Sabal General Dentistry Rockport September 2018

September 2018

1406 Hwy 35 N, Suite C, Rockport, TX 78382 |



Top of the Class The Elements of a Great Teacher

Like many of my patients, I have kids who just started a new school year. It’s always a stressful, exciting time. After a long, lazy summer, it’s nice to get back into a family routine. Plus, I always enjoy meeting my sons’ new teachers. On my path to dentistry, I had a lot of teachers, which allowed me to get to know some really amazing educators over the years. My favorite teacher was my high school science teacher, Ms. Wurtz. I went to a small school,

“When a teacher is having fun with the subject matter — when it’s not just a job for them — students connect with that.”

but I think Ms. Wurtz saw it as a way to help us work through whatever might have been going on in our lives at the time. If you have ever spent time journaling, you know how therapeutic it is. This really helped me a lot in my junior and senior years. All the students could see how much fun Ms. Wurtz had teaching science. That’s what really set her apart from other teachers I’ve had over the years. When a teacher is having fun with the subject matter — when it’s not just a job for them — students connect with that. Kids who might otherwise not like math or science or history may be more inclined to work hard in a class when the teacher gives them a reason to take interest in the material and shows a willingness to help them work through the challenges. A few years ago, I reached out to Ms. Wurtz on Facebook to thank her for everything she did for me in high school. She really meant a lot to me, and I’m grateful to all the teachers who helped me get to where I am today. This month, I want to shout out all the wonderful teachers out there. Thank you for all your hard work and good luck in the coming year!

so we had the same teacher for biology, chemistry, and physics. I took all three classes between my sophomore and senior years in high school, which means I had the pleasure of being in Ms. Wurtz’s class three times. I have always loved science. When I started college, before I decided to pursue dentistry, I was a psychology major! Ms. Wurtz really encouraged that interest when I was in high school. She was also really patient throughout the learning process. What made her such a great teacher was that she recognized that people have different ways of learning and she took the time to work with students to help them understand the material. At the same time, she challenged us to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions. This really helped her students put scientific theory into practice. Ms. Wurtz didn’t restrict herself to being “just” a science teacher and found ways to help her students in other areas of their lives, even if we didn’t realize it at the time. At one point, she started to have us journal every day for a few minutes at the start of class. We didn’t have to write about science; in those minutes we were free to jot down any thoughts that came to mind. This sounds like something you would do in an English class,

–Dr. Valerie Sperry

Sabal General Dentistry • 361-729-1333 • 1

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