Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Profiles in Greatness Ep. 3

Unfortunately, my middle school years were lackluster. In large part, I suspect, my own ghost-like existence during those typically strange years resulted in never really attaching to much of anything. I recall some names of teacher, but not that many. Funny how I can name every elementary school teacher, and most of my high school teachers; but middle school remains a mystery.

Mr. Connolly (1oth Grade American Government, 12th Grade European History)
TC was flat out smart. A little odd in some ways, but smart. Reading and lecture typified his teaching style--something that today gets bagged on by progressives. But the results can't be argured with. I know my government and I know my Europeon history. I've become a much better Jeopardy contestant because of TC.
While some students enjoyed roasting Mr. Connolly, or trying to infuriate him into turning beet red, I tended to soak up his knowledge. Sure, I had my moments of giving in to the mob mentality, but ultimately his instruction kept me interested.
He had graduated from the high school, and he lived in town. I believe that his committment to his subject matter was equalled by his committment to our school. These qualities made him great. When teachers combine a love for their subject and love for the school, students succeed.
So, thank you, Mr. Connolly, for teaching me the importance of being an expert in my subject matter, for teaching me the importance of loving my subject matter, and for teaching me the importance dedication to my school.


At 5:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reading this series, a lot of interesting insight on how you qualify an "impact teacher". One of the most important things that you have said is that a teacher must have "a love of their subject and a love for the school". I sometimes think we all (even as a society) get caught up in the negative. Focusing on the positive will shine through and help your students, your school and idealistically society as a whole. Positivity begets positivity.

At 7:24 AM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

I haven't planned out yet all of the teachers I will write about. What will be interesting to evaluate is the threads that weave through all of them. I'm finding my rationales interesting as well.
Each characteristic says something about my philosophy of education. And I agree, love of school is essential.

At 10:18 AM , Anonymous Keith said...

For the record, Mr. Connelly was also the only teacher who ever kicked me out of his class. Several times. I guess I was one of those who tried to infuriate him :) And, to be fair, it really was an easy thing to do.


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