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A Third Grader On What He Appreciates Most About Teachers

Detroit '14 corps member Lexis Zeidan asked her third graders to write about Teacher Appreciation Week. One of her students, Matthew Olvera, reflects below.

By Matthew Olvera

May 3, 2016

Lexis Zeidan with her third grade students.

Each year there is a week that is dedicated to teachers. This week is called Teacher Appreciation Week. As a student who attends Detroit schools, I have learned many things about teachers that a student can appreciate.

A teacher that I have learned to appreciate is one who makes an effort to help me when I am struggling. She helps me by pulling me aside to explain to me things I do not understand. My teacher will try to re-explain the lesson in a different way. She will also give me practice at home so I can continue to practice what I didn’t understand. Practice helps me get better at what I didn’t get the first time. I appreciate a teacher like this because I feel like a more successful, confident student after.

Another thing I learned to appreciate about a teacher is someone who makes everyone feel welcomed at school. They will not walk away when you have a problem.They will talk to you until you feel good about yourself. They will also let your classmates write nice things about you. A good teacher that I appreciate makes you feel good about yourself.

Lexis Zeidan with Matthew Olivera (left).

An excellent teacher prepares her students for statewide tests such as M-STEP, NWEA, and A-NET, and she also makes sure we know other important things. She will  make sure she puts reviewing material into our daily routine so we don’t forget the things we learned. That is something a good teacher would do right and something any student would appreciate.

I think the most important thing that I can appreciate about a teacher is someone who lets me be myself at school. I like teachers who let me express myself by being creative with my school work and with my projects. I love when my teacher allows me to feel the way I want. If I am happy I can act happy, if I am sad, I can act sad. I think what is even more cool about that is when my teacher is interested in knowing why I am happy or sad. That’s what a good teacher does.

In conclusion those are things that good teachers do to help out a student who is struggling or needs help. It’s very simple. All a teacher has to do is care about her students, show interest in things that they love and care about, really prepare them for state tests and even college, and most importantly let her students feel safe and comfortable to really be themselves in class. Any teacher who does these things will help students be successful and that’s what we need! Successful teachers in the classroom create successful students who will enter college and the world continuing to succeed.

Matthew Olivera (left) Matthew and Lexis (right)