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In Honor of Teacher Appreciation Week: Who was your favorite teacher?

Let's give a shout out to our favorite teacher, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week.

And why stop with TED?....send them an email (you can link this page to your email greetings so they can see you've let everyone know they were special to you)...or send a card...or flowers.....or why not stop by the school and say a hello in person?

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Closing Statement from W T

"I put on Band-Aids and winter coats and school plays. I know they will not understand the difference between your and you're. I say "Cover your mouth," after they have coughed on me.

I wear green on Saint Patrick's Day, red on Valentine's Day, and my bathrobe on Pajama Day.

I buy books about cats and dogs and sharks and volcanoes and horses and dinosaurs. I turn jump ropes and am base in tag. I am glad you can only get chicken pox once.

I am a teacher.

I can borrow and carry very fast. I give them more time to answer six times eight than two times three. I never end a sentence with a preposition. I know what a preposition is.

I have every teacher mug that Hallmark ever made and every Save the Children tie too. I say, "Use two hands!" when they carry their lunch trays. I say, "Accidents happen," after they did not use two hands.

I am a teacher.

I have sung "Happy Birthday" 657 times. I know when a child has gum in his mouth even when he is not chewing.

I plan lessons while shaving, showering, driving, eating, and sleeping. I plan lessons five minutes before the bell rings. I pray for snow days. I pray for Stephen to be absent.

I can make a telescope out of a toilet paper roll and a totem pole out of oatmeal boxes. I can make snowflakes out of coffee filters and a space shuttle out of a Pringles can too.

I fix watchbands, repair eyeglasses, and search for lost milk money after freeze tag.

I know when a child does not understand. I know when a child is not telling the truth. I know when a child was up too late last night. I know when a child needs help finding a friend.

I am a teacher."

from the book: 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny by Phillip Done

To all of you TEACHERS out there, who selflessly give of yourselves to your students, and who become mentors and friends to your students, THANK YOU. Your work does not go unnoticed.

And to all of you TED members who contributed to this thread, I thank you also.

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    May 8 2013: Mrs. Saengsawang, my mother who is also a teacher:) She's my first and the most influential, inspiring educator of my life who has been not only teaching me how to speak, read, write, walk, add numbers, but to learn to love and care for others and the world with all my heart as well. That's why I am here as a teacher to champion my kids with daily JOY today:)
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      May 8 2013: Hello Bank, what a priviledge you have had with a mom who is also a teacher.
      And how fortunate that she has taught you the more important things in life.
      It sounds like you have learned the most valuable lesson of all......to imitate her fine example.

      Thank you for your beautiful contribution Bank.
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    May 7 2013: The late Mr. Ray Chase at Seville H.S. in Seville, Spain. He read aloud the great works literature. Every genre was laid before us with palpable reality. He taught us to embrace, nay to love, reading. He is my second favorite teacher. My No. 1 is the one I have been married to for 44 years. She is still teaching me and all her little ones.
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      May 7 2013: Aaaah Edward, that is so nice to hear.

      I think the old saying is true: The best teachers are the ones who cultivate a love of learning, they inspire. Instilling a love of reading in children is one of the best things a teacher can do. How wonderful that you had a teacher like that.

      And, your #1 teacher, well of course......I'm sure that you are her favorite student, even though you might misspell a word every once in a while.

      Thanks for sharing Ed!!! Wishing Mrs. Long a Happy Teacher's Appreciation Day!!
  • May 16 2013: Thank you, Mary, for giving us a place to reflect on such wonderful memories!
    The first teacher who made such a profound difference in my life was Mr. Robert Dinkle, my 6th grade teacher. He was not a by-the-book educator. Long before it was fashionable to read a novel to students, he sat each day and read to us. I can still hear 21 Balloons. To learn about assembly line production we made life-sized Santa Clauses. To become better writers we became authors of our own books, To learn geography we made salt relief maps of California. We were active and engaged learners at a time when most teachers had an "open to page 26" mentality.
    I did not plan on becoming an educator, yet I can think of nothing I am more passionate about. I have been teaching for the past 24 years. And my goal is to bring Mr. Dinkle's spirit into each and every classroom. To light my students eyes with curiosity, to give them room to create their own understanding of the world around them, to let them have a voice in solving problems, to truly learn something everyday.
    I wonder what Mr. D would do with the resources that today's teachers have at their finger tips, how he would answer the push to standardize individual children.
    We are truly fortunate to live in a world where we can come into contact with people who can transform us.
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      May 17 2013: Julie, thank you so much for contributing to this conversation. How nice of you to join in and share in honoring our teachers.

      "We were active and engaged learners at a time when most teachers had an "open to page 26" mentality"

      This sounds precisely like what is happening today. I do not think we can change education, because to change education we have to change "people" AND, people are very hard to change.

      The good thing is, that there are individuals such as yourself, and Charlotte, and Leila and Everett and others who have commented on here who continue to follow their heart, and give our students the best education possible.

      Thank you again Julie, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your Mr. Dinkle.

      By the Way, have you seen the talk by Benjamin Zander where he mentions "shiny eyes"?
      The title of the talk is misleading.......it is truly a talk about teaching......and learning.......and what passionate teachers do for their students. Give it a listen if you haven't heard it yet:

      http://www.ted.com/talks/benjamin_zander_on_music_and_passion.html
      • May 17 2013: Mary,
        "Shiny eyes" are what teachers live for. That moment when the brain is excited and you see it shine out of your student's eyes. That is what we work for everyday.
        What impresses me the most about my colleagues, globally, is that even when teacher bashing is a community sport, they create dynamic lessons, they bring their passion into the room and create outstanding moments for their students.
        We are at a time in American education when we can choose a new path, and I believe, many educators are trying to take the road that leads their students to being strong thinkers and to foster learning in their classrooms.
        Thank you for the conversation.
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          May 17 2013: Julie, thank you for your wonderful input.

          I do hope that those educators out there, like you, who have always lead their students to being strong thinkers and fostered learning in your classrooms make an impact on other teachers.....I hope........

          Enjoy your summer......you deserve it!!!
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    May 15 2013: continued from below... Jefferson made in his life, like his relationship with Hemings and that he didn't release his slaves until after his death. We sat there, taking notes like good little students, but inside our heads, we were completely confused. What was the truth about Jefferson? Was he a heroic father of our country, or a racist? Was he someone to admire, or someone to critique? Of course, this was the exact point of the activity. And they didn't tell us. They asked us. What was the "truth" about history? How did we know what "really happened?" How would we ever decide what the "truth" was? I went home that night and explained to my parents around the dinner table that I now understood that history was made up of particular stories written from the point of view of individuals and that our job was to compare the stories and figure out our own theory of what happened. They were blown away. The next year, I took another special course with Mr. Thomas. We studied world cultures. During that year, he listened to me when my parents' impending divorce overwhelmed me. He gave everyone else something to do and he sat there with me and really listened to my sorrow and fears. Then, he really taught me about the complexities of the world. He was fired. It was 1971 and his hair touched his collar in the back. He circulated a petition to stop the Vietnam War amongst the other teachers. He allowed us to create a controversial door decoration at Christmas -- photos of war from throughout history with a sign in the middle saying, "Peace on Earth?" We were tremendously proud of our idea for that door and we won first place in the competition. But the administration felt it was inappropriate. Then, he refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, explaining that the founding fathers didn't approve of such pledges. The ACLU got him his job back after two years of negotiations. I had a front row seat to his struggle. That's a teacher.
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      May 15 2013: Charlotte, what can I possibly say after this well thought out, and detail rich contribution?

      I think I speak for everyone here, that we would have loved to have been part of Mr. Thomas' and Mr. Baldino's class.
      How very fortunate you were to have had these "Master Teachers" who knew exactly what young minds needed.

      What a learning experience. Fantastic Charlotte, truly amazing!!!

      Have you made contact with them as an adult?
      Do they know you are also an educator? (I read your profile, and went to the Murray School site)
      Thank you so much Charlotte, for honoring these two wonderful educators through your words here.

      Have a wonderful, relaxing summer, I am sure you've earned it!!!
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        May 16 2013: Dear Mary,

        Thank you for your kind words! Those two definitely changed my entire life. I kept in touch with Mr. Thomas for many years. He wrote me long letters full of suggested readings, which I really enjoyed, so he was continuing to teach me. He and his family moved to New Mexico, where he was a teacher for years and then they moved to Idaho, where he became a high school principal. He's retired now and I have lost contact with him. Mr. Baldino became the head of the Central Virginia Education Association and worked for teacher rights all over the country. When he discovered that I had become a teacher, he became my mentor and has helped me many times over the years. I thoroughly realize the blessings I have received from these two men. I love them both and I know they love me, too. Because of their caring lives, I have had the honor to be there for my own students. This is my 35th year of teaching and I still am in love with the profession. I teach at Murray High School, the first Glasser Quality Public High School, based on the ideas of Dr. William Glasser. It is an idyllic place to teach, with so many support systems to help students and teachers get along with each other. We emphasize the concepts of Choice Theory. Students learn how to mediate with one another and with the staff and their parents to work out any conflicts. We very very rarely have any students choosing to put their hands on each other and if it happens, we mediate as soon as everyone is calm and come up with a plan to keep the conflict from happening again. The staff is amazing and the students are very grateful for their beloved school. We travel around the world and teach teachers how to start up Glasser Quality Schools. We also speak with student teachers at UVA, Longwood, and JMU. The teachers are always astounded that the workshops are designed and led by high school students. They realize that as teammates, high school students have been severely undervalued
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          May 16 2013: This is the first time I hear of The Glasser Quality Schools.
          Sounds very interesting...........you cannot go wrong with interdependence, even if it is student/teacher.......

          I will read up on it. Thanks Charlotte.
  • May 11 2013: My favorite teacher was Inez Gardner. She was my 4th grade teacher in 1957 at Homer Davis Elementary in Tucson, Arizona. I felt such love and acceptance from her. I would always help her carry stuff in from her car every morning.

    In 1981 I passed by her house one morning on my way home from work. I wheeled into her yard on my full dress motorcycle, dismounted and took off my full face helmet. She was in the yard watering her flowers. As I approached her she looked somewhat perplexed. I asked, "Mrs. Gardner, do you remember me?" She replied, "Not the name, but I remember the smile." We chatted for a few minutes and then I left.

    Years later on a vacation trip to Tucson in 2006 I found out that she was still alive. She was in her 90s and in a home. Unfortunately, I did not get to see her, but I'll never forget her. Ever. I had some other good teachers, but none of them had as much of an impact on me as she did.

    My third grade teacher, on the other hand, was my worst. Her form of punishment was to grab a student by the shoulders from behind and shake them vigorously! I wonder how many students she injured in her teaching career. I survived that year without punishment...
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      May 11 2013: Harold, your beautiful memory of Mrs. Gardner is one to be cherished. How wonderful that you have shared it with us. The image of you carrying things to and from her car reminds me of my students asking me to help me in the mornings and afternoons. How neat to help out a teacher this way, how loving and kind of you as a child.

      And sadly, yes, we sometimes remember the bad ones too.

      Thank you so very much Harold for sharing this lovely memory with us all.
  • May 10 2013: I had many. The one I keep thinking about was an Advanced Composition teacher that taught us how to write various types of papers, do peer reviews, take positive feedback and improving our final product. That process was an incredibly effective writing lab experience.

    Thank you Mrs. Nichols.
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      May 10 2013: Hi Robert, thank you for your participation.

      Writing classes and teachers can be so helpful.
      I remember a writing workshop I participated in during one summer....very therapeutic, and helpful . I really learned, for the first time, what power words have, and how easy it is to put your thoughts down in writing.

      My English professor in college sounds like your Mrs. Nichols. I do not remember his name, he was very old, but I really liked the fact that he read from our papers out loud to the class.....never, during my entire 13 years of kdgtn-12th grade, had a teacher read out loud to us before.....it was a first, and something that I learned to be quite effective in teaching classes.

      I had a Mrs. Nichols too in high school. She taught us World History. She would get so upset at the kids when they talked, that she would start to cry. I can picture her teary face with her blonde curls. She was very sensitive.
  • May 9 2013: I find this topic somewhat disappointing. Not for the idea but for the few comments for it. This is such a great topic and should be blowing up with the great comments about teachers, yet the comments are limited. Just an observation. That being said.

    Dick Zatkovich, Mr. Burrelson, Mrs. Slaughter (yes, her real name), Mrs. Rich, my parents and my students and so many others. I have been fortunate enough to be able to return and tell many of my favorite teachers growing up, "thank you". And share that I have entered education in spite of the fact that I was discouraged from becoming a teacher. These people taught me not how to teach, but how to live. They inspired me. They brought the world to life. They shared experiences. They shared their passion about things they knew best with us and we learned.

    I have tried to take that with me to my teaching experience, which in many ways, is the best thanks I can give them.
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      May 9 2013: Everett, I think you are the epitomy of what a true educator is.

      My father was a teacher. He used to take me with him to classes. I would sit there as a 4 year old and watch him teaching the kids and think wow, I love this! And I meant the whole process.....the teaching and the learning going on. The interaction of teacher and student. The question/answer sessions. The laughter. The interchange of thoughts.

      I enjoy exchanging ideas with others, and I love to learn new things and then quickly spread that information to others.

      There are many wonderful teachers out there, not all of them are inside a classroom.

      Maya Angelou wrote about her experience when she started teaching at Wake-Forrest University. She at first thought that she was an author who had taken up teaching. But once she started teaching, she realized that she was truly a teacher who had taken up writing.

      If you read through her autobiographical works, especially the first five books.....and Letter to My Daughter, which I truly enjoyed, it is filled with lessons.

      Below I shared my experience with my fifth grade teacher. She was a truly master teacher. I modeled my teaching after her example.

      Everett, I know that there are many wonderful teachers out there. They do not need a Teacher Appreciation Week to know they are special. They do not need a goody bag, or presents, or a luncheon to know that their work is important. They do not need a high salary to continue to teach with enthusiasm and passion. Although a good salary will gladly be accepted :)

      Loving, caring teachers who enjoy what they do only need a room full of kids. The kids are their letter of recommendation.

      Let's hope alot of individuals go back and thank their teachers personally for what they have done in the past, I can't think of a better gift.

      Thanks for sharing all your thoughts. Keep up your good work Everett, enjoy your summer....get lots of rest, you'll need it for the fall.
      • May 10 2013: Mary, I appreciate your kind comment. I don't know that I am a great educator. Every day I go to school and try to best by my students. Some days I succeed, some days I fail, but I have more successful days that not so successful days.

        I have been blessed to work with some amazing educators who put me on a good path early in my career. Plus the many good teachers who put up with me as I was a "teacher's kid" throughout my life. Especially for my dad who outright told me not to teach, but I ignored him and he became a great mentor for me in the realities of teaching and all that it entails, but supported me all the same.

        While I spent some time in the ministry, a pastor told me that teaching and the ministry were basically the same thing. You are raising people to be better than they currently are. The only difference between teaching and the ministry, you don't talk about God in the school nearly as much.

        My hat is off to all of the great educators in the world who work hard everyday to help people become more than they think that they can be.
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          May 10 2013: Everett, even without knowing you were in the ministry, your words reflect a certain kindness, patience, and insight....your voice is heard through your words.

          As a Christian, I also realize that serving in the ministry and doing the job of a teacher are very similar. Was not Jesus called "teacher" (rabbi). He was the Greatest Teacher who ever lived. His effective use of illustrations allowed his listeners to take away deep thoughts about life and practical advice on how to live in a way worthy of being called a servant of God.

          I also take part in ministry work, conducting free home bible studies, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what little tid-bits of knowledge and understanding I have about scriptures with others.

          May you continue to be blessed in your efforts to impart knowledge to children, and to share your faith with others.

          Have a wonderful weekend.
          Mary
    • May 9 2013: Only when we are all grown up, do we truly realize the impact our teachers had on us!
      What a gift it is, to be in a position to pass on our knowledge - in a classroom, at the dinner table, in a TED conversation - where we know it will be received. My Mom always called it 'planting the seed'.

      In one hour, I have a student coming for a voice lesson. I am ultra motivated and excited about teaching at this moment - that poor boy won't know what came over him!!
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        May 9 2013: Lizanne, I couldn't agree more. Many times it isn't until we are adults that we can reflect on who made an impact in our lives, the sacrifices, and the rest of it.

        I remember when I graduated university that I broke down and cried, because I truly realized the sacrifice with which my parents had raised me.

        And it wasn't until I myself became a teacher and practiced teaching that I appreciated my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Tangy.

        This insight helps me keep on sacrificing myself for my children and my students. One day, hopefully, they will realize all that I am attempting to do for them.

        Your mom sounds very wise......Be gentle with your student (heehee)
  • May 9 2013: Grina Holthouse, an English and Drama teacher at Brighton High School in South Australia. I was lucky enough to be in her English class two different years (year 8 and then later in year 11). She chose wisely from the available curriculum and gave us interesting and thought-provoking lessons. She captured our imagination so well that she didn't have to always be hounding us to be quiet and listen (though our class had a bad rep with other teachers). She asked good questions. When I tried for the first time to be a writer and a poet, she gave sound advice and unfailing encouragement. She liked us and if there was any student she didn't like, we certainly didn't know about it. I had plenty of great teachers - I was very lucky - but she was the best.
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      May 9 2013: Deborah, reading your response was like balsam to my soul.

      Thank you for your words of appreciation for your Mrs. Holthouse.
      She is representative of what truly great teachers do.....they inspire, they interact, they allow noise to happen in the classrooms, and they form life-long friendships with their students.

      Thank you Deborah, thank you so very much.
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    May 9 2013: Easy question for me: Einstein
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      May 9 2013: Einstein didn't do anything for me personally. But I understand where you are coming from Keith.

      I do love one of Enstein's quotes that deals with judging an individual's ability......I often use it when speaking to parents and fellow teacher's alike:

      "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree, it will spend it's whole life believing that it is stupid."

      No teachers huh?
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        May 9 2013: I would like to improve Einstein's observation:
        "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree, you will spend your whole life believing that it is stupid."

        You see even Einstein was not always right but he kept trying.

        I would also like to recognize the teacher who taught me much more than Einstein. This teacher has never left my side and has explained all things to me no matter how complicated or how much time it took for me to grasp the truth. He is the only teacher that stood by my side even when the whole world ridiculed my thoughts and threatened me for telling the truth. He constantly improved and organized my available information even as I sleep. He always brought me to the right source at the right time and kept me thirsty for truth and or consequences. He never said NO, anything I wanted to know was OK. He never questioned my motives and always relied on my core principles to keep me safe from harm. Who was this wonderful and thoughtful teacher? ME
        Am I grateful for other teachers in my life? Of course but no one teacher has had the impact on my life like I have.
  • May 8 2013: The student/teacher experience is very personal. I've had favorite teachers in my life but I don't think that they were my favorites because they were extraordinarily great teachers. They were my favorites because something clicked between us. My 4th grade teacher, Mr. Evans, was young and very creative. I thought he was so handsome and funny. Looking back now, I realized that he had no classroom control and struggled to cover the basic curriculum. I had a language teacher in the 5th and 6th grades who was an excellent teacher. She taught me all the basics of composition but I didn't particularly like her. Her class was hard. Now, I only wish I had the opportunity to thank her for making so much of my life easier because of what she taught me. In the 8th grade I had a US History teacher who was an absolute idiot but I thought he was cool and spent much of my time struggling to get his attention while learning nothing. I had a Social Studies teacher in the 11th and 12th grades whom I found challenging and he taught me how to think but I didn't learn a thing about the subject matter. But taken altogether, I'd like to thank all of my teachers. They were not all superstars and none of them became my friend or mentor but they showed up every day and they tried to deal with a girl who was too smart and too immature at the same time.( I think I should add that I spent 30 years teaching high school English and I admit to reading all the comments in hopes that one of my student wrote about me.)
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      May 9 2013: HAHAHAHAHA......Leila YOU are too much!!!

      The conversation doesn't end until Monday.....so you never know....someone might come here and see your name and give you a shout out.

      Let me be the first to thank you for your wonderful labor of love. Teaching is tough Leila.
      I am an elementary teacher, and I absolutely love it.....I love teaching.

      Your experience, in my opinion, probably reflects what most of us go through in our years of schooling.
      Thank you so much for dedicating the time to giving us such a wonderful insight into teacher appreciation. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.....I don't know, but your writing style screams....author author....have you thought about writing a book?

      One of my proudest moments as a teacher, was when a student I had overseas back in the 90's made contact with me state-side a few years ago. She told me that she always chooses me as the answer to the security question "Who was your favorite teacher?"........Her telling me that just made my day.
      I still remember all my students, most of them by name. I love my profession.
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    May 8 2013: My favorite teacher was more than my teacher. Madame Fox was my mentor, adviser and friend. On the first day of high school, I walked into French class not knowing how much choosing to learn French over Spanish would affect my life. For the next four years, she taught me for two years and advised me as a French Club officer for three. These details are irrelevant though because what really mattered was that she was involved in my life. She was there for the times I fell and lost some best friends in awful happenstances. She was also there when I found out I was valedictorian, a goal I never thought I would accomplish. Through all of this, she shared her own thoughts on language, culture and (most importantly) education. She was heartbroken when she learned I planned to become engineer because she always wanted me to follow in her footsteps and become a teacher.

    Last year, I realized my calling was to change engineering education, which means I'm working on becoming an educator in engineering. She was one of the first people I told. Throughout my educational career, I've had some amazing teachers, but Madame will always stand out as someone who made a world of difference in my life. I know she'll continue to watch me and root for me from the sidelines.
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      May 8 2013: Morgan thank you for sharing this story.
      What a wonderful career choice, to change engineering education.

      All the best Morgan!!
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        May 8 2013: Thank you so much! I look forward to what the future holds! =]
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    May 8 2013: My favorite teacher is Miss Radu M.she was my history teacher in highschool.I just met her ...couple of weeks ago.
    on central area of our city_Timisoara.I m happy .because I met this wonder lady after 20 years.was amazing
    She was one of that kind of teachers...smart.ready to put questions.all the time with attitude.was hard not to learn at her hours!!!! She could make you smile.she could make you shake.....we all like to do our work.a little lady:-) petite size.smart and very popular in the end... RESPECT. TODAY I M A PRESCHOOOL TEACHER .
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      May 8 2013: Hi Mona!!!

      Isn't it great to run into a teacher many years later. What a surprise for you and your teacher!
      Did she remember you Mona? What did she say when you told her you were a teacher also?

      Thank you for sharing your nice experience with all of us.
  • May 7 2013: I was that fortunate kid that had the good fortune of having Mme Suzette Ross at Phillip and Sala Burton HS in San Francisco championed for me. I still remember the day when Mme Ross and her husband arrived at the door steps of my parent’s house in Visitacion Valley to convince them to let me go to France with her and twenty other students. With her help, we went to France for the first time the following summer. Mme Ross went above and beyond her role because she believed in us and wanted us to see the world in a whole new way. To this day, we still keep in touch and regularly see each other. I will never forget what she did for me. She is my hero!!
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      May 7 2013: Henry, what a great experience!
      Thank you for sharing this with us.
  • May 21 2013: Just came in to say that although i have truly not found a favorite teacher, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through your comments.

    And now that i think of it i have no better teacher than my mother. :)
  • May 20 2013: When I initially saw this conversation I immediately thought of two teachers at school, one who believed in me even though I was consistently at the "wrong" end of the top to bottom, and the other who taught as it was called back then "Technical Drawing".
    Here was a kid who had an essential tremor, but with the use of a T-square, compass, protractor and other assorted drawing tools could produce the most exquisite engineering drawings and found the "right" end.
    Later this year I will be able to retire from having to work, however there is some work that will continue for the rest of my life, just as it has been with me for all of my life and that is learning.
    I have been privileged to have many favorite teachers throughout my life, who ignored the "wrong" end and instead saw the "right" end.
    Thank you all :)
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      May 21 2013: John, how wonderful that you came and commented on the two teachers that you remember most, and that made a difference in your young life.

      It seems that you have learned well......that is, that you realize that life is a never ending learning experience.

      Thank you for contributing to this conversation on Teacher Appreciation.

      Enjoy your jubilee years John!!
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    May 15 2013: My favorite teacher was Mr. Van Thomas. When I was in eighth grade, I had him as a team teacher with another amazing teacher, Mr. John Baldino. They had gone to college, William and Mary, together, and they were so full of life. They were teaching in one large room 60 middle school students. They were in their early 20's and full of beliefs about what made good education. They were teaching us American history. One morning they came in and told us to take 25 sheets of paper out of our 3-ring binders for a project on the Civil War. We were outraged! How big was this project going to be? 25 pages!! That was completely unreasonable! Then, we were told to crumple up these sheets of paper and they divided the class up into halves and told us that we were soldiers in Gettysburg and we should let fly those balls of paper. For about five hilarious, ferocious minutes, we wailed into each other, laughing and yelling. It was complete, joyous chaos! I've never forgotten it. Afterwards, we talked about what it felt like to be soldiers and if we felt that it had been fun in the Civil War, or what we thought soldiers faced on real battlefields. We also talked about how wars stop and if they were as easy to stop as the battle we had just been waging. Once, Mr. Baldino came in and told us to take out our notebooks and take some notes about Thomas Jefferson. We diligently took notes for 25 minutes about how wonderful Thomas Jefferson was, all the things he did for the country, the Declaration, religious freedom, Monticello, UVA, what a hero he was and a true father of our country. Then, Mr. Baldino was called to the office and Mr. Thomas came in. He told us to get our notebooks out and he was going to give us some more notes on Thomas Jefferson. We all moaned and he said, "No resistance, please. This is important." We said we'd learned all there was to know about Thomas Jefferson. He laughed and said he doubted that. Then he began to tell us all the mistakes
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    May 14 2013: Hi again, Mary,

    This comment is just for concrete, personal appreciation, it's not a philosophical one.

    A 'thank you' from my part goes to:

    Prof. Zielonka - methodology, study skills
    Prof. Musial - political studies
    Prof. Szyc - biology (favourite quote - "We all sit on blastopores!")
    Prof. Molska - mom
    Prof. Ryszard K. - dad
    Prof. Tomaszewski - methodology of literature research
    Prof. Toeplitz - history of philosophy
    Prof. Molski - history of Icelandic literature
    Prof. Graf von Rosenberg (a.k.a "Bobby") - history of England and USA

    Prof. everybody else - thanks for things not mentioned above :)

    Not all peiople mentioned here were actually professors or had PhDs, but all of them are/were real people, just so that you know ;) It's just simple kindness and respect to call them professors or pros, it's a tradition that I learnt at some of the schools I attended. It wouldn't work in all environments and cultures, but there can be a way to adress this isssue too.


    Best wishes.
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      May 14 2013: Anna, this is a wonderful reflection on your part.

      We really are all interdependent, learning from each other as we live our life.

      Those people you mentioned are very fortunate to have you in their life, and to see that you have learned from them valuable lessons.

      You will have to give me a bit of an explanation on "we are all sitting on blastospores". I am not much for knowledge of fungi.
      Could you expound on this thought?

      Thank you Anna, for coming back and sharing this wonderful thought with us.
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        May 14 2013: Hi,

        Thanks.
        What was ment was that in evolution of species there are two main openings - one for consuming, one for getting rid of the rests of what you're consuming, but in the beginning, or early beginnings of this process, there was only one opening for both. Kind of interesting, I think.
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          May 15 2013: Hi Anna,

          Well, this is new to me. Thank you for your explanation Anna.
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    May 14 2013: Thank you, Mary. He was all of that and more!
  • May 14 2013: Must be something about 4th grade! Mrs. Marjorie Faulkner, Wildwood Elementary School, Burlington, MA, USA. Never - EVER - a dull moment with Mrs. Faulkner. She had us write an essay......every day! We recited poetry ("I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree...."), the Declaration of Independence, and....we sang, she danced, we made root beer (science).........we LEARNED.......can you believe it? She brought to life the wisdom of the ages, and long division! She inspired me to go into education and I've enjoyed a 27+ year career teaching at all age levels. She's my heroine (and, yes, I told her so several years ago).
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      May 14 2013: Michael.....your Mrs. Faulkner reminds me of my Mrs. Tangy.

      How very wonderful that you had that one special teacher, and that you also went into education.
      Many of those who commented here, including myself, are in this category.

      Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful Ode to Mrs. Faulkner.

      Root Beer huh? Nice :)
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    May 13 2013: send them an email? I went all the Holland to say hi to him while I still could. Mr Verweel, Grade 4. . the fix without putting me on the spot. . it was a mind blowing done me more good than all the hell I caught until then , I've never believed in punishment since. . now its PhUN-is-Mend
    within 5 minute chat he had inadvertently shared " I had beautiful children in my classes". I could only think, for you all the kids would be, at their most beautiful best
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      May 14 2013: Renessa, thank you for sharing your experience with the wonderful Mr. Verweel with us.

      How wonderful that you went all the way back to Holland to see him while you still could.

      Truly special teachers, who do their work out of love for educating make a great impact in children's life.

      How fortunate that you were in his class.

      Thanks again Renessa!!! All children are indeed beautiful, and need to be treated as such.
  • May 13 2013: Mine was Mr Webster, he taught physics and computer studies. He was also my form tutor. He was a terrific support when my parents divorced when I was 14. I remember him being a fantastic teacher but it is really his caring nature that sticks in my mind. I saw him at the hospital when I was having my first baby, he was there for treatment for cancer. I don't think he survived. I often wondered if he knew what a difference he made to so many pupils, we all loved him.
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      May 13 2013: "It is really his caring nature that sticks in my mind".....

      Oh Michelle, you have been touched by a wonderful teacher, who showed the spirit of a true educator----that of taking personal interest in their students. This must come from the heart of the teacher, surely Mr. Webster had a wonderful loving heart.

      How wonderful that you had such a teacher while growing up.

      I hope your children are able to say this about one of their teachers when they reach adulthood.
      I hope this conversation inspires you to take the initiative and have conversations with your own children about their teachers, and how to thank them and appreciate the work they do.

      Thank you so much Michelle for joining this conversation. Your contribution made me both happy, and at the same time sad. But I'm glad I got the chance to be aware of your experience.
  • May 13 2013: My all time favorite teacher was Mrs Satish Kalra in school in India. She taught us maths. I was both afraid of her and fond of her. I started off wobbly in the subject but signed off with top distinction and honors, and only because she never lost confidence in me and kept finding new ways to keep me interested in the subject. I grew up an went to college and universities in India and USA but never found that spirit in any teacher after that. We need more of teachers like that! God Bless her!
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      May 13 2013: Neerja, thank you for honoring Mrs. Satish Kalra.

      I like your expressions......"she never lost confidence in me", she "kept finding new ways to keep me interested in the subject", "I never found that spirit in any teacher after that".......

      It is very rare indeed to find great teachers who love to educate and ignite a love of learning in their students. It is truly a work of heart.

      How very blessed YOU were to have had Mrs. Kalra. Thank you for sharing this beautiful testimony with all of us.
      • May 13 2013: Thank you! Teaching is indeed Art of Heart.
  • Thu Le

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    May 13 2013: My favourite lecturer at university is Dr. Phong, who taught "Strategic Management" course last term. At the very first beginning, he impressed me so much (in a very different way) with his appearance. He is such an elegant teacher. Then, i was impressed with his energetic teaching style. We students called him "Phong Japan" because of his enthusiasm. He always seemed to be amazingly eager to teach new things, to discuss any practical cases. He was the only teacher to ask for feedback after the course. He was the only teacher to send us emails of schoolarship and to encourage us to apply for. He was a teacher of many "the first thing".
    Thanks for being our inspring lecturer!
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      May 13 2013: Thu Le, this is a wonderful experience you have shared with us.
      It shows how taking individual interest in students can have a wonderfell effect.

      "He was a teacher of many "the first thing".......True.....how very true.

      I hope you are able to find other such teachers in your university. But if you do not find them, do not worry, having found one such teacher is a blessing nevertheless.

      May I ask you, what do you mean "Phong Japan"?
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        May 13 2013: :D
        So glad to see your reply at the very early time in the morning. You've made my day :D
        About "Phong Japan", I don't even know the reason why i gave him that nickname. Maybe because of his speaking style (passionate enthusiasm- which i personally think is somehow related to the Japanese), or due to his always being on time. Cant explain,just a vague feeling :)

        Yep,hoping that we students can find many other teachers like him, our Phong Japan :D
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          May 13 2013: Happy to have made your day Thu Le. Thank you for answering my question.
          Enjoy your studies!!!
  • May 13 2013: I had two favorite teachers: Mrs. Sandra K. Farmer and Mrs. DeQuilla Battle. Mrs. Farmer was my seventh grade math teacher. She saw me taking a crumpled paper to my English teacher. She snatched it from me, tore it up and asked if she gave me a million dollars would that be the best paper I could submit. Hot as fire I re-did the paper (typed) and submitted. I am forever grateful because she instilled "Excellence" in my tiny soul. Mrs. Battle, was just like her. She was my 8th grade Keyboarding teacher. Her professionalism inspired me to become a Business Teacher. I had the pleasure of working with them both as an adult. Although I have moved away, they both are a phone call away and will assist me in any way possible.
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      May 13 2013: Jahneakia what a wonderful experience.....Tough love.....expecting nothing but the very best from our students....the halo effect.

      Yes, you were very fortunate to have teachers like these. What a wonderful priviledge.

      You are also an educator then? Well, that says alot .

      Hope you enjoyed your Teacher Appreciation Week. Thank you for contributing to this conversation.
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    May 12 2013: My favorite teacher was Mr. Balawadjer. He taught Biology and was also the Track Coach. He made Biology FUN!!! Everyone wanted to be in his class every day. Nobody wanted to miss a test or pop quiz. He had a way of making us all reach down inside ourselves to try to learn more and do more. Not just in his class but others too. He passed away several years ago and hundreds were there to say good bye!!! He was like no other teacher that I have ever met!
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      May 13 2013: "He was like no other teacher that I have ever met!"

      How thrilling to have been part of his life experience, yes?

      Imagine the excitement he must have felt in the fall of each school year, starting all over with a new set of minds to ignite with the learning match.......a new group of children to inspire.

      What a wonderful life he must have had as a teacher, to see all those shiny eyes in the room hanging on to his every word, knowing full well he was happier than all of you guys knowing he had found his passion, and it involved the youth of tomorrow.

      Thank you for sharing this with us Terry.
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    May 11 2013: My favorite teacher is Jack Petrash, who just gave a great talk at TEDxRockCreekPark on educating children outside the box. http://tedxrockcreekpark.com/jack-petrash/
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      May 11 2013: Alison, what a superb video. Thank you for sharing it with us.

      I will share it with others who I know will welcome the message being shared by Jack.
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    May 10 2013: or, if they're in prison, visit them there. my favorite teacher might be a dead man, Jesus Christ. My favorite living teacher might be my best friend from Stanford, Phil Ansell.
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      May 10 2013: Oh Greg.......prison? OK, yes.....some might be.....but hopefully not our favorite one.

      How wonderful that your favorite living teacher is your best friend from Stanford.

      And, yes, Jesus Christ, was the Greatest Teacher that ever lived. You won't get any argument from me there.

      Thanks for your contribution Greg.
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    May 9 2013: "or send a card...or flowers.....or why not stop by the school and say a hello in person?"

    This used to be a tradition at shools I attended in my country of origin - at the end of every schoolyear teachers got flowers and cards. This simple little ritual cured a lot of resentment and dissapointment from what I can remember. Everybody got together and concentrated on the things that they had in common, not the differences.

    In addition to that, there was a special day - Teachers' Day in October - to show appreciation not only to your favorite teacher, but to all of them.

    From what I hear a lot has changed now.

    I'm sending a smile and a thank you to all the teachers I've had, even the bullying ones, they taught me something too.
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      May 9 2013: Thank you Anna.
  • May 9 2013: Oh, Mary, I am so glad you started this topic!

    I had some wonderful teachers who inspired me, motivated me, and allowed me to explore myself with confidence! Two teachers in particular come to mind immediately.

    My music teacher, Mr. Boehme, showed me that making music and singing came naturally to me, and to all of us. His influence is why I am so passionate about music today, and his example inspires me when I pass my knowledge on to others.
    I met with him a couple years ago, while visiting my parents in the states. We reconnected via Facebook, and it was pure joy to see him, and exchange thoughts and experiences as adults!

    I was lucky enough to have the same wonderful teacher, Mrs. Mangels, for both 3rd and 5th grade in elementary school in America. Even as a kid, I knew that she knew what I was truly capable of. She gave me the tools to reach any goal I set for myself, which I still implement today. I'll never forget her challenge, which was to complete a sentence without using the word 'like', and that the word 'nice' was a cop-out. She single-handedly helped me cultivate my language skills. I am so grateful to have known her. Unfortunately, after numerous searches to find her, I can't. I won't give up on searching for her, though, in the hopes of thanking her!
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      May 9 2013: Hi Lizanne, thank you for joining this conversation, and expressing your gratitude for Mr. Boehme and Mrs. Mangels.

      I loved the fact that you searched out your teachers after you left school. I think that is something many of us do in an effort to show them our appreciation.

      It means so much to us to hear from former students. (Did you read Leila's words below?) Oh that one of her students would come on here and let her know she made a difference....it would make her day.

      We all need encouragement, and we all need to feel appreciated. Dedicated and passionate teachers really do so much for kids, I'm glad that at least I did my little bit to try to show the teachers who come to TED to know that many of us appreciate their hard work. (Did I just form a run-on sentence?)

      Have a great day Lizanne.....thanks again for your contribution!

      Mary