A Teacher You Will Never Forget This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 30, 2013
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First, he'll get you hooked.
For at least the first two weeks of the school-year, he'll spend the majority
of class bantering with you; cracking jokes that'll make everyone laugh rather than
jumping straight into the world of history that he knows like the back of his hand.
The first day of class, he won't teach at all. The next day, he'll begin to teach for a
few minutes, but will spend the rest of the period poking fun at the elderly English
teacher from down the hall and enlightening you of his daughter's severe junk food
problem. In a couple weeks, the jokes will come to a stop (for the most part), and
he'll proceed to teach. At first glance, to some this seems deceiving. Personally,
I think it's all-around brilliant. By the time he transitions to full-fledged teaching
mode, his students will love him. And after all, the more you like someone, the more
you'll appreciate what they have to say. The more you like a teacher, the more you'll
appreciate the teacher's lesson.
Then, he'll teach.
You'll probably want to take notes. Lot's and lots of notes, as a lot will be said.
If you're not into note-taking, and would rather just learn by listening, he's fine with
that, too (as long as you're paying attention, of course). Don't expect to listen to him
recite term after term, followed by their respective definitions. Instead, you'll be told
a story. The story of history, in particular: an elaborate tale filled with more terms
and definitions you'll ever imagine, but so intricately and skillfully woven together
that it will all just, to put it simply, make sense. He'll beg you not to memorize, and
eventually you'll understand that you won't need to - it's just a story.
You'll soon realize that your history teacher, Mr. Bryant, is so extensively
knowledgeable; the type of “knowledgeable” that watches episode after episode
of jeopardy and spits out every answer without hesitation. You'll discover that Mr.
Bryant possesses an incredible passion for his field of study; from the earliest years
of western civilization, to the ups and downs of American history, to the checks and
balances of the American government.
However, any student can tell you that knowledge and passion don't
necessarily make for a successful teacher. Einstein was a brilliant mathematician,
but couldn't necessarily teach eighth grader algebra. Teaching is most certainly
a skill of its own; one that, when combined with knowledge and passion, bears
incredible results.
To say that Mr. Bryant has mastered such a skill is an understatement. He's relatable; he
teaches with such precision that the information and facts he so cleverly embeds
into his stories always have their way of becoming ingrained in the minds of his
students. However, his lessons are simply half of the equation. A significant part
of what makes a teacher so effective is his/her ability to get students to think. Mr.
Bryant doesn't merely equip his students with information; he motivates them to work
hard at retaining it through carefully compiled tests and reports.
He ensures they're created in a way that makes students use their minds to come up
with the answers, rather then spit back the information they were given.

This means that you'll undoubtedly sit through lengthy classes and realize
when the bell rings that you'll have taken two full pages of notes. You'll take tests,
with loads of multiple choice questions that can't possibly have one answer. You'll
confidently hand in a term paper you labored over for weeks, only to be given a new
one to start working on. You'll get good grades, and you'll get not-so-favorable-grades.
Mr. Bryant's class will be extremely challenging.
But then, something amazing will happen. You'll take the AP he spent two
years preparing you for, and you'll walk out amazed that you were able to write a
whole free-response essay on the puritans, even though it'll have been two years
since you last learned about them. You'll actually know the point of the Electoral
College, and that despite its name, it's not a school. You'll go to New York City and
remember that Louis Sullivan created the first skyscraper. You'll enter an elevator,
and will be able to tell your friend that the reason elevators usually have mirrors is to
distract the people riding them from how long it takes to get to their floor.
You'll become more knowledgeable in life, of life, and you'll have Mr. Bryant
to thank.

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Athena19 said...
Jun. 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm
This is really well written! I can totally relate because my history teacher this year was the same! I didn't even realize how much I'd learned until I found myself outlining the Korean War to my parents at dinner one night!
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