‘I know they care’

Published 10:32 am Tuesday, April 11, 2017

As someone toying with the idea of teaching in the distant future, I often hear the phrase, “I didn’t go into teaching because of the money. I did it because I love what I do and I love the students.”

This statement rings true through the actions of professors at Longwood University. Longwood has always prided itself in its student-teacher relationships, in both their bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Professors go out of their way to help students succeed, both in and out of the classroom.

I have had professors who sat and talked with me about personal issues.

One professor, in particular, would talk with me regularly about life, history and politics. She and I would regularly talk for 30 minutes or more after class and, if she ever got annoyed with it, she didn’t show it.

Another professor I personally will never be able to thank or repay went out of his way more than once to come help me with class and technology issues.

He also sat and listened to me as I broke down in his office one day over stresses of life, school and issues with fellow classmates. And still, to this day, he has a smile on his face when I see him though it’s been almost three years after graduating.

I’m sure it’s easy to pretend to be interested in student events and organizations on campus, but when I see professors lined up with their students at sporting events, pep rallies and other social events on campus, I know they care.

When teachers voluntarily stand and serve food and drinks to stressed-out students with a smile the night before finals week, I know they care. When I hear their voices crack just from talking about how much they love Longwood, I know they care.

Longwood says it prides itself on its student-teacher relationships and how dedicated its professors are. They aren’t lying.