Ms. Melissa Badger says that it is one of the most amazing feelings ever to watch her students succeed.
By Josie Harris
Badger says that a good teacher is one who cares about their students.
“One of the things that I think makes a really effective teacher, is if you really are interested and care about the kids, and I think the kids can tell,” Badger said.
Fueling on being an effective teacher, Badger says she enjoys watching the progression of her students on what they’ve learned and what they can do.
Badger says that there are many other characteristics of an effective teacher.
“You have to be flexible, because sometimes you walk into your classroom and the plan that you have is not going to work, and you have to think on your feet so you’re not just sitting there staring at your students,” Badger said.
Badger says being creative definitely helps in beings a teacher.
“You don’t always have the money and the time to be able to buy all of these amazing resources so you have to come up with your own,” Badger said.
Another very important aspect of teaching is being compassionate and recognizing that student have lives outside of school, Badger says.
“[Students] aren’t just sitting in your room lapping up information, they’ve got things going on in they’re lives, [and] that can affect what’s happening on any given day, and it doesn’t cost anything to be compassionate,” Badger said, “Now does that mean I don’t hold high standards? I do hold high standards, but I would hope that they know that I recognize the fact that they’re a valuable person.”
Badger says that the things that teachers sometimes forget are what is essential in doing their jobs well.
“You have to remember that that’s somebody’s baby, [and] somewhere somebody cares very much about that baby,” Badger said.
Why Teach Spanish?
Badger has always been interested in other cultures.
Badger says even as a child she checked out books on the different countries, one being a book of Russian, Chinese, and German fairy tales.
“I like thinking about all the different places and cultures in the world, and how they approach things, and how that’s different than the U.S.,” Badger said.
Being interested in cultures around the world, Badger says the generosity and openness is what stands out to her in the Spanish culture, more specifically the saying “Me casa es su casa,” meaning, “my house is your house.”
“They’re very open and giving with their possessions,” Badger said, “If you were just some stranger travelling through Spain or Mexico and someone met you out on the street, they’re going to invite you to eat dinner, to spend the night, spend a couple days, and we just don’t do that here.”
Badger had a hard time deciding what her favorite part of Spanish to teach is.
“I like grammar, teaching the culture is fun too, and the vocab.” Badger said, “So I pretty much said I like all of it didn’t I?”
Badger decided that her favorite part to teach was grammar, but said that she doesn’t have a favorite class that she teaches.
“First year is fun, because they’re all excited and they learn the colors and it’s like kindergarten, and Spanish II is nice because they’ve kind of settled down and you get to build on what they’ve learned,” Badger said. “Third and fourth are nice because they’re actually starting to use the language and they get to read and write it and you get to read and talk about the culture in ways that you can’t in first and second.”
Badger says that her favorite class to teach may be IB Spanish, that she will be teaching next year, because it mixes the language, culture, and social studies, all things that she has always had an interest in.
“[I like] thinking about politics, and religion, and how the culture has evolved through the years,” Badger said.
Badger says when she took Spanish here at NAHS she was interested in learning something completely different, and that is just what she hopes to help her students do.