Teachers posted on the Teachers.Net Teacher Chatboard in response to:
Who was the best teacher you had (not necessarily your favorite – or are they the same?) during your years as a student, and what makes that teacher stand out in your memory as the most effective educator?
Posted by Annise:
Mrs. Smith, my grade ten history teacher. She was both the best and my favorite teacher... a gifted teacher who made history interesting and engaging for perhaps the first time in my life AND she was so smartly dressed every day. I know outward appearance should not be a factor but hey, I was a rural student who had been taught mostly by men up to that point. I loved her and I went on to take my degree in history.
Posted by Kathy:
I had a few very good teachers over the years. The one that really stands out is Mrs. Yates. She was my 6th grade teacher. I remember her taking us to the gym every day to do exercises (arm circles, jumping jacks, and other simple stand up activities). She also read to us every day. Even though we were 12 year olds, we all enjoyed her stories. She really got into them. She changed voices, voice volume, etc. To this day, one of my favorite times of the day is the last 20 minutes of school when I have story time with my kids. I also get them out of their wheelchairs every day for floor time where we do movement activities and stretching exercises.
Posted by PST:
Mrs. Griffith was both my best and favorite. She was always kind and loving. She understood what motivated children. She understood development. She was my fourth grade teacher and healed many hurts that the nasty third grade teacher caused to all of us. She inspired us to learn. She led, she did not push. Her love of what we were doing is what made us love it too.
Besides that she lived next to the ice skating rink and called us in for hot chocolate and cookies on the weekends. It was not unusual for her to have some wonderful thing to show/teach us or an art project for us to do on Sunday afternoons at her house.
This woman and her husband were two of the kindest people I have ever met. She died a few years ago, but several of us became teachers because we wanted to be like her.
Posted by vateacher:
Mrs. Dodson, my 11th grade history teacher! vateacher
Posted by mrsd:
Looking back, I'd say that Miss Cecilia Reichhart was my best teacher. I was a dunce in Algebra, and she had so much patience. Since our high school was so small, I had her for all three years that I took math. I actually grew to understand Algebra, though not all that well. I still wonder whatever happened to her after she married and moved away.
Posted by Magoo:
Helen Thompson, Tillman Elementary School, Kirkwood, MO… my 5th grade teacher 1953-54.
She'd been to Florida the summer before she had my class, and we learned a LOT about seashells that school year. When Hubs and I went to Sanibel Island last fall, a lot of what Mrs. T. had taught me came back!
The summer AFTER she had my class, she went to England, and she sent every single one of us kids a photo postcard... and yes, I still have mine!
She was amazing... lots of energy, lots of love for kids, did not put up with a lot of nonsense, we kids just loved her.She's the reason I wanted to become a teacher, but she had passed away by the time I did, so I never got to tell her.
Posted by Jan:
Harriet Williams, English teacher, Hoquiam High School, Hoquiam, WA, was incredible. I had her for three years (everyone said she only had her pets for the third year, and I hope that is so) and I worked very hard because she was tough, but all that effort paid off because of what I learned. I was very well prepared for college and for life... because of Harriet Williams. She was also our senior class advisor and was responsible for all the senior activities. I remember when we graduated she told us that we would not be having Pomp and Circumstance as the processional because that was reserved for college graduation. I was so disappointed at the time, but when I stood in the procession in my college cap and gown and Pomp and Circumstance began, I knew what she had meant. And, she was right!
She was a great teacher who inspired all of us to be the best persons we could be. I became a teacher because of her. One of my greatest sorrows is that I never told her what an influence she was. When she died, about 15 years ago, I found out she had lived in Sacramento after she retired and I could have contacted her.
I must say, I had many great teachers in that very small town in Washington State. In fact, most were exemplary. Mrs. Ladley who taught Spanish in high school, and Miss Hammel who taught 4th grade will never be forgotten. A few years ago, I went back to my 45th high school reunion. Two of my old teachers were there as was our principal. I had not seen them since graduation and yet each of them remembered incidents that had occurred when I was in high school! I think that explains why they were such good teachers; they cared about all of us. They taught because they loved it and they had great expertise because they were dedicated to their jobs. They all played very important parts in my life.
Posted by EMA on 4/11/08
In elementary school my favorite and best teacher was Miss Kobayashi, my 3rd grade teacher. She was inspiring and magical. I learned so much that year. She didn't teach subjects, she taught children.
In Junior High my favorite and best teacher was Mrs. Jenkins - 8th English. She was the first to inspire me to write... my first (declared) major was Journalism and I was editor of my college newspaper; that was all Mrs. Jenkins' influence.
High School was not the best of times for me... but I would have to say that Mrs. Harney was my best and favorite teacher. She taught Biology. She made the course relevant and important. Who would have thought the dissecting an earth worm or a perch could be so interesting and exciting. Her labs were always the best.
Posted by jme:
Mrs. Ward, freshman social studies teacher, an older woman, and Mr. Redmon, Algebra I, a younger man. They both obviously liked being around us; they both managed to make me feel special and worthwhile, even though I was far from the smartest kid in class; and they made their subjects relevant, even when that meant doing things like letting us watch the Watergate hearings on TV and teaching us about computers long before most people had any idea that such machines would have a major impact on our lives. I wonder how they would have fared in our test-driven classrooms of today.
Posted by Donna music/TN:
Lois Lilley and Sandra Riner. Both were my speech therapists… Ms. Lilley in elementary schools, Mrs. Riner in middle/high school. Not only did these ladies do a great deal to improve and remediate my speech, but they also helped dramatically in my surviving life as a kid with special needs in the first bunch to be mainstreamed. Mrs. Riner, especially, helped SO much with the social end of things - little things like being uncomfortable talking on the phone with friends, or not knowing what to say to someone in the hall. To this day I appreciate her understanding that, to a teenager, being able to talk to the cute boy in English is sometimes as important as preparing an oral history report!
I also greatly appreciate Elizabeth Barrett who sat down with me and told me flat out that, while I was academically ready for college and probably wouldn't learn one thing there, I simply wasn't ready to be a child in an adult world. She shared her experiences about early entry then worked with me and with my other teachers to find an appropriate dual-enrollment/class schedule that allowed me to actually enjoy my last two years of high school. I didn't realize how right she was until I was in college full-time at 18, and was struggling emotionally and socially then. I wouldn't have been ready at 16.
Posted by SciTeach:
I don't have a best or favorite teacher. All but one of my teachers was good. None of my teachers ever really made a difference in my life. I think it was because I was an excellent student. I thought it was my job to do well no matter what my teacher was like. I didn't give them much of a thought, probably because everything went so smoothly for me. I think my worst teacher was my A.P. Biology teacher, though. The class wasn't challenging enough, and I wasn't prepared for college Biology classes.