Who was your FAVORITE teacher?

Okay, we’ve had a thread about how really awful teachers scarred us forever, but I’d like to know–what teachers were your favorites, and why? (Also, as an elementary teacher, I may take a few notes on what you say :slight_smile: )

Me: Lessee…hmm, no one from elementary years. That’s depressing, but so were those years. BUT Mr. Farrell, my high school AP English teacher (and my speech/debate coach) had true impact on me simply because he really believed in my talent and nurtured and encouraged it. My confidence really grew because of him. He also helped me get a 5 on the AP Exam. :smiley:

No one had emotional, personal impact though. How 'bout y’all?

Mr. Reins (also AP English and Creative Writing) was absolutely my favorite teacher. He moved to a different state sometime after I graduated, though and I have no idea where he went.

He was great, kinda dorky-looking, but essentially a really cool guy. The coffeehouse trend was just coming back into vogue when I was a senior, so it was generally just English and Drama people hanging out at first. Mr. Reins would show up on open mic night and sing the blues.

Man, he was cool… what great memories. Good thread idea.

Veni, Vidi, Visa … I came, I saw, I bought.

My favorite teacher was my fourth grade teacher. She was the one who introduced me to the wonderful books of Enid Blyton, a British writer. She read some of Blyton’s stories to us out loud, and I was enthralled. She also encouraged us to do creative writing, and she always had a kind word to say about my stories.

I’d say she pumped up my self-esteem in many ways, and I wanted to become a writer from that time on. Here’s to you, Mrs. Bade, wherever you are! Love ya!

Lemonade…10 cents
Snakes…50 cents

Perry Watson, English teacher, freshman thru junior year of high school. Had us read–a lot. probably improved my writing, spelling, and grammar more than any amount of drilling ever could have.

Mrs. Buchanan, eleventh grade trig/math analysis. Not only one of the rare math teachers who know how to make their subject interesting, but also a great coach and all-around human being. The sort of teacher who would go out of her way to help you, no matter what the problem was – who even took kids into her home on occasion.

Mr. Isaacs, twelfth grade AP English (and with him it WAS a college-level course). Probably the most demanding, provocative, and generally brilliant classroom teacher I’ve ever had. Insisted that we know the Bible and Edith Hamilton’s Mythology practically by heart – something that has served me very well in college and grad school.

Hmmm . . . well, for “emotional, personal impact” I’d have to say my fourth grade teacher - my first schoolboy crush. :slight_smile:

But seriously, I had a teacher in a high school English class called “Advanced English Expression” who was alternately a pompous ass and a chauvinist bastard. He also ran the debate club, and developed this class into an open forum for discussion and debate, with one rule: you had to know what you were talking about. He would challenge your assumptions and demand references, forcing you to think. He would say almost anything to get a reaction (hence the pompous/chauvinist), but would always have a point.

He was one of the few teachers I’ve had who really understood the concept of teaching us how to think. And he was really a good guy - the classroom antics were only provocation. So, thank you Mr. Harbace.

And LauraRae, thank you. Teaching is sometimes such a thankless occupation, it’s encouraging to meet someone who approaches it with interest and care.

There must be something about those AP English teachers. I had “Randy” for freshman and junior Engliah and four years of Spanish. He was intelligent, witty, snide, and nearly everyone hated him. He used to send me flowers to school and was so bold he had them delivered during the period I had with him. All the other students and teachers knew what was going on. Eventually the story made it around to his wife and the school administrators and we had to cut it out. Thank God my parents never found out, because my dad would have shot him. He’s on the school board now, and still teaches. I am thankful he will be retired long before my kids are in high school. I look back on it now and know he is a scumbag, but for a while I thought I was in love.
In retrospect, I would still have to say that I learned more from him (yes, I mean acedemically) than any other teacher. I would still call him my favorite, but I wouldn’t let him teach my kids. Probably shouldn’t be teaching anyone’s kids, for that matter.

If he had been much of an English teacher, he probably would have taught me to spell “English”. Uh oh. :slight_smile:

Mrs. Lockett - my 4th grade teacher. She let me into the “math club” though I had less than stellar math performance, and taught me Logo and Basic progamming on the Apple IIE.

She really taught me to love computers… I’m now a system admin for AIX and other Unix flavors.

That’s easy: my 11th grade physics teacher. Quiet, soft spoken guy; you almost had to strain to hear him. But he made it fun, not dry and boring, and he truely managed to make you feel like you can understand the world you live in on a very fundamental, nuts-and-bolts level if you just apply the right tools to the right problems.

I credit him (now long retired) in a big way for my interest in science and engineering and later decision to go into the engineering field. I also credit him with my deep belief that rational rather than mystic thought is the best path towards true understanding. The topic was never raised directly, but few students left his class without a profound respect for science.

Also, he was willing to go way above and beyond the call of duty. He’d teach things that weren’t in the books, weren’t part of the curriculum, if people really wanted to know. You could ask, “ok, so how come this-and-such works thata-way” and he’d spend an entire lecture explaining it. Some of the stuff I learned in his 11th grade physics class I didn’t encounter again until my 2nd or 3rd semester of university level physics!

I think he was way overqualified in his field to be teaching high school students, but he was sure good at it.

peas on earth

My English Teacher, Mrs Henry, was very cool. She encouraged my creative writing, and I was allowed to concentrate on that part rather than the stupid poetry the rest of the class was doing.

Very cool.

In my last year of High School, what we call Form Seven, I took English as a subject on the assumption there’d be creative writing in the curriculum. But there wasn’t. So Mrs Henry allowed me to do it on my own.

In retrospect, I also think I had a crush on her. Or maybe it was just respect. (She was one of the few teachers I’ve ever felt earned my respect - most of the other teachers semed to think they deserved it without earning it. Well, ha! NO!!)

“So what you are telling me, Percy, is that something you have never seen is slightly less blue than something else that you have never seen.”

By the way, when I said ‘stupid poetry,’ that’s just because I’ve never liked poetry - I don’t really think poetry is stupid. It’s just as legitimate an expressionist art form as any other.

Color me ignorant, but was does AP stand for in AP english?

Favorite teacher?

Hmmm, Mrs. Something-or-Another who was so demanding on correct grammar and punctuation. She was 10th grade english/debatish kinda class. I cannot say the word “Got” or “Ain’t” (two words she forbid in class) without thinking of whatever her name is. I learned from her that I have little fear of public speaking.

Mrs. I-Forget-Her-Name in 10th grade who taught creative writing. Entered a couple of my stories into a national contest.

Mrs. Quiet-Voice who taught literature. 11th grade.I win alot of Jeopardy lit questions because of her teachings.

Whomever the teacher was that introduced Shakespeare to me. (9th grade)I still remember the migraine I got watching my first Shagspeare play ( Love’s Labor Lost) trying to translate the Bard’s word into Shirley Language. I was mesmerized and I still get a migraine with the first viewing of a Shakespearian movie/play. After the 2nd or 3rd run something clicks in my head and Poof, it’s like a second language of sorts.

Oh, and how can I forget Mr. Stackhouse, who was a Detroit Homocide cop for 25 years before teaching. He was the one who told us that a dead body smells like marijuana smoke. And years later, sitting in my 3rd viewing of Rocky Horror, the smell of reefer going up around me, my gullible nitwit friend said, “What’s that smell?” too which I responded, " Oh, just a dead rotting body."

It’s the only thing I remember of his class.

Linda Hawkins, 11th grade English teacher.
She made literature come alive. Enjoyed satirical humor to the point that I did not have to censor myself in her class. She actually enjoyed my sarcastic remarks.
She died of leukemia a couple of years after I graduated. She was only about 35 years old.
That was over 15 years ago and I still get choked up when I think of her.

In college(University of Tennessee), the spot of favorite prof was a 3-way tie:
Howard Pollio, Psychology. Brilliant, compassionate, highly entertaining. His lectures were like Lenny Bruce routines.
William Bass, Anthropology. Heard of the book BODY FARM? Title is based on his forensic anthro lab. First of its kind in the country, it is still on UT property. He told fascinating tales of crime-solving. Also explained evolution so well that Kansas school boards could understand it.
William “Wild Bill” Cherry, Geography. Crazy redneck of a guy. Could describe in minute detail every square inch of the state of Tennessee. Also had considerable working knowledge of unlicensed distilleries and houses of prostitution.

I just got out of public school, so I can still recall several good teachers (BTW, Shirley, I believe AP stands, or at least stood for in my school, for ‘Advanced Placement’, meaning you were smart and usually had massive amounts of work to do). My Spanish teacher, who we were instructed to call ‘Don Pedro’ was really energetic and was able to actually teach me semi decent Spanish.
My 8th grade history teacher was a case, I’ll give him that. Mr. Simpson taught us how to scalp people (in class demontration! Whee!), the proper use of a bayonet, and did many extra things, like show good movies that the school wouldn’t let us see (like Last of the Mohicans) during our lunches. But I suppose I liked him because of the time he stuffed a guy that had been bullying me into a trash can. Head first. I considered my teacher a hero for that. For some reason, he’s even still teaching too. I did learn a lot in his class too, but those things stuck out a lot more in my teenaged brain.

“AP”=Advanced Placement

LauraRae- Mr. Farrell from SHCP, San Francisco? (Yes, I realize there are many Mr. Farrells, but the profile says California, and I seem to remember my Mr. Farrell doing speech and English before.)

JMcC from SFCA
http://members.tripod.com/~weirdstuff/index.html <fixed link!

Quixotic… :::sniff sniff::: Thank you!

jjtm, nope. Mr. Jim Farrell from Thousand Oaks High School. He was also the cross-country coach. (Heck, it’s possible he was at SHCP and moved. Teachers do that.)

I moved eight times in high school, and I can’t really remember any names, but it always seemed to me that what I appreciated the most in a teacher was gross overqualification. If I came away from the first few weeks feeling like I could ask the teacher anything relating to their subject and they’d be able to at least discuss it, I was happy. In contrast, I really resented the teachers who obviously knew the textbook, not the subject matter, and you felt like you shouldn’t ask tricky questions, lest you embarress them.

I am in Professional Education classes right now, and I hate the way they blow off the importance of competency in the subject matter, protecting the importance of their own department.

I had a philosophy teacher in high school who was really cool. Every so often, he’d declare “Martin Buber Day,” just for the heck of it, and we’d all get candy.

Sixth grade, Mr. Render. One of the most genuinely funny people I ever met - He would crack up parents and kids alike. He was passionate about teaching, and always treated every kid (and this was in Hollis, NY when thet wasn’t a great neighborhood anymore) like they could learn if they wanted to, and he made us all want to.

At the end of the year, I was reading at a college level, doing math at an even higher level, and playing chess with him after class.

I don’t think my subsequent decline in grades had anything to do with lousy faculty and teaching in Junior High and HS. Nope. Not at all.

Yer pal,