My son didn't have the greatest teachers last year, when he was in kindergarten. There were issues, including a mid-year replacement, and I also noticed the constant yelling at the children - particularly the boys. It became a battle in the mornings just to get my son to into the classroom.
His first days of grade one were a challenge. It quickly became clear that he couldn't really read, and in frustration he simply refused to do any work at all. My older children had never gone through anything like this, so we were at a loss.
His teacher, though, reassured us. She was concerned about the lack of work and certainly needed to address it, but didn't think that there was really anything wrong with him. She figured out that he was embarrassed about not reading well, and had chosen to give up. She arranged for the extra help that he needed, and had total confidence that he would catch up and be brilliant. Overall, she also kept the class engaged, and because of that was able to maintain discipline without getting frustrated and yelling.
It paid off. My son, who in October couldn't read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", is now reading at grade level and LOVES reading more advanced books to the class. His math is amazing, and his confidence has sky-rocketed. One of his best friends has had a similar turn-around.
What would have happened if he had a poor teacher instead - one who wouldn't have given him the attention, or had the faith in him, or simply been frustrated and seen him as a problem child? I shudder to think about it.
Thank you, Mrs. Miller!