“It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.” – Albus Dumbeldore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, written by J. K. Rowling

Don’t you find this quote to best represent teachers? Or at least it should because they do have power and they must wear it well.

We got curious about our teachers, so we decided to find out more about Mrs. Laura and Mr. Chad.

This project/interview has been divided in two: we, the feminine side of the class, interviewed teacher Laura; Cristian interviewed teacher Chad – they had a man-to-man conversation.

So the first part is about teacher Laura. She’s a “very warm person, open-minded and kind” (Bella), and “friendly” too (Maria).

Here’s the interview we put together (with her help, of course).

Q: Why did you choose to teach English?

T. Laura: I didn’t want to be a teacher at the beginning. I studied English and wanted to be a translator, but I ended up working as a teacher’s assistant. The teachers I worked with were really happy with me. When I had the chance to teach, they were really impressed, so they pushed me. It was nice in the end, I love my job!

Q: What is something that you find easy to deal with in your relationship with your students that others may find difficult?

T. Laura: I think the fact that I’m pretty young helps me in my connection with students. I care about their mental health, they appreciate that.

Bella: And we thank you for that.

T. Laura: You know, a teacher is more than just a person who helps students learn a certain thing; it’s sad most teachers forget that.

Q: What major challenges and problems did you face as a teacher?

T. Laura: A major challenge for me is dealing with report cards. It’s troublesome and overwhelming, but I have to do it and try to give my best. A problem would be…having bullies in my classes. I’m happy it doesn’t happen often.

Q: What do you think it’s your weakest psychological trait?

T. Laura: I overthink all the time and sometimes I’m anxious because of all that overthinking. Cause and effect – it’s terrible sometimes.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years? Is there anything you aspire to be as a teacher?

T. Laura: I definitely see myself still teaching, of course. I love my job! But, I do have aspirations! I would like to get a DELTA diploma (it’s a sort of masters’ degree for teachers) and become a teachers’ trainer – teach teachers how to teach. I think it would be awesome!

Q: What should I expect from your class? How can I do well in your class?

T. Laura: Learning English. (laughs) Well, I guess it’s silly, but that’s what I do here. Now, for you to do well in class – and I think it’s general, not particular to ME – you should pay attention, participate, do your homework. Quite simple, don’t you think? (nods)

Q: What is your teaching style like?

T. Laura: Well…I have no idea. What do you guys say it’s like?

Stephanie: Casual. In a good way, of course.

T. Laura: I guess it is, yes.

Q: What’s your opinion on homework?

T. Laura: Uuu! Tough one! But I do have an answer. (smiles) I think it should exist, provided that students need more practice on a certain aspect they didn’t grasp in class. I usually give homework when I see the need for “more” from my students. If they’re doing fine, there’s no homework.

Bella: Waaa, I wish all teachers were like that.

Maria: Yeah!

T. Laura: Too bad they aren’t…don’t tell other teachers I said that! (laughs)

Q: How can I make a teacher like me?

T. Laura: Hmm…being decent? You get what you offer and that’s a general rule. Unfortunately, there will always be teachers who have favourites. That’s why my advice is ‘be decent’. I tried not to get out of my way, to TRY to be what teachers preferred. And I was OK in school, never a favourite, but never an outcast. But that’s just me; adapt this to your own way of being.

Q: How do you deal with students that annoy you…with the ones that you don’t like?

T. Laura: I pretty much like all my students, even though I have classes that I prefer more to others. But you know if I have a bad day I try to put aside my issues and do my job. I don’t really “snap” at students just because. If I do it, very rarely, it’s because I’m actually upset with them. I usually explain the problem that bothers me.

Bella: So you’re basically a decent human being.

T. Laura: I try, yes. Isn’t that what we all should do?

Stephanie: Of course, it is. Too bad not many do it.

Bella: Word!

T. Laura: Now, if I do have a student that talks a lot and disturbs the class, I ask them to go out, grab a glass of water – basically chill for a minute – and then come back. Most of the time it works…they’re surprised and a tad confused so, yeah. I do it quite rarely though.

Q: Now, leaving the teaching grounds behind, let’s talk a little about you, the person. Is that OK?

T. Laura: Sure. That’s fine.

Q: Do you have a hidden talent?

T. Laura: Hmmm…I like to write stories. I guess not everybody can do that. But I don’t consider it a hidden talent.

Q: What would people be surprised to find out about you?

T. Laura: Hmm…another one I don’t know how to answer. Give me a moment. Ah! I know! I was a hardcore EMO back in my teenage years.

Bella: No way!

Stephanie: Oh my God! Yes, she was! She showed me a photo of her from back then.

T. Laura: I’m still a fan of the style, I just don’t show it, just like I didn’t show it back then. If you saw me on the street, you wouldn’t know it. But on the inside… (smirk)

Q: What was the worst thing you did as a student? Do you regret it?

T. Laura: Oh, my! I burnt a book. And no, I don’t regret it. After I graduated college I burnt that damn literature book; it was written by my literature teacher who I despised. He made me appreciate and be interested in psychology, but he was the worst literature teacher! He MADE us buy his book, read it and quote it in presentations and during exams. It was so satisfying to see it burn!

Q: Thank you, teacher! It was so nice to do this!

T. Laura: I bet!

That’s a wrap!

Now that you’ve met teacher Laura, stay tuned for part two where you’ll discover some interesting things about teacher Chad.

Stefania L., Maria P., Bella E.