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Angelina's avatar

Who was your favorite teacher (or professor) and why?

Asked by Angelina (400points) March 27th, 2008
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15 Answers

TheHaight's avatar

My art teacher in high school, Mr. Graveley. I miss him! He was amazing, creative and wacko.

bulbatron9's avatar

Mr. Cottrell, sophomore english teacher in high school. He seemed a little feminine, but he had a way of making you want to read. I got him to wear Vans, and to this day he still rocks Vans. Just one of those teachers that anyone could relate to. Any time someone said a derogatory remark about him being gay, I would immediately defend him. He is also a published author, but I can’t remember the name of the book he wrote.

Angelina's avatar

Thanks for answering! I was hoping people would chime in with specific reasons for why they thought a teacher was amazing. What did he/she do that was so special? What made him/her a great teacher? What did you learn as a result?

cheebdragon's avatar

Dale Nichols, at Horizons in orange county, he was always cool to everyone, I completed 2 grades in 7 months because he actually helped everyone with their work instead of just giving us assignments and telling us to figure it out on our own like most teachers do these days. He was a great teacher.

cake7's avatar

My favorite teacher would have to be freshman chemistry. Coach Lee, he was probably the oldest one teaching at my school and his grading system rocked. If you were to work out formulas or at least try to attempt and show that you were learning or trying you would get points.

srmorgan's avatar

Jack Mufson, Spanish teacher @Bronx Science for years and years and years.
Called by many people, including the son of a very famous comedienne, the funniest person they had ever met.
Notwithstanding the fact that every student got a nickname in Spanish, yo era “el pirata’, just look at my last name, mi apellido: the short kid was “powerhouse or King Kong, the kid who marked the daily exams was “butcher’, the girl who took attendance was “Mother Glickman”, there were two girls named Lynne, the older one was the “abuela” and the youger one was the “nieta’.
I don’t know if a teacher could get away with doling out nicknames like Mr Mufson did in the current environment, as we are all so sensitive about everything, but Mr Mufson never made fun of anyone’s ethnicity or race or religion or any really obvious disabilities.

He was funny but not cruel.

The really amazing thing was that we spoke Spanish around 95% of the time in the class, we used the language daily and I learned this language backwards and forwards and was able to use it in my summer and after school jobs during college and I can stil get along in it forty years later.

This was in the days before language labs and language tapes and the only aids we had if any were long-playing records.

I took his class sophomore, junior and senior years and enjoyed the experience thoroughly as did most of his students.


bulbatron9's avatar

@Angelina did you want me to give you his lesson plans, or something? He was just a very likable teacher. Hence the “He had a way of making you want to read.”

He rocks Vans!

simone54's avatar

Mr. Feenie. He stuck with those kids for they’re whole school term.

sndfreQ's avatar

Many have inspired me on my path, but one who had a lasting effect on me was a basic skills instructor in community college.

Picture a heavier Orson Welles (in his latter years), or maybe an “evil” Santa Claus, with a wirey, unkempt and greying beard, coupled with a commanding, intimidatingly resonant baritone voice resonating in a tiny, dingy-white, fluororescent-lit classroom.

But it was exactly his engaging presence and his aura that hooked me (and my fellow classmates) in; this curmudgeonly, cynical and dusty individual was my English 1A professor, Dr. John Reib.

Back in the early ‘90s, I was enrolled Dr. Reib’s intro English class, where with regularity, he conducted class with such a passion and zeal that, when coupled with his penchant for discussing the occult, made for some of the most off-the-wall, red-in-the-face, ‘psychotropic’ experiences (and I was not under “the influence” of anything illicit btw).

We’d often spend entire class meetings in heavy discourse, about everything except English, ranging from Zen Buddhism, to tantric rituals, to subliminal advertising, to serial monogamy, to viewing and discussing coffee table books about aliens living among us as indigenous pigmies living amongst the Amazon tribes in South America, to how he could speak in full sentences at 6 months of age, to his off-roading escapades in the California dunes in his Isuzu Trooper (lol). What a riot, and, needless to say, every day in his class was captivating…“reality tv” couldn’t hold a candle to this guy.

I also remember that he made us write down verbatim and commit to memory (via self-made flash cards that we had to carry at all times), so many obscure terms (in the dozens), that he claimed would help us understand “how to write a research paper”; and as far as I can remember, that was the only produceable outcome that we actually accomplished that was even remotely related to English…but darn it if he didn’t connect with every single person in that class-from single mothers, to newly emigrated international students, minorities, brainiacs, “rich kids”, and introverts (like me; btw this was public school in the L.A. community college system).

That is the memory that really stuck with me when thinking about answering this question.

Dr. Reib treated everyone as equals, making every one of us earn our grades, one day at a time, and truly revealed to me (perhaps for the first time in my young adult life), virtues such as responsibility, integrity, discipline, developing research skills, and the importance of being thorough. His profound connection to me and other students was remarkable (the man taught for over 35 years), and this inspiration did leave its mark on me-it was a contributing factor that led to my own pursuit of a career in teaching.

About a year later, while still an undergrad in college, and during a brief stint working as a bank teller, I bumped into a young man who, looking nothing like my teacher, revealed himself as Dr. Reib’s adopted son (he was cashing a check at my window). When I asked how his dad was doing, he sullenly replied that he had passed away just a month prior. I offered my sincere condolences, but from reading the look on his face, I could tell with piercing clarity that this was a profound loss for him. It was a truly heartbreaking moment for me, and at the same time, a very spiritual moment. Although I was saddened, I felt a sense of reverence in honoring his memory, and remembered what a unique opportunity I had experienced in my education having been his pupil.

To have been touched intellectually and spiritually by a scholar of this caliber, I often regard him as one would a follower of a guru; when I feel challenged by the rigors of my own professional work, I reflect on the idea that he touched so many lives in the years of his own journey, and I remember that specialness that brought me to where I am today.

He embodied everything I love about teaching and the value and responsibility of sharing knowledge, and the great reward that I enjoy today in teaching others how to learn, and perhaps most important: finding your passion in life, and “being the journey”.

occ's avatar

The best teachers I have had, hands down, were the ones who felt like they had something to learn from their students. They were good listeners more than good orators. They asked really good questions. They put a lot of time and effort into crafting their reading list for the semester, and it showed. We had though-provoking text, and thought-provoking handouts to complement the texts. The assignments weren’t busy-work, but interesting assignments that provoked curiosity. For example, a great omparative literature professor in college gave us seven different english translations of a Rilke poem written in german, and asked us to write an essay about the original poem (even though none of us spoke german) based on the differences between the seven translations. Now that was an interesting and unusual assignment, and I remembered it more closely than almost any other “standard paper” I had to write. I think it also shows when a teacher has a true passion for the subject they are teaching. My best English teacher in elementary school just loved words, and it showed.

Alina1235's avatar

mine was my math teacher, Mrs. Daily – she was the sweetest coolest teacher ever. me and my boyfriend at the time even went to her house for dinner one time. i think i was her favorite :)

rowenaz's avatar

My best teachers were ones that went beyond their normal role. One taught me how to take care of my hair when I was in elementary school, and bought me hair clips. Another fought the system on my behalf to have me moved to a higher reading group. A high school teacher drove me to another state so that I could attend a young writer’s conference, and she stayed there with me. Another teacher let me into her home and family, which gave me great support to work on a book. A professor invited me back to her country, which is how I got my first teaching job.

I think the thing is, that they see something in you and try to nurture it. They just don’t collect paychecks.

xunperumejor's avatar

The only reason I had to ever go to high school was to play soccer in the varsity team of the GUE Santa Isabel in Huancayo Peru. The coach Mr. Nonato Osorio Vilca taught us a lot about life and he walked his talk. He said: “those who have good grades and seriously train everyday will play.” He was so right and he respected his own words, he was for real and totally fair and honest. His integrity still shines in my life. Thank you for this opportunity to thank Mr, Osorio.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

5th grade – Linda Green. She seemed really frightening when we were younger, but her class was the best. She was a no-nonsense bitchy type, but she was always fun and turned out to be one of the coolest, greatest people I’ve ever encountered. She’d been teaching for years and years and her class of I want to say 1975 reunited on TV and she still had pieces of work they’d done. I stayed in touch for years after, and still see her around town now and again. I love her to death.

8th grade – Will Shockley. He was one of those teachers that acts like they don’t like you, but you know they really do. He taught government and I’m also still in touch with him.

Kathy Standley. I had her for three years of French in high school, and she’s the reason I became both good at it and interested in it. She was hilarious, even in French, and went above and beyond, recommending restaurants, hotels, etc. for me when I went to Paris after I graduated. She really cared about all of us.

Dana Self – The reason I went to college in New York. He was my AP Music Theory teacher and he made fun of me all the time and insinuated that I would be hooking up and/or dating the majority of my classmates (there were 7 of us; 5 were male), but I loved him to death. I’m actually friends with him on facebook….

So yeah. Honorable mentions: Dan Piquet, Terrell Campbell, Charlie Grimley, Patrick Huber, Gabe Ashman, Cathy Leitch, Michael Skinner, Fred Nelson, Joan Edwards, Lesley McIntire,

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