Your Favorite Teachers

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Saw a thread about name calling and mean teachers, but didn't see one for favorite teachers. So, question, what is your favorite teacher like? How did he/she teach and handle the class?
 

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  • #2
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My favourite teacher was my maths teacher in year 12 (final year highschool). He was a fantastic maths teacher for a start, loved the subject and tried to convey that feeling to the class, but he also commanded respect that I never saw any other highschool teacher do even half as well.

He spoke softly, and never raised his voice. Misbehaviour was handled in an "I'm not angry, I'm disappointed" kind of way, questions were welcomed, interesting points elaborated on, it was just a pleasure to be there. I remember a few times when the class was disrupted, the type of disruption that other teachers would treat by removing the student, or some kind of verbal abuse, and he would just quietly, and sternly, but always quietly give the student a reprimand, ask for them to consider the rights of the whole class to learn, and then continue with the lesson. He was a real role model for me.

Funny thing was, I had almost the same classmates in my physics class, and that was a complete clusterf***, purely due to the nature of the teacher who had a firey temper and was quick to anger.
 
  • #3
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I can't say that I have a favorite teacher/professor. They were all great to me and they each had their ways of getting through to the students. It is just hard to decide who my favorite was.
 
  • #4
turbo
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My favorite teacher was my 5-6th grade teacher. I went to elementary school in a very small school with 2 grades per class. In the odd-numbered grades I was OK, but in the even-numbered grades, I was a handful because I had already learned all of the stuff that the teachers were teaching the older class. My 5-6 grade teacher was great. Even then, she was past retirement age but kept teaching, and she assigned me all kinds of extra work, even in the 5th grade. She had me reading histories and novels (many from her own library) and writing detailed book reports on each of them to gauge my comprehension. Man! I hated it when she assigned a book by Somerset Maughm because that was a slog, but she treated me well, overall.
 
  • #5
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My grade 12 math teacher, first A that I earned easily and wholeheartedly. Every other teacher sucked thuogh...seriously.
 
  • #6
MATLABdude
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I loved nearly all my teachers and professors. If I had to single out one in particular, it'd have to be Mrs. Mork in first grade--somehow, I went from trouble-making hell-raiser to whiz-kid. Then again, the mileage may vary since I was frequently in gifted programs (and yeah, I was probably a bit of a brown-noser). But at the same time, I honestly enjoyed things like cleaning out and organizing the science lab, and helping repair books in the library.

So all that said, I don't understand what seems to me to be a hatred of teachers and education systems in some quarters these days. Worse yet (and perhaps my perspective is clouded in the matter having a younger sibling who goes on about this all the time), young people who have a distrust of education, or even accuse the education system and teachers of indoctrinating them and stifling their creativity.

EDIT: At the time, I thought Mrs. Mork picked on me--why the heck did she keep on asking me the questions, get me to go up to the blackboard, and give me grief when I didn't do my homework? In retrospect, I guess she either saw something there (or decided to make me the Pygmalion). Either way, I'm quite grateful, perhaps because I can see the embodiment of the saying, "There but by the grace of God [and beautiful people, and circumstance, and probably a little luck] go I."
 
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  • #7
77
1
My favourite teacher was my maths teacher in year 12 (final year highschool). He was a fantastic maths teacher for a start, loved the subject and tried to convey that feeling to the class, but he also commanded respect that I never saw any other highschool teacher do even half as well.

He spoke softly, and never raised his voice. Misbehaviour was handled in an "I'm not angry, I'm disappointed" kind of way, questions were welcomed, interesting points elaborated on, it was just a pleasure to be there. I remember a few times when the class was disrupted, the type of disruption that other teachers would treat by removing the student, or some kind of verbal abuse, and he would just quietly, and sternly, but always quietly give the student a reprimand, ask for them to consider the rights of the whole class to learn, and then continue with the lesson. He was a real role model for me.

Funny thing was, I had almost the same classmates in my physics class, and that was a complete clusterf***, purely due to the nature of the teacher who had a firey temper and was quick to anger.
Sound like you had a terrific teacher. My sister had one of those in her freshman year. She was so scare of the teacher that she would almost never miss a homework. My sister said if you miss a homework, the teacher would give you that "I'm disappointed in you" eyes that make you feel so guilty that you would never do it again. I don't think I ever had one of those.

I can't say that I have a favorite teacher/professor. They were all great to me and they each had their ways of getting through to the students. It is just hard to decide who my favorite was.
Either you're that lucky or are extremely positive. I had a number of ok to good teachers, but only a handful of the great one.

My favorite teacher was my 5-6th grade teacher. I went to elementary school in a very small school with 2 grades per class. In the odd-numbered grades I was OK, but in the even-numbered grades, I was a handful because I had already learned all of the stuff that the teachers were teaching the older class. My 5-6 grade teacher was great. Even then, she was past retirement age but kept teaching, and she assigned me all kinds of extra work, even in the 5th grade. She had me reading histories and novels (many from her own library) and writing detailed book reports on each of them to gauge my comprehension. Man! I hated it when she assigned a book by Somerset Maughm because that was a slog, but she treated me well, overall.
That's my belief as well. The great teacher are the one that pushes your limit and makes you realize you can do something that you never thought you could before.
 
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  • #8
77
1
My grade 12 math teacher, first A that I earned easily and wholeheartedly. Every other teacher sucked thuogh...seriously.
I never got an A in high school. But most of my math teachers have been awesome. I wonder if those things correlate. Math teacher = awesome teacher :) (Take that back, I know someone who was not an awesome math teacher. In fact, I really dislike him. I pity the kids he teaches.)
 
  • #9
Moonbear
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I had many, both formal and informal teachers. However, one who has always stood out was my AP Biology teacher in my senior year of high school, and it wasn't for the class material so much as that she was the first teacher I had who encouraged team work over competition. We didn't have to scramble and back-stab to get to the top of the class; we could help each other and all earn top marks if we learned the material. That was inspiring enough that I incorporate a lot of team learning in my classes today. Now, all of my students are going into some sort of health care profession, so NEED to learn to work as a team, but very few faculty really appreciate that having them competing for honors, or grading on curves, can undermine attempts to teach them that they ALL need to work together to care for patients, and they should be helping each other all be the best they can be.
 
  • #10
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I was taught by many good teachers but today id have to say that my most favorite teacher was my Anatomy AND Physiology teacher Mrs.Higdon. I loved every day of her class! She made everything so interesting and taught me so much that i didnt already know. This year she found out that she has lymphoma (cancer) and just started her kemo(dont know if i spelled that right) treatment. The most amizing thing about this is that she is still going to continue to teach through the treatments and everything!! i just think she has so much strength and is an amazing teacher for that. Best wishes for my beloved teacher!
 
  • #11
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I was reading something the other day...It was saying we should e-mail back the teachers we really loved, the teachers that really opened our eyes to something new, or the teachers that just helped you get to where you are.
The teachers have deal with the stresses of taking care of 100+ students everyday..
One e-mail can just make their day.
 
  • #12
turbo
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I was reading something the other day...It was saying we should e-mail back the teachers we really loved, the teachers that really opened our eyes to something new, or the teachers that just helped you get to where you are.
The teachers have deal with the stresses of taking care of 100+ students everyday..
One e-mail can just make their day.
I'd love to be able to do that. (email Mrs Clark), but she was over 70 in the early '60s. We'd have a a "Dances With Wolves" moment. "Why Don't She Answer?"
 
  • #13
Moonbear
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I was reading something the other day...It was saying we should e-mail back the teachers we really loved, the teachers that really opened our eyes to something new, or the teachers that just helped you get to where you are.
The teachers have deal with the stresses of taking care of 100+ students everyday..
One e-mail can just make their day.
It really does. I've had a few students email me, or stop me in the hallways, after a course was over and tell me how much they appreciated my class, or how much it helped them prep for their board exams, or make a decision about a career, etc., and it always makes my day.
 
  • #14
Ivan Seeking
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My favorite teacher helped to turn my life around. He helped me to fall in love with math and physics when I was lost in a storm without a rudder. He was my high school physics and computer science teacher. After I graduated from hs we got to be great friends. In addition to the occasional visit, we talked on the phone for one to two hours every weekend for over twenty-five years. In fact, for twenty-five years, after my wife, he was my best friend in life. He passed away a few years ago.

Strangely, one of the things that led to his death was exposure to some rare form of e-coli, or maybe something similar... [not sure anymore] when he was doing research at Berkeley, back in the 50s. Many years later it caused complications that combined with other problems that eventually took him down.

He was a lover of learning. In fact he was on his way to start a new research position when he stopped in a small town for lunch. He met someone there who ultimately convinced him to change his plans and teach hs. They had a desperate need for a good science teacher. Lucky for me and a lot of people, he never left that town. By the time he died he was a local icon.
 
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  • #15
Ivan Seeking
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Oh yes, how did he handle the class? He was tough and strict - very old school. But he inspired people with his enthusiasm and love of science.
 
  • #16
Ivan Seeking
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One interesting note: Jim had a copy of Bill Gate's original BASIC source code that included notes in the margins - I think from both Gates and Allen. I remember seeing it back when I was in high school...or shortly thereafter. When he died I was supposed to get all that stuff but we could never find it.

At the time it was just a novelty. I've often wondered if he just tossed it.
 
  • #17
77
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I had many, both formal and informal teachers. However, one who has always stood out was my AP Biology teacher in my senior year of high school, and it wasn't for the class material so much as that she was the first teacher I had who encouraged team work over competition. We didn't have to scramble and back-stab to get to the top of the class; we could help each other and all earn top marks if we learned the material. That was inspiring enough that I incorporate a lot of team learning in my classes today. Now, all of my students are going into some sort of health care profession, so NEED to learn to work as a team, but very few faculty really appreciate that having them competing for honors, or grading on curves, can undermine attempts to teach them that they ALL need to work together to care for patients, and they should be helping each other all be the best they can be.
You're a teacher moonbear? At what level?

I agree teamwork is important. We need it at almost every job that I can think of. But it's also frustrating to have bad team members. I suppose that teaches you how to deal with people, but it can also make your life miserable for time.

That is surprising to hear though. I hear a lot of that in college, but never see anyone incorporate that.
 
  • #18
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One interesting note: Jim had a copy of Bill Gate's original BASIC source code that included notes in the margins - I think from both Gates and Allen. I remember seeing it back when I was in high school...or shortly thereafter. When he died I was supposed to get all that stuff but we could never find it.

At the time it was just a novelty. I've often wondered if he just tossed it.
Really? Wow, I'm curious to see it, just to see what Gate was thinking at the time. It's unfortunately you couldn't find it. Maybe it found its way onto ebay :)

It really does. I've had a few students email me, or stop me in the hallways, after a course was over and tell me how much they appreciated my class, or how much it helped them prep for their board exams, or make a decision about a career, etc., and it always makes my day.
I wouldn't mind visiting my old teachers, especially the one that made an impact in my life. But I feel a bit embarrassed when they don't remember me.

Still, for the one that's really special, I'm planning to send them a card to thank you.
 
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  • #19
cobalt124
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With one or two exceptions I was blessed with very good teachers, I was very lucky in that respect. The one that sticks out though is my "A" Level Double Mechanics teacher, who at the moment seems to have some sort of Facebook fan site. But waaaay back when he taught me, he was passionate about maths and taught it brilliantly knew his stuff inside out, and you didn't have to be a brilliant student, he taught all equally (which was good for me, a duffer in a class of Oxbridge potential and Engineering geekery).
 
  • #20
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Over the years of public school I had MANY great teachers, but the most recent one who left the biggest impact was my physics and robotics teacher Mr. Keller. Early 30s guy who is so passionate about science and learning, combined with his zany sense of humor and teaching style, you can't help but enjoy class with him. The type to go off into a tangent for a whole class period when a student with a genuine interest has questions. He's really great in that he'll really have a discussion about things, rather then lecturing. A great mentor and friend to me.
 
  • #21
turbo
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Another great teacher was Mr. Littlefield. Aside from being the winningest basketball coach in our HS's history, with (IIR) 7 consecutive state titles, he was a great math teacher. Back when I was in HS, we got him fresh out of college, and in my junior year, it became very evident that he was taking us as far as could be expected with Trig, so during the summer, he designed a new advanced math class for my class' senior year. There were only 42 kids in my senior class (the biggest class in the history of the school) and only 5 of us wanted/needed that advanced instruction for college. He made it fun. He pretty much kept to his course-plan, but since the course was a work in progress, he'd take the time to detour and explore concepts in detail when there were questions (and he'd quickly jot notes to himself as he did so). I know that the course just got better and better over the years.

By the time he got to be the best BB coach in the state, my little alma mater's team (Class D - smallest in the state) was routinely matched up against and beating the hell out of the largest schools in the state in the holiday tournaments. That team had a feature in Sports Illustrated (Feb 2001) during their state-record unbeaten streak. During season play, Coach Littlefield would pull his starters in the first quarter, so that other players would get more court-time, and still won by scores of 97-26 and 94-19. During the Christmas break of 2000, his team was matched up against the defending state champions (Bangor was over 10x bigger in enrollment than Bingham) and my little alma mater beat the champs by about 30 points. What made it extra-special for me is that my friend's twin sons were the forwards on that team, and it was like watching an adrenaline ballet to see them work the ball up the court. Dwight has since retired from coaching, but still teaches math. I hope his students appreciate their good luck!
 
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