The Power of a Great Teacher

When I was in elementary school, I loved to write. I would create pretend newspapers and short children’s books just for fun. When I got to high school, I joined the creative writing magazine, run by my English teacher, thinking it would be a perfect fit.

I soon realized she picked favorites, though, and I was not one of them. She only published one piece of mine - a very short poem - in the entire two years I was in the club. With my dreams of being a writer crushed, I entered college as a Psychology major.

My freshman Psychology class was surprisingly harder than I’d anticipated, so I wrote an extra credit paper to raise my grade. Sitting in a huge lecture hall during our semester final, the teacher called out my name and asked me to meet him after class. I was surprised to learn that not only had I gotten an A+ on my paper, but he thought it was so well-written that he wanted to work with me to get it published. His support renewed my confidence and led me to switch into the School of Communications, and the rest is history.

Two teachers - two very different outcomes.

September is back-to-school time, which makes me think about the huge impact teachers make. I find that many people tell a story of a teacher that made a difference in their lives when sharing their personal history story. (By the way, a great prompt if you're working on your story is thinking about a teacher in your life that made a difference to you.)

In honor of teachers, I’m sharing a segment from one of the videos I created for Gesher Jewish Day School. It’s a smaller private school, and what seemed to come up again and again is the incredible teachers they have as being key to the uniqueness of their school.

  • Debbie Brodsky and her team at DMB Pictures was fabulous to work with on our video project. She is incredibly responsive and professional. Her creativity and vision elevated our project. They were resourceful with how we used our footage so that we could spend our time and our dollars wisely.

    Jennifer Scher
    Jennifer Scher, Director of Institutional Advancement, Gesher Jewish Day School