By Laiba Qureshi
What is your “Dream Student” like? What qualities do you see in certain students that indicate to you that they have a bright future? How do students inspire you? These are the questions we asked many of the teachers of Centereach High School, and the results are not as idealistic as you’d think. The image is entirely real and achievable. In every interview, teachers highlighted the qualities of enthusiasm, industriousness, positivity, curiosity, and personability in their “Dream Student.” They emphasized how perfect grades do not determine one’s “Dream Student” status. But rather, it is one’s determination to work hard and put forth one’s best effort that makes one an admirable scholar in the eyes of teachers, parents, and peers. Teachers believed a student with a bright future would display conscientiousness, reliability, and strong communication skills. Students who take the initiative to lead and are aware of the needs of themselves and their peers show great promise. Perhaps the most interesting answers were prompted by the final question: How do students inspire you as a teacher? One teacher explained that “when a student tells me this is the class that I look forward to coming to, I feel very inspired. I feel inspired when I inspire a student to work harder and to do better.” A business teacher stated that she feels inspired when a student brings new ideas to her classroom and comes up with a different outlook on a subject she teaches. To sum it up, don’t be worried about having perfect grades or a photographic memory. Our research has concluded that that description of the perfect student is a myth. A student’s genuine interest in learning and a curiosity of the world around them is what really appeals to the majority of teachers.