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What Makes a Good Teacher? Loving & Understanding

Imani Willis
Ms. Collins leading her Spanish class.

A good teacher is somebody who takes time out for a student as if they were their own child.  Spanish Teacher Vanessa Collins is just such a person.

A former student of Collins who is now a senior, Michael Reyna, states, “She has always let it be known we’re not alone and we can trust her.”

Collins has spread love throughout Proviso East High School.

Collins gives the correct advice to the students to put them on the right path, to help the students grow and change how they would react in a more positive way.

Reyna states, “Ms. Collins is that teacher that if you have met her, you would just fall in love with her.” He adds, “Anytime we walk in class she brightens our day with a warm smile and a positive attitude.” These kinds of teachers will bring love and trust into the classroom.

Imani Willis

Collins takes actions in the classroom that few teachers would take for their students, such as she lets her students feel comfortable with opening up to her. She allows a safe environment for her students to grow and take out issues within their lives they may not completely understand, while feeling comfortable doing so.

Another former student of Collins who is now a senior, Nasir Styles, states, “Some teachers give off this energy of not caring about what you have going on at home. However, Collins wants to know that you are okay stepping into the building as well as stepping out.”

Reyna states, “Collins has a character that shines through her beyond just being a ‘teacher.’ More like a mother figure.” He adds, “I love Ms. Collins. She has helped me smile through a lot of pain I was feeling at school at times. I am grateful for her.”

Another former student, sophomore Lymari Smith, explains how students feel about Collins. He says, “It is not an easy thing to do when it comes to showing teenagers of all different personalities that you have their best interest at heart. However, Collins shows this. That you are not just that teacher who says they get paid anyways so they do not care.”

Instead, Styles states, “She’s never been the teacher who makes you feel bad for not knowing an answer or not feeling up to part to be in class.”

Styles still goes to Collins for advice to this day. “I have always loved Ms. Collins and will continue to love  her. She is easy to talk to and never tells me wrong.” Collins is clearly loved by a lot of students and former students.

Asked why he continues to go to Collins for advice, Styles states that she always gives a positive insight into the situation even when you feel nothing but negativity; she never changes her positive attitude.

Collin is asked how she feels about teaching Spanish, and does it bring any unique opportunities to interact with students? Collins says, “I love teaching Spanish and… I love my students as if they were my own. They deserve educational support as well as an emotional support.”

Collins is also asked if she feels she has changed throughout the years: “I have changed a little. I have grown with different students over the years with different personalities, which has given me different teaching styles.”

Collins is then asked the follow-up question of how she views her next stage of change in life affecting her as a teacher. “My teaching mechanisms will definitely expand the more I meet new faces and more personalities.”

What are Collins’ favorite moments of being a teacher? “One of my favorite moments would be knowing my students care about me. They always come around to check on me and always come around to let me know how they are mentally and emotionally. Letting me know I left a big impression on their lives and at PEHS.”

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About the Contributor
Imani Willis, Reporter
Class of 2024
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