My second grade teacher, Mrs. Parker was my first favorite teacher. I loved that lady. To be honest I don’t exactly remember why but she was very grandmotherly. Very nurturing. She only died in recent years and she 100 years old so I figure she was in her late 50’s when I had her. There is a big difference between 50 something today and 50 something then, she looked and acted quite elderly. (Or perhaps it was because I was only 7 then and now I am 50 something!!) A couple things I remember well though....one day she encouraged me to try the monkey bars. I was really scared to do them until she told me she’d catch me if I fell. So off I went and then I did fall and she didn’t catch me and I broke my leg. You might assume that would tarnish my good opinion of her but it did not! Another thing I remember was one day my dad came to the classroom and told me to go to the Matthew’s house after school because my mom had to leave town. My mom NEVER left town and I was so afraid they were getting divorced and she had left me with my dad. I remember crying at recess and Mrs. Parker comforting me and assuring me my mom would be back.
In fifth grade I had Mr. Bruce and I adored him as well. Again, the details are a little hazy but I know he read us really interesting books and we did some really fun art projects. I loved school in grade 5!
In high school I took algebra from Mr. Scharnbroich and I loved him. I can’t exactly pinpoint why but he just commanded my attention and respect and I really liked algebra too. I had him for two years and I really excelled in his class. I still remember (and still have) a midterm test where I got 117/110 because I got a perfect score and the extra credit. I remember also that a friend of mine took that test and showed my dad and he was very impressed until he realized the test was mine and not the kid who had it. There just was no pleasing the science teacher! The summer after I signed up for his geometry class he left his post at the high school and went to teach junior high. I never have forgiven him!!
Finally there was Mrs. Pryse. She taught typing and bookkeeping and she was the classiest lady ever. She never raised her voice and always looked impeccable. She wore fake fingernails and my friend Cheri and I were so enamored with her! We remained friends after I graduated. I saw a picture of her not too long ago and she still looks great.
There were other teachers I admired and enjoyed but those were my favorites. There were plenty of others who were probably great teachers but they certainly could not teach in today’s world. I remember them throwing erasers and chairs and essentially beating students. It makes me wonder what kind of affect, if any, that had on the students on the receiving end of such behavior. I also remember my 7th grade teacher, Mr. Hanson, who suffered the abuse of his students. There were 4-5 boys in my class that made his life absolutely miserable. I always felt bad for him and thought, even at the time that I would NEVER want to be junior high teacher.
I'm sure most teachers, like parents, do the best they can. It is not a profession one would enter into unless you had some genuine desire to make a difference. There are certainly easier ways of making a living.