In January, I started an online class at SVS Learn. Last night, I had the most amazing experience!

Sometimes It’s About The Teachers

I remember high school; it was a horrible experience. My teachers fit into one of three categories:
* They didn’t care – and I was ignored.
* They had a God complex – and I was left feeling insignificant and stupid.
* They were there to help – and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Unfortunately, very few of my teachers fit into that last category.

I’ll never forget my 9th grade Social Studies / Science teacher. She was amazing! Not only did she encourage her students to learn, she did so in a way that made us feel good about what we were doing.

The rest? Well, lets just say that I never made it past the 9th grade.

Criticizing vs. Critiquing

Is there a difference between criticizing and critiquing?

Yes, absolutely. Take a look at the definition of each one:
* Indicate the faults of (someone or something) in a disapproving way.
* Evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way.

Spot the difference?

In high school, I was mostly criticized. Every fault I had was marked with a bold red pen! When I asked how I could improve, or where I went wrong, the answers were short, rude, and anything but helpful. Eventually, I stopped asking.

Fast forward to last night’s class taught by Jake Parker and Will Terry.

We are nearing the end of Part I, and Will and Jake have set aside a few nights to critique their students’ work. Last night, they critiqued mine.

Wow! It was very different than my previous experiences in high school.


Jake and Will encouraged me; they pointed out ways in which I can improve my work, and they did it without picking it apart… without being condescending. There was no we’re better than you attitude. They simply explained things – and I learned a lot. Bravo!

So… What Did You Learn

School doesn’t have to be horrible and painful. It can be a wonderful place in which students can learn and grow; not only from the teachers, but also from other students.

If you had an awful experience with school, like I did, please don’t give up. There are so many fantastic teachers out there. They pour their heart and soul into what they teach. Keep looking for them.

I promise they’re out there!