Yes, Good teachers can truly inspire the children that they teach. Similarly, bad teachers can make a child lose interest in a subject.
I am speaking from experience. I told my daughter last week not to let her teacher affect her grades. I have noticed that recently her math grade has been slipping. I just cant believe it as my daughter has all along gotten perfect scores for her math exams. She is very conscientious in the checking of her work and she is one that doesnt usually gives marks away. So, was it a sudden lost of interest in the subject? No, I think it is the teacher. Why?
Thinking back, when my daughter was in P3, her mandarin grades also took a dip. Then she complained about her mandarin teacher, who "was from the old school", - as a grumpy teacher, who taught using old methods, not knowing how to motivate kids of this generation. I guess my daughter and her just did not have chemistry. But at that time, I just thought that since we were an english speaking family, the drop in the mandarin grades was due to the lack of exposure to the language. (But she subsequently moved to a SAP school, and has had to do Higher Chinese, and she has not had trouble with it, so I guess I was wrong). The teacher really affected her.
Now, it looks like its the same case with her math. I have bumped into her math teacher, who is also her form teacher, a couple of times this term (during the course of doing volunteer work in her school,) and her teacher seems to have a scowl on her face most of the time (even during the school carnival!!). Even when she talks to me, she does not talk with a pleasant tone in her voice. (She does not know that my daughter is in her class). My daughter has also been complaining about her teacher's grumpiness, lecturing them all the time because there is a boy with super bad behavoir in their class. And I believe my daughter does not like her that much, and hence does not enjoy her classes.
On the other hand, my daughter has been an average student in science. Has not scored above 80% for that subject before (well, for the last 2 years, at least). But, this year, she adores her science teacher. Always coming back with very positive stories about her science teacher. And guess what? She has been constantly scoring above her previous grades for her science tests and exams!! Even getting a high distinction for the NSW science. Boy! Am I pleased.
I have always told my children, that it does not matter what the teacher looks like or how they speak. They teach the best way they know how, and you have to make the best of it. You get good teachers and you get your fair share of bad ones too. You just have to work hard to get good grades for yourselves (and of course mummy, too!). You are responsible for your own grades and dont blame anyone but yourself if you have a bad grade.
I hope what I have said to them have sunk in. But I still hope for teachers that can truly inspire the children. :)