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Influential teachers

  1. Jun 3, 2005 #1
    My high school physics teacher is such a great teacher and an even greater person. All of his students absolutely love him and he loves teaching us. In a few weeks, it will be time to become seniors, and sadly, we'll have to plan days where we can only visit our old teachers just to say hello. I was thinking of some ways to show our appreciation for him. Perhaps myself and some of my friends would like to buy him something. I know it is materialistic to buy something to show our gratitude, and that it should be shown through words, but I think this guy merits a real gift.

    Can anyone toss up some suggestions in the air as to what 2-3 people could buy that shows true appreciation?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2005 #2
    We too bought some of our teachers some gifts when we left. It was different for every teacher, just think what he might like. For one we took a picture of our class and framed it for him. For others we baked cakes (we did that for quite a few teachers). For our Greek teacher we bought a basket and filled it with Greek food, for our German teacher a bottle of wine. Before you all leave you might suggest you all go out one evening to a restaurant or cafe - we did that too. Some chemistry classes have made big foam mushrooms and signed them and they are now on display in the chemistry lab. Maybe you can think of something, if you really got on that well with your teacher and he was that good, he does deserve to know how much you appreciated his efforts, as he'd be paid even if he were lazy and uninspiring (and its sad to see when some teachers realize that and stop working as hard as before).
  4. Jun 3, 2005 #3
    i feel the same way about one of my college professors. He's absoutely the best teacher that i've ever had. when this semester is over i plan to get him a dvd of the movie "what the bleep do we know" and a clock that depicts newton or leibnitz.I know this is a little corny but he's given me so much that i wish i could give more!
  5. Jun 3, 2005 #4
    if I was him I'd take that as a "**** you".
  6. Jun 3, 2005 #5
    no that movie is about quantum physics, mathematics, neural science etc....
  7. Jun 3, 2005 #6
    the movie is absolute garbage. check the QM forum, there's one thread about the movie on the first page.
  8. Jun 3, 2005 #7
    Great suggestions so far! :)
  9. Jun 3, 2005 #8
    sorry but i disagree. i loved the movie
  10. Jun 3, 2005 #9
    maybe not everything in the movie was 100% accurate, but it was enjoyable still. Maybe since the movie was somewhat successful it will spark a more rigorous one to me made.
    Isn't Walter Lewin the MIT professor in the movie?
  11. Jun 3, 2005 #10


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    give him a hug :D
  12. Jun 3, 2005 #11


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    the picture is a good idea. and tell him what you feel about him. he'll remember and treasure those things.

    students tend to believe that teachers are so confident and mature that they know they do a good job and do not need to be told. teachers are actually as insecure as other people, and often wonder why so few students say anything, after all the hundreds of hours of devoted attention and preparation the teacher has given to them.

    simple sincere statements, and mementos like photos or signed scrapbooks are probably good. the thought is the main thing and not the cost of the gift. but a modest communal dinner might be nice because of the comeraderie and occasion for interaction and memories.

    and take some photos. In Italy, where people are famously delightful, I was amazed at the considerateness of the students who took photos of the teachers and the students, and sent us all copies. No class had ever done that before in my life, or since.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2005
  13. Jun 3, 2005 #12
    physics book..or maybe an after school curriculum group for studying physics?
  14. Jun 3, 2005 #13


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    I like the dinner idea. This would (will) mean the most to me if (when) I was (am) a teacher. :wink: You could also go to a science museum or something similar. I imagine he would appreciate hearing what he did right and would enjoy talking about physics- fun stuff, exploring ideas, his favorite physicists or discoveries, and such.
  15. Jun 4, 2005 #14
    My friends and I had this math teacher in HS. Senior year we all chipped in 10 bucks and gave a plaque of one of these: http://us.st5.yimg.com/store1.yimg.com/I/demotivators_1843_5068181

    It said "Mediocrity isn't so bad, it got us through your class."

    Of course, we didn't really like him.

    But a plaque would be nice anyway.

  16. Jun 4, 2005 #15


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    I agree with inha. As a physicist, I was utterly insulted by the movie. It bastardizes the basic principle of QM. Please read the various threads about the movie on PF. I know of no physicist who thinks this movie is even remotely accurate.

    I hope this professor you gave the DVD to is more forgiving than I would have been.

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2005
  17. Jun 4, 2005 #16
    I don't know anyone in anyway qualified to comment who thought it was a anything but a waste of time, and an insult. Very gald I never actually saw it.
  18. Jun 4, 2005 #17


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    Take a picture of you and him together. Print an 8x10. On the back, write a simple, honest essay on what you have mentioned here. Tell him how much he has meant to you, and how much you want him to know that he is loved and appreciated. As a teacher, I can't think of a more wonderful feeling to know that what one has done is appreciated, especially when a student takes the time to write it down.

    Don't buy expensive gifts, or things like that. It's nice, but he probably doesn't need another necktie, or a paper weight. As one grows up, one will tend to appreciated a lot more something that comes truly from the heart.

  19. Jun 4, 2005 #18


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    I'm curious, what made him a great teacher?
  20. Jun 4, 2005 #19
    I don't know if you need to forgive someone who gives you a gift with the best of intentions, however misguided they might be. It's the thought that counts.
  21. Jun 4, 2005 #20


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    That would make me feel even worse if I were him.

    I try to teach the students not just the subject matter, but also how to think analytically. Such skills are important not just in physics, but everywhere else. If one of my students think this movie is of any substance, it's obvious that I have failed, and failed miserably in my effort. As a teacher, I would rather have a student intentionally trying to "insult" me by giving me this movie. At the very least, in this case, he/she at least realized that he/she is giving me a "garbage physics" movie. Just by that alone, I'm happy to know that without them realizing it, they've learned something. As a teacher, it is never about me, but always about the student.

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