I Hope That Every Teacher Out There is Someone’s Favorite.

This post is dedicated to all teachers – with special love to my Aunt M – a teacher I wish I had gotten to have and my cousins C & L – I would also love to see them in action!

I was reading the posts in The Waiting’s blog hop today.

It’s about a subject near and dear to my heart.  Favorite teachers.  I feel very fortunate in my life, I’ve had more excellent teachers than bad ones. And when I say excellent, I mean – these people influenced and made me LOVE going to school. Elementary right through graduate school.

Emily talks about her favorite Prof – Dr. O. I had several teaches like Dr. O,  really nice and caring teachers, my college humanities teacher comes to mind. But I also liked  loved the cranky/Hunter S Thompsonesque teachers I had too – in fact, I loved school because of the teachers that wanted to share their passion – not fill me with facts or their opinions…they wanted me to ask questions and think and DISAGREE – how many people INVITE you to disagree? Not many…

I could spend lots of time extolling on the great and wonderful teachers I’ve had in Kindergarten (Mr. Masterson), 1st grade (Mr. Schwartz), 4th grade (Mr Hayden), 7th grade (Mr. Dooly), 8th grade (Mrs Valentine), high school (Mr. Seidel, Mr, Davis, Miss Stolz, Mrs. Roten, Mrs Wolpa), college (Dr. Barr, Dr. Sapula) graduate school (Dr. Seavey, Dr. Fallis, Dr. Budd, Dr. Higgins) – but I won’t. Know they were ALL wonderful. All of them were great teachers and they all hold a special place in my heart.  ALL OF THEM.

But there was one teacher, my sophomore English teacher, that I did not like.  She drove me crazy, she annoyed me, she was too concerned with hand cream and fashion. I was rather contemptuous of her.  HOWEVER – she totally turned me on to some of my most favorite writers. She did a unit on existentialism. I’d never really heard of it before – but it ROCKED MY WORLD.  To this day I still love reading Kafka, Camus, Sarte, Ionesco – I don’t know how she did it – but despite my non-love of her, she still changed my world and changed me.  So here’s to you Mrs. D – I didn’t like you – but I liked what you offered me.

Teachers are true gems. I think there are a lot of gems out there waiting to be discovered – and when we open our minds and hearts to an experience, we find them. And like I said, they change us and you change them.

So I hope that every teacher out there is someone’s favorite.

About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Childhood, Children, Education, love, Random Thoughts, Reading, Teachers, Teaching, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to I Hope That Every Teacher Out There is Someone’s Favorite.

  1. Maryann Graziano says:

    Teaching is one job that you can’t do effectively if you don’t absolutely love it. If you love what you do then it isn’t work. I don’t work everyday, I have fun everyday! (I still can’t believe I get a paycheck to do it)

  2. The Waiting says:

    Camus rules! I had to read The Plague for AP English summer reading, and even though I totally flunked the test on it on the first day of class and had to go take the regular class, I still love that book. In fact, I have gone back in my adulthood to read all the books that were assigned that summer. Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons was one of them.

    • Sweet – I have to admit I’d not have read a lot of books that I came to love if it was not for the fact that they were assigned in English class – and then I read a lot of them again as an adult.

      I couldn’t find any love for Silas Marner – George Eliot (even outed as a woman) did not do it for me at all.

      I’m pretty sure that I didn’t really understand a lot of what I was reading then – but it made me rather insufferable. 🙂

      • The Waiting says:

        Oh, I *totally* didn’t understand what I was reading back then either. I had to read Great Expectations when I was fifteen and it was like pulling teeth for me to ever understand one paragraph. Then, I reread it on a whim as an adult and could not believe how wonderful it was.

        • Word – that was my reading of The Gulag Archipelago – and most of Shakespeare…which I found was really better to HEAR than read. I remember reading the Fall of the House of Usher and never even realizing that the main character had some sort of condition where everything was hyper exaggerated. Duh… I was a pseudo intellectual!

  3. djmatticus says:

    How do you remember all those teachers?!?
    I guess if you actually enjoyed school (thanks to the teachers) it might be easier to remember who was who and why you liked or didn’t like them. Still, I’m impressed with your memory.
    I had some teachers I really liked, who did teach because it was their passion… but, for the most part (until college) my teachers were more interested in just putting in their time and then taking off to do what they really loved. In college most of my “teachers” were there for the money. Perhaps that is my jaded view of the experience, but considering I had some good teachers to compare against the rest it makes me think I’m not calling it all that unfairly.

    • I think everyone had a different experience – I wasn’t jaded and found the people teaching me to really interesting – community college had some great teachers.

      I don’t know how I can recall them – I think because I was really engaged with my teachers, I remember them. I’ve got a good memory for names/people but a horrible one for general trivia.

      I remember the really bad teachers too…

      • djmatticus says:

        I don’t even remember the really bad teachers – I can picture them, I know why they were terrible, but I can’t come up with their names…

        Other than the few good teachers I do remember, I think I did most of my real learning at home with my parents and older brother, and through exploration on my own of subjects I was interested in.

        Then again, I was also the student that hated homework, so rather than actually pay attention in class I would be busily working on whatever the assignment for that night was going to be.

        • I remember the people, but I have little memory of actually doing homework (high school) – I know I did (well, not for math so much, I did a semester not doing it and a semester doing it and realized, for math, a little repetition was helpful). I was trying to remember where I did my homework the other day and could not.

          I learned from all sorts of people – everyone is a teacher and a student in my opinion. And really -for me – it wasn’t about learning so much as about critical thinking and questioning. I got more out of a class that I was participating in than one where I was waiting for the bell to ring. If I had to be there – I might as well enjoy myself and make the best of the situation. People are interesting – even the jerks – so if you enrage me, I’ll remember; if you engage me I’ll remember.

          That said, I almost made coffee twice in the same cup (Kuerig) b/c I forgot the first time around…go figure.

  4. Jennie Saia says:

    Ms. Mills. First grade. She was *just* like Ms. Honey in Mathilda. I still get a goofy grin just thinking of her, and how she helped me bind my first “real book!” She cemented the love of reading and writing that my parents has begun to foster in me.

  5. rossmurray1 says:

    Think about what you were like as a child. Now think about 20 to 30 of you. Teachers are amazing.

  6. Carrie Rubin says:

    I’m impressed you remember your teachers’ names. I remember so few. I wish I could say more made an impression on me, but if they did, I’ve forgotten that, too. Except for my high school French teacher. I thought she was wonderful, and I ended up majoring in French (along with Natural Sciences for pre-med). Hmm, coincidence? I think not…

  7. El Guapo says:

    One favorite -Jordan Schein, Sophomore science teacher. Very plain spoken, engaging, and had what he was talking about down cold.
    One worst – a College english teacher who was so full of himelf, I think I dropped the class after six sessions.

  8. I love the title of this. And I love that you still found value in Mrs. D’s class. I, too, had so many teachers I loved growing up. But after becoming a teacher, I came to appreciate even those teachers who weren’t my favorites. I actually used to try to impart this on my own students when they would start complaining to me about one of their other teachers. Every class has a value, it’s a student’s job to find it. Oh, and p.s…what is it with teacher’s and hand cream??

    • I wish I knew about the hand cream mystery!
      Thanks – I know a lot of people have such a terrible experience with school/education – I wish it as different. School/education is so much more than “do I need to know this for the test” – and we focus so much on that aspect – and we take for granted that we get to go to school. It’s not a guarantee in all countries.

      I bet you are many kids favorite teacher – I can tell just from your comments.

      • Aw, thanks. I’ve been on teaching hiatus for 8 years since having my kids, but I do miss it. I will likely return someday soon. You are so right about focusing on more than just what’s on the test. Obviously, a person will never use everything they learned in school in real life. But the process of actually learning is something we use everyday…and the more you practice that process, the better you are in whatever direction you choose to go. And let’s face it, people who know things are so much more interesting than people who don’t 🙂

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