Not all heroes wear capes… but they do wear masks!

Clyde Barnes Jr.

During this time of dismay and rapid change there are many heroes on the fighting ground (first response, cooks, truck drivers, and more), but without a doubt teachers have had an impact on adolescents and adults alike. This series of articles is dedicated to the sung and the unsung, and follows educators and their journey of teaching and remaining in this time. 

The role of a teacher is vital here at Cypress Ridge, with the students and their learning being the main goal of the entire school, but they are also vital to the functioning of society on a larger scale in small communities and large communities. A lot of the personality and impact of a child forms in the school, and although a student’s life isn’t completely formed in a bubble — Teachers matter. Simple. There’s a need. 

When I was starting school here at Ridge, roaming around the halls and pursuing my classes (some with little interest), the most important thing was not the architecture, or the artistry of the programs, but the involvement of the teachers.

 As I sat to interview the series of teachers, including the first one — who with a nervous smile sat at her desk to give what came off as passionate words about teaching — there seemed to be hope that there are more than a few teachers who want to teach. 

The first thing that comes to mind is “what makes a good teacher?” Not because people don’t know, but because there’s some persistence in the good-doing of them and this is defined. 

“A good teacher. I think is someone who first of all cares about their students, rather than doing a job it’s more so coming to work and making connections and getting them to do something. It’s not about conduct. A good teacher focuses on teaching,” says mathematics teacher, Radhika Gupta. 

What gains interest is not the matter of what subject a teacher teaches, but as educators come to work everyday and risk their lives just as much as students; their choice in coming to work matters. The way they teach carries just as much responsibility. 

“I teach mathematics and honestly I started teaching mathematics because… well I always wanted to be a teacher, but I never knew what I wanted to teach until I had this great professor who taught things really well, and with math he taught it so well that I wanted to teach it. Numbers are easy to work with especially for me,” said Radhika. 

Gupta then followed up,“I think teaching comes with making connections like I said earlier. If you’re connecting with students and you make them understand why you are here and why they are here, then they want to learn for themselves.”

School is in a way a vacuum of society, with its own groupings and rules, and this can create great things but can also create problems; having goals can determine whether or not a person has somewhere they want to go. It’s with goals that both the educator and the educated can succeed, even in the rapid fire of day-to-day life. 

“On day-to-day basis my goals are to get my students to learn something, get my students to interact with each other so they can learn on a interactive way, and so online can make that harder, because they don’t have that interaction or their peers with them, and sitting in front of a camera can feel lonely, so I focus on my online students so they won’t feel left out. So getting my online students involved is my number one goal,” Gupta said.

If there’s a defining trait of not just teachers but everyone this year — it would be prosistance. That’s all that really holds, because the ones who read this article, the ones who don’t, the ones who are teaching, and the ones who are being taught can say they have persisted.

Not just fulfilling the school’s agenda, but also being as a person, everyday we can be. The true heroes are the people who choose to go on. You deserve that title, even if it only applies to yourself for yourself or on to others. 

“My students have been my hero, because getting to see my students everyday is helping to make everything as normal as possible, and also my coworkers because coming to work makes it a lot better,” Gupta said.