View Full Version : Best Teachers / School Staff

Blue Ginger
11-30-2011, 10:51 PM
We have horrible school stories at http://www.customerssuck.com/board/showthread.php?t=84328, so I thought I would start a thread for good school stories.

My best teacher ever was my Year 9 Co-ordinator/music teacher. He helped me turn my life around and I can probably say that if it wasn't for him, I might not be here to write this post.

I was bullied through school by teachers and students. By the time I met Mr S, I was 15 and a mess. I was a paranoid, anti-social, suicidal mess.

Mr S was the first teacher that believed my parents when they said that something was wrong. Mr S was the first person that put a name to what I was feeling. When you have a name for something you can start to fight it.

He helped my parents and I find a counsellor, outside of school, that I could trust. A counsellor that did not automatically want me medicated. With his help, and the counsellors, I was diagnosed with depression. The counsellor believed that I had had depression since I was 8.

Mr S helped me learn to cope with the bullying. And when things were really bad, he let me hide in his office. He let me rant about what was happening or he would let me sit and cry or even sometimes just sit in silence. His only rules were that I be honest with him and nothing we talked about would leave the room unless we both agreed.

Minus a few dark spots here and there, I have not been depressed since I was 18.

For someone I only knew for a year, Mr S helped me turn my life completely around. Just wish I could thank him.

11-30-2011, 11:01 PM
When I was a senior in high school, I was close to not being able to graduate because of a bunch of crap (both on my part and the school's) my earlier years. I needed to really buckle down and get enough credits to graduate on time. I had to take a bunch of English credits, so I took ones that looked relatively easy...like Poetry. That's where I met Ms. M. She was (and is, although she retired this summer) an awesome teacher. She does things way outside the box, which helped a lot for someone like me who has trouble sitting for 90 minutes at a time. Her classes were very interactive and she forced participation, but in a really fun and good way. Sure, I learned a bit about poetry from her, but I learned a lot more about life.

We're still friends to this day, 10 years after I graduated. We've been there for each other through a lot, including when my parents almost disowned me and when her house burned down and her husband almost died. I need to call her, actually. I haven't talked to her in a few weeks.

12-01-2011, 06:49 AM
I have a few I can remember: my Year 1 teacher, my Year 9 English Teacher, my Year 10-12 Music teacher, our assistant principal and my Year 11 Australian Studies/Year 12 Social Studies teacher. (Australian studies was a compulsory part of your high school certificate back when I did it, now it's optional). Here's why they were awesome:

Year 1 Teacher:

-Recognised from the start that I was Gifted and Talented and actually had me referred off for testing. When it came back that yes I was, G&T, she pretty much gave me Year 2 work for the rest of the year. (primary school classes in Australia are generally composite classes, although where possible they will try and keep it to the same year level. So this class was a Year 1/2 class)
-We also had a kid in my class who had Down's Syndrome. He was slightly disruptive at times, not quite getting the idea of "sit and stay still" and he did escape once or twice (the first time he escaped from the school, the teachers found him in the freezer section of the nearby supermarket :eek:).
-She managed to handle both of us quite well as well as her remaining class of children.
-She fought for the right to have a student services officer provide some extra support for the Down's kid, as well as for me to skip a year level. (the former was with the Education Department, the latter with the principal)
-Probably one of the best things she did however, was provide extra support for my parents, by coming along to the Gifted and Talented Association's meetings, which were held twice a month at one of the schools across town. She would bring along Lego and we all went nuts. :lol:

It's actually because of her that I applied for a combined Primary School/Special Education degree.

Year 9 English Teacher:

This one wasn't as prominent, but because she taught dance as well as English, she did recognise that yes, sometimes I'd have to leave mid-lesson for my flute lesson or band practice or whatever. She'd actually give me extensions to help make up some of the time I missed for my lesson. Quite a few of our English classes as well were devoted to watching her dance students going through rehearsals for assessment by the moderators (they had to give 2 performances throughout the year, both were externally assessed). As a result of all of this, a lot of our assignments would still be teaching us stuff, but at the same time, they'd be fun. For example, one of our assignments was called "The Great Beetle Rally". The idea was that we'd travel around the world in a VW Beetle and we had to write about our adventures there as a recount. Needless to say, we had a lot of fun. :p

Year 10-12 Music Teacher (different school, I had the same teacher all 3 years):

She was a tad hotheaded, but she got me used to playing with live accompaniment and also encouraged me to participate in class band in whatever way possible, even if it wasn't on the flute (i.e. help set up the equipment and run sound checks or play bass or sing) since most of my class played guitar, bass, drums, piano or sung. She was also very encouraging of students who would try something different and was heavily focused on making the piece their own performance. In short-heavy on the rubato. :lol:

Year 11 Australian Studies/Year 12 Social Studies teacher:

A lot of students liked him, as he was very open and actually engaged the class in learning, rather than just droning on and on. The stuff he would select for our Social studies class (this class looked more at issues in the community and around the world as opposed to just studying state capitals and whatnot) was stuff that we students could actually relate to.

Another one I forgot actually: my year 12 English TEACHERS. I say plural because the class was set up in an odd way. The class ran to over-capacity: 40 kids. So the usual pattern in that case was just to split the class. Well they did that, but the two teachers provided an interesting option: they'd provide 2 choices for a particular assignment and you could do one or the other. You'd stay with the teacher who had that assignment and would seek help from her.

When it came time to do a book, a film and a play, we would watch both films, read both books and also read both plays. We were then given a choice as to which one we'd do. When it came time to read the play Educating Rita out loud, I volunteered at the beginning to read Rita, thinking that I would pass the role over to someone else next act/scene. Instead my English teachers not only had me read the whole thing (swapping out the male character only), they actually asked me why I hadn't taken Drama! :lol: (it clashed with music)

12-01-2011, 07:01 AM
Mr. M was the best teacher I think I could have had and I had him for English 9-12th grades, only missing him for one semester in all that time because of a stupid gym class.

I had a habit of skating through school. I got A's and B's with little to no effort because I was just that smart. He was the only person who called me on my BS. I was a better writer going into his class than most of the students coming out so he said 'Well, I know what you're capable of. Do it.'

I got freaking B's for almost every freaking semester except the last one. We talked and talked and talked and talked about my writing and he kept pushing me to do better. The final paper of our senior year was 100% of our grade that semester and we could choose the format and the length, we just had to incorporate one of our other classes in it.

Most of the other students turned in 12-15 page term papers, lots of research, explaining concepts from our economics classes, physics classes and psychology classes. I turned in a one page paper that used a teenage girl to illustrate Nietzsche's super man. I got an A+ and the comment "I knew you had it in you. Let me know where you eventually publish."

I never worked so hard for another teacher or class as I did for him and I'm finally following his advice of trying to write for a living.

Oh yeah, and then there was Mr. McK. He was the physics teacher. I took his class twice, on purpose, because he was so much fun. He was excited and enthusiastic and known for jumping on the furniture and insulting the history teacher across the hall. He's the only reason I finally GOT trigonometry. It made so much sense after he taught it.

12-01-2011, 04:58 PM
I had 3 teachers that were absolutely amazing for me and my self esteem and personal issues I've had.

Mr. P was the Video technologies teacher. I wandered into his classroom one afternoon to check out the Friday Morning announcements our school did as a brief 15 minute TV news show. Having had media related experience before even getting to high school, I thought it'd be awesome. Amazing guy, had to deal with *alot* of misfits and divas dealing with each other, like the Junior/Senior girls who *only* wanted to be in front of the cameras and the nerdy guys and me who would somehow find out more about the equipment and what nifty things could be done with it than him. Let me go and sit in the studio I don't know how many times to just sit and think when I didn't want to go home. Also listen to me bitch about my parents while also giving me a parents POV on things, which was something no adult ever tried to do with me, as to helping me understand why.

Also when I was a Junior, they switched the TV show and the school paper from 2 clubs, to a class, a Senior English class. Mr. P worked it so I was able to take it both my Junior year and my Senior year, one as a tech elective credit and the other as on of my Senior English credits.

Mr. D was another teacher who helped me out immensely. He taught English, also was the fall play director, and one of the teachers who helped with the musical. Totally understood my friends as we were the complete D&D nerdy group. A bunch of my friends had him for AP English in 10th grade, so I tended to hang around his classroom alot.

In 10th grade as well I ended up having a very cruel practical joke played on me the week of Homecoming (Think Carrie). When the results came out about the nominations for the Homecoming Queens (each class had a King and Queen), Mr. D was the one I went to, to get his advice on whether or not I should tell the administration to take me out of the running or not. I was seriously paranoid and did not want to find out that enough people in my class/school voted for me as a joke and that I had won (I did end up "winning") He told me I should go with it, even told me to find my best punky outfit as all the other girls would be in sports or cheerleader uniforms. So I did. After they said I had won, I went and sat up in the bleachers with my friends and started bawling, and Mr. D ended up swooping in and "rescuing" me from the gym and I got to hide out in his room until the end of the day.

My Senior year Mr. P and Mr. D teamed up and taught the Publications class, AND I had another of Mr D's classes AND a study hall with Mr. P so my classes on even days (We had block scheduling, so 4 80 minute periods, with classes switching off every other day) were Math, Study hall with Mr. P, English with Mr. D, and then class with both Mr. P & D.

Then there was Miss M. Miss M was another English teacher, but I never had her for a teacher really. She was the adviser for the Literary club and she helped me out a lot with my writing and such. Again, another teacher that listened to me bitch about different shit about my parents or kids in school. After graduation and we were old enough, we took her out drinking with us and had tons of fun. I remember one day, I had to go and visit my dad for something and I took a small detour and visited at the high school, and I got to go in and sit with her and let her vent to me for once. It was a bad year at my high school, a couple of suicides, one really bad car accident, and Miss M was always very empathetic to those around her, so she took it hard. I was glad I was able to go and visit her when I did.

12-01-2011, 05:19 PM
When I was in high school, I had a rotten teacher for algebra who ruined my confidence in math ability and ended up failing miserably, squeaking by in summer school, and then passing geometry with a D.

When I started taking university classes in my 20s, the math part terrified me (and I was originally a business major, lots of math) as over the years I had convinced myself I was just one of those people that could *not* do math. The classes were on base, and offered one right after the other - from pre-algebra to statistics - all with the same instructor, Harlon Henvitt.

Mr. Henvitt loved math for it's own sake, and it showed in his teaching. He made himself available to students far more than anyone could expect because he loved that moment when things started to make sense and the pieces fell into place.

I walked into the pre-algebra class scared that I would fail halfway through, and by the end of Algebra II/Trig, I was tutoring because it was fun. It has been 15 years since I sat in his class, and I still remember how great he made me feel by opening up what felt like a whole new world.

12-01-2011, 05:33 PM
I hated pretty much all my teachers in grade school because most of them were morons who had no idea what they were doing and they all discouraged me from being artistic.

High school was so much better...my favorite teacher was, hands down, my art teacher. He taught me a lot, encouraged my creative skill, and got me into Flash. According to him, my dedication to making animations is what got the Flash club started, and the school has gone to nationals every year since then with the class' Flash cartoons. I still make an effort to go say "hi" to him in school and see what the students are doing, but he's gonna retire soon, so I don't know how much longer that's going to go on.

Algebra III teacher. I have always been horrible in math; in Algebra I and II, I tried my damnedest, stayed after school for extra help, and got a bit of extra time for tests. Still only passed with like a 75 every quarter. But then I got into Algebra III as a junior...I swear, it had to be the way this man taught. I understood everything perfectly and I passed 11th grade with a 95 in Algebra. Holy fuckbuckets it was a miracle! Didn't last long because my senior year I had Statistics and did shitty in that class too. But my junior year math teacher was so cool and just a really funny, nerdy guy.

12th grade English teacher. Everyone hated her because she allegedly assigned too much work or work that was too hard. Her class was challenging, but still fun. I aced pretty much all the tests (save for the occasional pop quiz that I would bomb) and my average in that class was a 98. She even asked me if I was going to become a teacher or an author because she thought I was a great writer.

The janitor was also awesome. He'd pop into random classrooms and tell a really corny joke, then leave again. Just a really funny guy, and it was especially fun watching my almost 7-foot-tall Spanish teacher chase him out of the classroom one day.

12-01-2011, 11:51 PM
primary school
my favorite teacher was miss c. She was my grade 3 teacher. I had just lost my mother the previous year. she took the time out to give me and my brother a bit of extra attention. Even if it was just to ask how our day went.

secondary school

sister Margaret she ran the the reading skills program. We got all the new books. She loved reading and it showed. She created the program and ran it, though she could have happily enjoyed her retirement.

Mrs S taught text and traditions in year 12. text and traditions is analyzing a religious text (it could be the bible, the Koran or any religious book) keeping in mind social norms of the time and lingustics to gain better understanding text. We were a small class, about a dozen of us. She knew her stuff very well (she was a PHD student in theology) and was willing to pass on what she knew in a entartaing way. When it came to exam time she invited the whole class down to her house for a swot session over lunch.

12-02-2011, 12:08 PM
Just want to mention two teachers. :)

Mrs. O was my French 1 and 2 teacher in high school. She was awesome. We had a fondue party. :lol: And a crepe party. We also had to practice "French kissing" one day, which was hilarious, as everyone just gazed at her in horror until she did the whole air-kisses both cheeks thing. :roll:

And, well, it didn't hurt she really liked me. :o I seem to have a knack for French, at least the beginning stages of French, and she would like encourage me and stuff. There was one time for Valentine's Day she was gone, and the sub couldn't find the French quotes Mrs. O left for us (we were supposed to do Valentine's cards)...so I made up my own version of the "Roses are red" poem, just so there would be something...and apparently, I was REALLY close especially for a beginning French 1 student. :D Made me feel really happy. She also took me to do honors French testing at the language fair at the university, and I got first place overall French 1 testing, which was pretty damn good for only having a semester. :3 She really encouraged me a lot, and she was awesome. She made learning French fun. Both years. (Also thought it was hilarious in French 2 that we had a German exchange student, who had taken 4 years of French in Germany and gone to France...and I was getting higher scores than him on everything :roll: ).

Second teacher is Mr. M. He was my 12th grade Calculus teacher. Basically...let's see. I am not good at math. To the point I practically have dyscalculia. I transpose numbers, I can't do simple math, I'm just...awful. I nearly flunked Geometry. My Algebra 2 class was awful because my teacher was an idiot. (He really was, you basically had to be one of the people who could teach yourself higher algebra. But that's a rant for another thread. ;) ).

Anyway. Did well in Trig and College Algebra. Made it to Calculus. Was terrified of calc.

Mr. M was amazing. He explained logarithms in less than 15 minutes, and I finally understood them...as opposed to learning about them for a week in Algebra 2 and still not having a clue. (Would have helped if it had been said that they were the inverse of exponential equations...). If you didn't understand something, he wouldn't just re-explain a million times the same way, he would try a bunch of different explanations and see what clicked. Best and favorite math teacher ever, he made me actually like Calculus, and I got a B+ in the class (was taking for college credit). :D

12-03-2011, 05:01 PM
The best from my Champaign (http://illinois.edu/) days was Dr. M. He taught mechanics and was so enthusiastic that you had to work to not get caught up in his enthusiasm. It met every day, he assigned one or two problems each day as homework and talked you about half-way through the solutions.:D

The other was, ironically, a Kingsfield (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070509/) wannabee. Nevertheless, after the deadline to drop, he noticeably mellowed. One of his quirks was to offer his initials as a mnemonic for fluid flow equations. He graded fairly and his final was so easy by comparison that I thought I was in the wrong room. I learned quite a lot in that class.

Victory Sabre
12-04-2011, 06:51 PM
I've posted my horror stories, now I'm posting my good stories.

High School - Mr R. and Mr. S.

Mr. R was the Russian Teacher. I took Russian all 4 years of HS. It was because of him. He made the subject easy to learn, and fun. Sometimes we even got into political discussions about events of the day. In then end I was proven right when the Soviet Union fell Christmas day 1991. Too bad I never went back to the school to see if he would admit I was right. He passed away a few years ago at the age of 65.

Mr. S. He was a History teacher. He was also the Adviser to the Youth in Government program at our HS. What the YIG was/is students go to the Capital and simulate the State Government. It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the 2 years I was involved with it.

University level

2 come to mind Professor S. and Professor G.B..

Professor S. - He was up in years and about ready to retire (he retired in 1996 1 quarter after I graduated). Even though he was a short termer, he was still interested in teaching. He was also very funny. I made sure to take as many of his poly sci. classes as possible (that was my major)

Professor G.B. - Another poly sci professor. He was on the opposite end of Professor S.. He came to the University in my second year there. I had one of his first classes he taught. We totally disagreed on politics, but it didn't matter. As long as you made a good case for your viewpoints and conclusions, you'd get a good grade. I got a lot of A's from him .The only time I didn't was on a mid term when I had the flu, and could hardly see straight. He asked me after we got back from Christmas break why I did so badly on the test. I told him, and he told me that if he knew, he would have let me take it after break when I was feeling better.

12-04-2011, 08:00 PM
I had so many bad stories about teachers and school staff, I didn't even post on the "bad teachers" thread because it's kind of like, there's no way this could be real.

But, I did have one really, really good teacher. I grew up moving every 8-12 months, staying with a lot of relatives, or whoever would take me, went to school so many times with hair missing and/or facial bruising, that I don't even remember them anymore. By about the seventh grade, I got real good at hiding it because the teachers never cared (or so I assume, since they never reported any of that to the proper authorities) and it was something of a liability with my peers.

So my 8th grade math teacher Mrs. W. didn't know what was going on at home. She had no idea that at home, I was spending half my time dodging fists. She had no idea that I didn't do homework outside of class or lunchtime because I was too busy playing mom and homemaker for a younger sibling. All she knew was that I was making perfect grades on tests, but not turning a lick of homework, and she couldn't figure out if I was cheating or what. So one day, in a fit of frustration, she sat down and made me prove I knew what I was doing, by having me work one of each type of problem from the homework, for her. I think she thought I'd write down the problems, but I just flung the answers at her off the top of my head. And then we did it for the next section.... and the next chapter... and the one after that. A couple days later, she gave me a high school math book, and showed me how to use it to teach myself in the back of the room. Before Mrs. W., I didn't even know I liked math. I knew I was all right at it, but I completely hated it until I got to teach myself, at my own pace. I did that all through high school, too, keeping a couple steps ahead of the teacher.

I wasn't permitted to take much math or science in high school because I still had that habit of doing housework, not schoolwork, at home, and a lot of things really trashed my sense of self-worth over the years. But it was Mrs. W.'s encouragement that led me, eventually, to realize that the reason I dropped out of college at 17 wasn't because I was dumb; it was because I had been guided by well-meaning but clueless advisers towards an English degree, a degree that I would rather eat than use in a career. And it's her lesson on self-guided learning that I'm relying on now, as I prepare to pursue a degree in aeronautical sciences.

Pretty sure I owe her a thank-you note.

12-05-2011, 09:10 AM
Whichever teacher it was that I had in Elementary (I have no memories at all of my childhood) and pushed for gifted testing and had me enrolled in enrichment (so my mother says).

Mr F, the gym teacher in grade 7. He called my mother and asked what exactly my Medic Alert bracelet meant. He kept and eye on me all 3 years of junior high. If I looked even the slightest bit sick, he called her to take me to the hospital. If he knew I just got out of the hospital, I was excused from Phys Ed for a week. It's also because of him that a lot of the bullying that was happening to me stopped. Known to no one else in the school but him, I had been taking self-defense classes. So he opts to to a self-defense section in gym class. One of the days I was actually feeling good, he called on me to "try" and demonstrate a front kick. Well, while he knew I could kick, he didn't know how hard... until he stood up on the other side of the gym. Needless to say, watching our teacher *also a bodybuilder* get knock flat on his ass by the nerdy sick kid was a big help.

My high school chem teacher Mr T. He signed me up for AP chem without me knowing. And he signed me up for a national chemistry exam too, without me knowing. Because of him, I got the HIGHEST female mark in the country on that exam, and a scholarship.

My high school principle/vice-principal for not making me stay in school during the day. They knew I showed up for homeroom, art class and my AP courses, but the rest of the time I was at the local university. *it was literally across the street from my high school. I wasn't there doing courses, I was playing pool in the university lounge*. They actually told me they didn't care about my attendence and neither did my teachers, because I handed in every assignment and my overall average in each course was in the mid-80s -low 90s. Heck, I wrote my biology exam one year in 15 minutes, got 85. One of my friends who was there for 3 hours got 84.

And finally, the art intern Mr W. You had every girl and half the male students drooling over you. Yet you talked to me both inside and outside of school. We liked the same music groups and had a similar sense of humor and drawing style. I actually showed up to art class because of you. When his internship ended we started hanging out more outside of school. Never more then friends, but we still talk to this day.

12-05-2011, 10:09 AM
My 9th grade French teacher.

"Madame", as we all called her, was not what you'd picture a French teacher. Not all prim and proper and nasaly. She was extremely good looking for her age, dressed a little younger than she was, did the whole 9 yards hair and makeup, always smelled and looked great. She treated everyone with respect and kindness. I would say, she treated us all like adults. I picked up French so fast, and I knew it was because of her, not because I was good at it.

And to the poor German teacher, Frau, who was my study hall teacher (and actually was a real German with a thick accent), she had more patience than German people are supposed to have. She never once kicked me out of class for all my laughing, giggling, and even when she found out what was so funny (that I was pretty much high every day from lunch break and my friend and I were drawing nasty comics), she never said a word to my parents or anyone.

12-05-2011, 01:47 PM
This is a friend's story. Personally I was a bit creeped out by the teacher, but he was still good to us.

My Year 10 English teacher came recommended by my friends (I'd gone to a different school for 2 years but struggled like crazy there, mainly due to bullying) and I wound up in his class. A lot of rumours went around that he was a pervert and he did tell some slightly inappropriate jokes for a group of 14 and 15-year-olds (stuff like "What does a bald woman do once she combs her hair? Pulls up her pants" or something like that), but here was the thing that made him good: my friend's dad had Type 2 diabetes, same as my Year 10 English teacher (friend's dad had a family history of it). He kept an eye on my friend and her brother throughout all of high school to watch for any signs that they may be diabetic themselves and would also keep an eye on the other diabetic students at school.