Having the opportunity over the past 40 years to teach students from pre-school to the university level, I have been asked on numerous occasions what are the main keys to a student’s success. After years of refining my ideas, it always comes back to these simple tasks; attend all your classes, be prudent, do not be tardy, and get to classes early.
Teachers have a tendency to gravitate to the students who show an interest in attending their classes and when the students arrive early or on time the teacher knows that the student wants to learn. This makes the teaching much easier. Making your presence known with a positive forward thinking attitude is also a key to mentoring the student-teacher relationship and as it grows, so does the knowledge and motivation for both parties.
When I train with Shihan Osaka or any other of the traditional masters of the martial arts, I make it a point to have my Gi cleaned and pressed and arrive to train as early as I can. This lets my teachers know that I respect them as a teacher and look forward to their teachings. I wanted to learn and be noticed. It wasn’t the grade that mattered, it was the knowledge and relationship that I hoped would last for years.
As a teacher, I look to the student who resembles my same train of thought. My first class as a college student was taught by Dr. Nicholas Topetzes. He was an incredible professor. He taught with both humor and knowledge all wrapped together. I loved going to his classes and didn’t want the class to end when the period was over. But it was his infamous words that have remained with me forever, “Good teachings result in good grades.”
I never missed a class and was always early.
Thank you, Dr. Topetzes.