My first drama teacher said I had no future, so I bit him. If I had no future, there wouldn’t be any consequences, right?
Today and tomorrow, I will dedicate my blog to the best and the worst teachers. The teachers who helped mold and shape me into the person I am now. I’ve been giving it much thought and I think I’ll write about teachers who had the most impact, good or bad.
Mrs. White, my fifth grade teacher, who ended up killing Colonel Mustard in the conservatory with a rope, was a great teacher, but we didn’t click. She was a favorite of one of my brothers, who is a year older than me. Jim was a great student. I was not. In fact, I think I remember him telling me that she was the teacher that inspired him to become an educator.
The problem I had with her, is that she assumed that I was just like him. Big mistake. I was a mischievous trouble maker. She could never understand that. I didn’t care to be a great student. I liked making my classmates laugh.
Mr. Bradford, my sixth grade teacher was awesome. He understood me. He put up with a lot because he thought I had a great academic future ahead of me. He was a great man and I’ll never forget him, but he sure missed the boat on that prediction!
My next best teacher was Mrs. Wright, in 7th grade. She made learning active and fun. We learned about King Tut, (Steve Martin later blew her theories out of the water), by actually going into a makeshift tomb with questions and answers we would find for extra credit. I remember that Lance Parrish let a gopher snake loose into the pitch black tomb. A group of girls almost tore the room apart getting out of there.
In 9th grade, Bob Gress, a history teaching assistant, was the worst. Very high on my list. Yes, I clowned around quite a bit, but I turned in a report which I started with “In essence”. That was it. He read no more. He gave me an F on a wonderful report. He circled “In essence” and wrote “really”? He was a jerk who didn’t know I could write at that level.
My favorites in high school are easy. Mrs. Harvey, who I think was my history teacher. She also” got me” and my sense of humor. She was very nice and extremely patient, and I did well in her class.
Next on the good list was Mrs.Coppage, who taught “Fantasy as Satire”. I should have been kicked out of class many times. I once made a giant admission slip, which Mrs. Prince, an awesome woman, let me use instead of giving me the small piece of paper. Mrs. Coppage though it was hilarious and took it home that day and said she was going to hang it on a wall.
Then there was coach Fred Griffith. I remember one time, during our cross country run, I didn’t even dress. He came over and wanted to know why. I told him I was tired of getting laughed at from the guys for always finishing last. Coach Griffin told me that from now on, he was only going to grade me on effort. He didn’t care if I came in last, so long as I made the effort. I ended up with an A that semester. He was awesome. Oh, and when I did finish, my classmates were all cheering me on. I’ll never forget that experience.
Honorable mention goes to Mr. Webber, who taught pre-algebra, but I only had him for a couple of months. His class was really fun. I liked math, so that didn’t hurt but it was certainly Mr. Webber himself who made the difference.
Finally, Judy Senter was my favorite. She took over, mid year, in ninth grade, due to the untimely death of our regular English Teacher. She was younger and understood us. She was a great teacher.
The absolute worst? I’ll tell you tomorrow.
See you then.
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