Teachers can strongly impact a student’s education

The Mountaineer newspaper wants to feature all teachers


Lila Burke

Mr. Zimmerman is ready for an exciting new day of class.

Ethan Custard, Staff Writer

The most important people in our lives are not who people might at first think. 

Parents raise and help their kids follow in their footsteps. However, behind the scenes, there are those who can sometimes be just as important, if not more: teachers.

Students spend half of their waking hours at school each day. Many spend more time with their teachers than they do with their own parents, especially if students are involved in extracurricular activities.

In many ways, teachers are a stand-in for parents, teaching life lessons that make an impact on students’ lives. According to zippia.com, 83% of students report one of their teachers have helped them with their confidence and self-esteem. 

“One of the best lessons a teacher has ever taught me is to never doubt my abilities,” said junior Ryan Demarest. “But don’t be overconfident either, finding the right balance is what is important.”

Every day, a teacher faces two challenges: to educate and to nurture. Along with teaching core subjects like math or science, teachers encourage social skills and reinforce the notion that it is okay to ask questions and that everyone needs help sometimes. 

A teacher can make or break a student’s educational experience. A good teacher can captivate their audience, and make their students want to learn. When students are more engaged in their studies, higher academic achievements are possible. 

“A good teacher connects with their students and makes sure everyone understands the material,” said junior Rebecca Chowdhury.

Unfortunately, some students enter the school system with a negative or combative attitude toward their teachers.  Typically, this approach will often lead to lack of interest, poor study habits, and ultimately failures.

According to apa.org, it is important to establish a safe place starting at the elementary level. 

“It is very good to have a connection with your teachers,” said Demarest. “It is beneficial due to the fact that building a connection gives them information on how to teach you as an individual.”

Mr. Geoffrey Zimmerman, a science teacher at the Stroudsburg Junior High School, believes it is important for teachers to make a connection with each student, if possible.

“I’m just addicted to that great feeling of watching another person understand, comprehend, and fall in love with something that I am passionate about,” said Zimmerman.

Zimmerman describes teaching as his second favorite thing in the world, right behind family. Every day, his goal is to make each of his classes interesting and entertaining. According to many of his students, he makes learning fun by including everyone as much as possible, as well as incorporating his juicy humor into his lessons.  He thoroughly enjoys getting his students to laugh, which happens often.

Zimmerman even made class bearable through the Covid years. 

“During virtual meets, everyone in my biology class would change their google profile to an organism he (Zimmerman) taught about in class,” said Chowdhury. “This made class fun and intriguing.”

SHS history teacher Mr. Anthony Lanfrank also feels strongly about making a connection with his students.

“If you do not build a relationship with your students then you are nothing more than a robot in front of them,” said Lanfrank. “I want to take what my teachers taught me and pass it down to my students now.”

There are so many teachers who go above and beyond to help their students. They find ways to make it exciting for students to be in their class and thrive.

Through their teachings, many of these educators make connections with students that will last well beyond high school — sometimes, they last a lifetime. According to zippia.com, 87% of students say they wish they could have told their teachers how much they appreciated them. 

It’s not too late.  Students have the ability to find their former teachers and contact them and let them know.

One way these teachers are recognized regularly is in the SHS Mountaineer newspaper.  There is a section called Teacher Features that showcases teachers in the SASD.

All SASD teachers are encouraged to submit their own Teacher Feature to the Mountaineer newspaper email, [email protected].