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Interview of a Great Teacher

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1 of 4 A Great Teacher I was 20 yearls old when I was assigned to interview someone whom I admire. By those days I wanted to get a degree as an English teacher, so I thought it was a great idea to interview one of my high school teachers. I decided to interview the most taugh and admirable teacher I have ever had: Mr. Stucchi. Surrounded by a circle of students, Mr. Stucchi answered questions, gave instructions, and explained assignments. I slowly approached the circle and stood close to him. Three years ago, I was a high school student. Now I am a college student. I peered over the chattering students and slipped into the circle. Old high school memories came to my mind. A few moments passed before Mr. Stucchi turned to me with a smile. "Angie!" he said, "It's good to see you. I'll be with you in just a minute." Turning to a student on his left, he asked her if she understood the assignment. "Of course, Mr. Stucchi. Your class is easy." Easy? Mr. Stucchi's class? Was she talking about the same Mr. ...read more.


I wondered if I even wanted an answer. "What book do you bring on Monday?" Mr. Stucchi asked his departing students. "The big book!" the students yelled. "Great!" said Mr. Stucchi, "see you on Monday." I walked to the front of the classroom and waited while Mr. stucchi answered questions and accepted late papers. Once the classroom had cleared out, Mr. Stucchi asked, "Are you ready for the interview now?" I didn't feel ready. I felt disappointed and disillusioned. Frustrated and hurt, I told him that I was not sure where to begin. "Okay, then," Mr. Stucchi replied, "I'll start." I sat back and got ready to take notes. I was so disoriented that I completely forgot about the tape recorder I had in my backpack. As an undergraduate at U.C. Berkeley, Mr. Stucchi double majored in English and history. In his twenty years as a high school teacher, Mr. Stucchi has taught primarily English, but he has also enjoyed teaching several history classes. Knowing that he had been the head of the English Department while I was in high school, I asked him if he still held the position. ...read more.


Somehow the interview had not turned out to be what I had expected at all. Perhaps I had expected too much. Mr. Stucchi and I walked back to his office and discussed my own plans to become a teacher. I confessed my fears and reservations about the profession. "If you come and work with me, I'll teach you everything," Mr. Stucchi told me. "I'll be sure that you have a life!" Mr. Stucchi explained that teachers often become overwhelmed with the demands of teaching five or six classes, taking professional growth courses, and maintaining a personal and private life outside of teaching. He promised me that with his methods, I could learn to balance my professional and personal lives. The offer sounded good, but I did not want Mr. Stucchi to be my Master Teacher. 4 of 4 As our conversation came to a close, I realized that it was not Mr. Stucchi the person who had changed, but Mr. Stucchi the teacher. I left my old high school feeling melancholy and a bit sad; a person whom I had admired, respected, and esteemed for many years had come down from his pedestal in one short afternoon. The observation and interview taught me an important lesson: The need to keep one's teaching fresh and new and to somehow avoid teacher burn-out. ...read more.

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