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Dr. Arguello, Cinema of Latin America teaching in her classroom

Monday, May 6 through Friday, May 10 is Teacher Appreciation Week in the United States.

We all have a teacher who changed our life. Maybe we didn't realize it at the moment, but in retrospect, we owe our successes, our opportunities, and our growth to the teachers and professors who shaped us in school.

I remember in high school, I enrolled in AP Literature and Creative Writing, taught by Mr. Chalk. He made his classes engaging and challenged me in a way school never had before. I recall failing a quiz, then an essay, and questioning whether I was cut out to be a writer. After two years of classes with Mr. Chalk, my writing flourished, and I felt confident beginning my English degree at TCU. Funny enough, Mr. Chalk was a TCU alumnus. He played for the baseball team and majored in English. No wonder he turned out to be an incredible teacher and easily one of my biggest influences.

There's no shortage of amazing faculty like Mr. Chalk at TCU. I feel extremely lucky to attend a university where the professor-to-student ratio is 13:1, allowing us to form supportive, tight-knit academic communities. Our professors hold office hours to help with assignments and answer review questions, and sometimes, to listen to us moan and groan about our lives. Thanks for that, Dr. B (British Literature to 1800).  

In the classroom, they take intentional action to get to know us. I have a Spanish professor, Dr. Arguello (Cinema of Latin America, Culture of Latin America), who pledges to learn everyone's name within the first week. After having her for two semesters in a row, I can attest that she holds herself to that promise, even in classes with up to 40 students.

TCU professors jump at opportunities to work with students beyond class by offering directed studies or research avenues. I've been working with Dr. Robbins (Studies in 19th Century American Literature, Directed Study in American Literature) on an extended Transatlantic Literature web project for over a year now, publishing research and literary transcriptions, because she gave me the opportunity. Dr. Schroeder (Conflict Management) also pushed me and my classmates to complete a long-term research project, which we presented at the Schieffer Showcase to President Pullin this spring.

TCU Students with President Pullin posing for a picture for at the 2024 Schieffer Showcase

Sometimes, our professors are full of fun surprises. Take Dr. Leverenz for example who brought her foster puppies to our magazine writing class my freshman year. We'd get to hold them during critique days so any negative feedback felt like less of an emotional blow. (I can confirm she still does this for her current classes!) Or Dr. Williams (HCOL Witchcraft and Witch Hunts) who brings bags of candy on quiz days to award as prizes. I mean come on, how sweet!

Dr. Leverenz's foster puppy


TCU professors care. They show up every day for students like me in such special ways. I can't express how thankful I am for the experiences my professors here have granted me. College is a whirlwind, and my professors helped guide me through it. So happy Teacher Appreciation Week from TCU! Thank you to every professor for their support and wisdom, and for embodying what it truly means to be a Horned Frog.

Express your gratitude for your teachers and professors, not just this week but always. And know that once you start classes at TCU, you'll be forever changed by the educators determined to shape you into the best version of yourself. 

Colleen Wyrick is a junior double major in English and Communication Studies from Austin, TX. She is currently the President of Her Campus at TCU, Assistant Digital Editor for the digital anthology Teaching Transatlanticism, and a social media intern and ambassador for the Office of Admission. Additionally, she’s loved getting involved on campus through the women’s club soccer team.