- The One Who Pushed Your Buttons
This teacher knew just how to make you angry when you needed an extra push in the right direction. They probably have mixed or negative reviews on RateMyProfessor, but if you put enough trust in your own competencies, these teachers will change your life. For me this was 90% of my English teachers in high school (two of whom wrote recommendation letters for me when I was applying to college). They taught me how to write in an extremely specific way, that exposed flaws in my arguments and papers in a really interesting way, looking back on it.
- The One Who “Tells” You to Go For It
This teacher is borderline pushy, but that fire burning in their eyes tells you they mean well and should be understood as such. This teacher “just so happens” to have submission forms and professional connections on standby for any and all of his/her students at ALL TIMES. Sometimes when you go up to ask questions about something you’ll end up with more questions and a deadline for a film festival submission, but that’s part of the charm. For me, this was my professor for my first screenwriting class who told me (upon being asked where I can scrap pieces and pull it into an entirely new screenplay the day before it was due) that I needed to submit my work to a festival ASAP and she didn’t care what I had to say about it. (I won Best Screenplay at a festival. Thanks Ingrid!)
- The One Who Doesn’t Have to Pretend to Be Cool to Be Your Friend
This professor doesn’t have to throw textbooks in the trash (expensive!) or sit on the edge of the desk wearing Birkenstocks because they’re effortlessly cool. Probably well established in their field, and have a passion for what they’re teaching about. Teachers like these will help you to foster your own passion by leaving “academic poise” at the door and giving you the truth about the ups and downs of your industry.
- The One Who Has Faith in You When You Don’t
It’s incredibly easy to get discouraged in a sea of assignments, credits, and task-based learning, and you might lose a little bit of faith in yourself from time to time. It’s teachers who can sit you down, look you in the eye and tell you “you can do this” that are truly embodying what it means to be an educator. Because sometimes all you need after a bad grade is a quiet, “there will be other opportunities” or “it’s not as bad as you think” that make a world of difference.