I’m currently a sophomore at the University of Connecticut, but I just want to share a story of my learning experience while attending high school. During my freshman and sophomore year of high school, the routine of attending class, drafting reports, and completing homework were entirely unpleasant. Listening to teachers explaining hypothetical theories about the nature logarithms or someone lecturing about the biography of a great writer seemed distantly irrelevant to my future plans. My entire day rested around the extracurricular or athletic activities occurring before or after school. This was the problem, my peers and I experienced: Teachers were unwilling or incapable of energetically presenting a subject in attempting to elicit excitement from their students in a given subject. As a middle school student, I certainly didn’t imagine not trying to fulfill the capacity in academics once I reached high school. However, my sophomore US History teacher provided the initial impetus to exuberantly pursue my academic interests. He was not only knowledgeable and willing to answer questions about the issue at hand, but he presented information with a passion. As if somehow the effects of the US’s Reformation, or JFK’s assassination could somehow profoundly benefit me in my future career. Understanding the material could mold me into a better person. All of these impressions weren’t stated, but were conveyed through the teacher’s passionate presentation of the material. Teachers NEED to have a personal interest in their students, in creating a mutual friendship in which relaxed dialogue could take place in the classroom. When an instructor presents material in a boring, uninterested manner that directly caused the students to duplicate this attitude towards the subject at hand. Another reason in taking an interest for academia was the presence of a positive role model in my life. As I’m sure everyone know, young kids idolize entertainers or athletes that don’t promote the importance of school to my generation. Certainly, there are exceptions, but scholars, scientists, and other intellectual figures are utterly absent from public interest. We don’t value academic achievement as a success per se, just far enough that it could help us make a quick buck. Children need to have role models that are successful based upon their life obstacles able to be overcome, academic achievement, or their contributions to their neighbors’ welfare and NOT on lifestyles.