Inspiration for Teacher-Student Relations

Ms. Litwin admits mistakes, allows students to be themselves

By Kayshawn Goodwin

Everyday when I walk around campus, I usually keep my headphones in and ignore everyone around me. But one day, I heard a number of students complain about a few of the teachers I’ve had in the past. It hurt at first because I had a mutual relationship with said teachers, but then I began to think about how many mistakes those teachers made when I was in their classes.

So I interviewed a teacher I’ve had in the past. Though she has made mistakes before, she always managed to fix them in any way possible.

Ms. Litwin has been a teacher in OUSD for seven years and has taught at Skyline for five. She grew up in Lafayette with her parents, her older brother and her older sister, making her the baby of the family. For such a bright person, she did not have it easy as a child. The roof of her house leaked occasionally and her family didn’t get along.

But out of the harsh childhood, Litwin came out as an optimistic human being. “What doesn’t kill you, make you stronger,” she likes to say.

She graduated from continuation school, majoring in “visual arts” and now lives in San Leandro, happily married with her musician husband and her 5-year old son.

I’ve always marveled how organized she was and how well she got along with her students. So I asked her what her secret is.

“Students are adolescents,” she said. “Teachers forget that.”

What she meant by that, I think,  was that teachers were once like us, but have forgotten that it isn’t easy to change. They don’t know what to say or do. They’re not sure how to handle it.

By her words, I believe that she reminds her students that it is alright to make mistakes. For example, whenever she makes a mistake, the next day she’ll fix it and apologize for the mistake, taking responsibility for her action.

Ms. Litwin is a wonderful teacher and a great inspiration to myself and others. I only hope that she could inspire her fellow staff to be just like her.

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