Clear, Comfortable, and Concerned

"My favorite teacher was Roland Butler, who taught junior high math. I have to admit when I first went into his class he scared me. He seemed to have a no nonsense attitude about him, and I thought for sure any student who did not meet his expectations would never hear the end of it."

"However, it did not take very long for me to feel safe in his very well defined environment. Yes, he did have high expectations for his students, but everything he expected of his students he gave back to them. His instruction was clear, and he made sure we understood concepts before he moved on to something new. He provided multiple opportunities for students to respond and used student questions or answers as an opportunity to praise and teach, even if the comments were a bit off. Student felt comfortable exposing their need for help. Most importantly, he was kind, and I felt he was genuinely concerned about the individual well being of his students, including me. From his instruction and support I felt confident in my ability to do math (especially as a young girl in the 1970s). I felt motivated to learn and to try. I knew I was valued and appreciated as an individual."

Deon Leavy