaching style. The questions posed require pensive reflection upon one’s experiences, thoughts, feeling, and emotions. The questions are often debated in class, thereby shedding new light on the topic. Some questions are broad like “What positive and negative qualities do you associate with Americans” and generate responses such as obese, athletic, vain, helpful, freedom, materialistic, etc. Others are more specific like “Does everyone has good in him or her?” or “If you don’t love your spouse, is it okay to cheat on them?” The questions are so thought-provocative that everyone wants to contribute to the discussion. Whenever I look around the classroom, all thirty hands are raised. Mr. Vona’s style of teaching is full of ideas rather than stuffed with facts.

In closing, the characteristics of Mr. Vona that make English class so enthralling and captivating is his sociable personality and unique teaching style. The best teacher is one who gives something more than homework for students to think about. Teaching from the heart is inspiring students with a desire to learn. Mr. Vona is the best example one can give of a teacher who demonstrates the qualities of a commendable educator.

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