Our Favorite Teachers

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. ~Henry Adams

I think we all come away from our scholastic endeavors with at least one favorite teacher. And never are we more appreciative of them than when we realize just how much we learned under their tutelage . Sometimes it takes years for that recognition to grow, sometimes it only takes a few minutes in their presence. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week and National Teachers Day, the O2O team members are sharing memories about their favorite teachers.

“I loved math and science in school and typically those were the teachers I enjoyed the most especially my high school AP Chemistry and Physics teachers.  They both had great personalities and you knew they loved their subject area and enjoyed seeing the light bulb’s go off in our brains when we discovered or understood new concepts and ideas.  They always came up with creative ways to keep their classrooms and the curriculum fun, relevant and exciting for a bunch of high schoolers.  I really appreciated them then and maybe even more now that I have kids of my own.” ~Barbara

“My favorite teacher was by far one of the toughest and some might say the meanest teacher we had. She was my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Holliday. An older woman at the time (she had taught my mother in the same school over 20 years earlier!) she knew grammar, knew how to write, and drilled the details into our heads. The information was taught so thoroughly that I honestly didn’t learn a thing in High School and placed into advanced English in college. Did I like her then? NO. Do I love her now? Most definitely. Thank you Mrs. Holliday!” ~Linda

“My favorite teacher was my 8th grade teacher Ms. DeGroot. She was a cool, hip no-nonsense kind of teacher in her late twenties. Everyone liked her and wanted to be on her good side, because if you acted up, she had no qualms making you feel ‘uncool’ in front of the class and you’d find yourself scrambling to get back in her good graces.

She taught many subjects but I could always tell she had a passion for Literature and English which were my strongest subjects. She took a special interest in my abilities and was always encouraging me to follow my talents. My favorite part about being in her class was her open-mind policy and she invited discussions about sensitive subjects like race, gender, sexuality and touchy current events that other teachers tread lightly on.

I remember feeling bad for her when I found out she had to keep two part-time nights/weekends job at Victoria’s Secret and as an aerobics instructor to supplement her private school teacher income. She was SO good at her job yet she had to keep some energy on reserve for her second jobs.

She went on to become a Principal a few years after I graduated. I always thought it was a shame that she was no longer in the classroom but she was finally able quit her other jobs and be recognized for her passion for education.” ~Amber

“My sixth grade teacher is my favorite not just because of what she taught me, like the Calligraphy that I use to this day or because the reading nook in her classroom was a porcelain claw foot bath tub filled with cushions or because book reports were not written essays but books brought to life through creating games and mobiles and dioramas. She was my favorite because she was the first woman, other than my mother, that took an interest in teaching me about being a woman. She was a tall and “curvy, and she had the kind of confidence in herself that I wished I could have. But most of all, knew the right thing to say this shy, awkward preteen girl who needed to know that someday, she could be confident in herself, too.” ~Malia

“The best teacher I ever had was Dr. James Perrone—clinical psychologist by day; UConn psychology professor by night. His Abnormal Psych course was captivating because there’s only so much that resonates from reading about obsessive compulsive behavior, post-traumatic stress, and narcissistic personalities in a book. Dr. Perrone illustrated using examples of his own clients that have sat across from him for thirty years. Anyone able to make a three hour evening lecture fly by is a master of their craft.

To ace his exams I would have to read the entire chapter, re-read it again with highlighter, and then do one last round with squiggly lines in red pen. The bookstore always refused to buy back my psychology textbooks when the semester was over. Dr. Perrone was tough, but I’ve also never had a professor care so much for his students. He demanded the best but was always on our side.

I want to thank Dr. Perrone for instilling a fascination for the human psyche in me and making my education so enjoyable. There’s no doubt I’ll be amateurishly diagnosing the eccentric people in my life for many years to come!” ~Maryellen

What about you? Who was your favorite teacher?

images from iCLIPART

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