Information Specialist (Physics), TU Delft

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Did you have a teacher that inspired you, opened doors in front of you and put a fingerprint on your life the way it is now?

There are some of us lucky enough to have had a teacher that stepped in the classroom telling a poem for hello. Giving away hints, opening roads to explore, replacing the thousand words with a scheme, making his house a non-stop walk-in walk-out of students that took away a piece of math problem, a poem, a piece of politics lost in the discussion, something for the mind to chew on without being aware. I honour his memory and speak with friends from those times about him bringing us together, a riverbank for the small rivers to flow.

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    Nov 18 2011: I had some wonderful professors in university but none was more influential in my life than Dr. Nancy DeCourville. It was not simply that she was brilliiant for she is, it is that she has such a balance between being a researcher, academic, teacher and mentor. As I was completing my Master's degree she was chair of the Psychology department. In quick sucession, 6 weeks apart, I lost two important teenagers in my life to fatal accidents. Everyone around me needed me, my best friend who lost her son, my sister-in-law who lost her's, my eldest son who lost his best friend and closest cousin and my second son whose best friend lost his brother. Everyone was in pain and I was a caretaker.

    In this circumstance, this one woman saw my potential, my role within a family and my own distress and paved a way for me to be able to be the woman i needed to be in all of my roles, personal and academic and complete my degree. She even encouraged and supported my application for a PhD scholarship which with her help I did win even though I was unable to pursue it.

    Good people, going above and beyond the call of duty make a difference.
    • Nov 26 2011: Hi Debra! One quick question, you did not have a teacher, that influenced ya, till your university years? I love your comment! :)
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        Dec 1 2011: Hi Tishe, Sorry for the delay in responding, I have a son in intensive care at a hospital 6 hours from home.

        To answer your question, I cannot remember any teachers in my early life who took an interest in me.
        • Dec 2 2011: Oh no! I am so sorry! ( you never have to apologize to me!) Please tell us, he is okay?
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        Dec 3 2011: Hi Tishe, At the moment he is seriously ill and has been transferred to a hospital which handles more critical care. His siblings and I are keeping watch. Thanks for asking.
        • Dec 4 2011: Oh Debra, I am so sorry, I know I speak for others, we are with you. Remember, you need to take care of yourself also! I am sending you, the biggest happy face ever!! :)!!
          Apologies to Nicoleta for going off track in her question. Debra, please take care! I hardly ever pray any more, but I will for your son. Cyber hugs.
  • Dec 1 2011: Mr. Drago, 1963; my art teacher at H.S. of Commerce (where Lincoln Center is today).
    He was a very active, serious and very understanding man, a father image to me.
    I never new that I had any talent in art until I attended Mr. Drago's art class. In one of the sessions he asked us to draw a face profile of the student next to us using a thin brush and ink. As we were working he walked by checking on our progress. He paused a bit longer when he checked my work and said out loud to everyone that he liked what he saw on my paper. I was a bit embarrassed and more surprised as I did not think I was doing anything special.

    A few weeks later Mr. Drago had arranged for me to attend art classes at a private art school on Saturdays free of charge. Very enthusiastically I went for my indoctrination day where they also gave me a lot of art supplies and beautiful art books.

    Later on that evening my father came from work and asked me where did I get all this material. He had a fit when I told him about the Saturday art school, tore up all the art books and threw everything out into the garbage. He told me that only crazy people become artists, I were to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, and if I insisted on art he would throw me out of the house.

    That Monday back at Mr. Drago's art class, I was not sure of what I should do or say, but as Mr. Drago started talking about our work for that day, I new I wanted to be an artist. As soon as I graduated from high-school that year I did not wait for my father to throw me out. I got myself a good-paying job loading trucks, got me a studio apartment across from the Chelsea Hotel on 23rd Street, and two years later had my own art gallery in Greenwich Village.

    I had not seen or heard from Mr. Drago since high school, fourteen years, when one day I spotted him in front of the old Madison Square Garden. I ran up to him and I was so thrilled that he even remembered my name.
    I have had a very happy life & career in the arts field.
  • Nov 18 2011: I am a psychiatrist now, and am living my dream. I wanted to be a physician for as long as I can remember. However, I had academic problems throughout grade school and junior high. In my sophomore year I took a biology class from a teacher who changed my life forever. He saw something in me and began to pay attention to me. He started calling me "Stevie wonder" because I did so well on his exams and in the class. It was easy learning from him because he had a knack for keeping my attention and making it interesting. Beyond that, though, it was the personal touches, commenting on my test papers, saying things in class, noticing me and my ability, that makes him one of the most influential people in my life.

    I had the fortune of getting to tell him of the impact he had on my life a few years after I graduated high school. At the time I was a pharmacist and working in a retail pharmacy in Connecticut. His wife came in to pick up a prescription for him and when I saw the name I ran to the counter to ask if her husband was that teacher. He left teaching after my sophomore year because he couldn't afford to raise his family on a teacher's salary. It was a sad day when he left, as he had influenced many students and all felt the loss deeply. When I spoke to his wife, and told her of the impact he'd had on me, she exclaimed "I TOLD HIM!!" She said she was pushing him to go back to teaching again. This was 9 years after I had him in school. He came back with her, the next time she was in the store and I stood and talked with him and thanked him. It was a special conversation, and one that I am blessed to have had the chance to have.
    I have other teachers who have influenced me, as well. But when I look back at the "beginning", at the place that might be called my "launching point" it was that class under the tutelage of Mr Nishen, the best teacher I had ever known!
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    Dec 14 2011: I grew up in Poland: at that time mostly white, catholic, conservative and communist monoculture. My early 70's elementary school years were spent under political regimes run by communist puppets of Kremlin. As many of my fellow Poles, I grew up despising all and everything Russian. They were the brute Big Brothers that took away my country's freedom and gave us empty slogans, short food rations, and loaded tanks on streets of the Eastern Block countries to shut up our voices of discontent and calls for democracy.

    A Russian language teacher: expat from the Leningrad who married a Polish man turned my world around. She taught us how to see beyond the propaganda. Her name was Pani Anna. She gave my class the gifts of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, and Russian music, and showed us how to love the human spirit within all of us, and the artists of all races regardless of the circumstance or nationality of the author.

    AS a 19-years old I moved across the world, to the United States, alone, and built a beautiful life for myself. People from all backgrounds, with wildly differing stories and points of view became my family of choice. My caucasian daughters grew up believing to be twins with their best friends, African American sisters from Jamaica. The first wedding the girls ever attended was for a lesbian couple, still together after 20 years. My friends range from --19 to 90++. They are Republican and Democrat, all religions and ethnic backgrounds, rich and poor.

    If it wasn't for Pani Anna in our 6th grade despised, mandatory Russian class, I might have missed out on the key ingredients that make my life extraordinary.

    So yes, she put a giant fingerprint on my story. Spasibo, Anna Romanova!
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    Dec 13 2011: The best teacher that changed my life was the Mrs. Sudano (4th grade teacher) who gave me the habit of reading at least 30 minutes a day.
    As I look back, that habit of reading and trying new books after books gave me the intellectual curiosity, patience, and creativity that still allow me to question what's given to me and seek the better answers.
  • Dec 2 2011: i had a professor who once said to me, "show me something new, something i've not seen before." that one statement really opened my eyes and made me think and work differently.
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    Dec 1 2011: Mary Billingsly. Sixth grade elementary school teacher. One of the notable aspects of her class was her emphasis on reading. We were to read one book per week. Any book really. I chose whatever was available in our library, working my way from 200 some page books to the Lord of the Rings series. I became a machine, reading two books every week.

    Nine years later, having gone on to pursue a degree in Architecture and being exposed to many wise, well known educators, Mrs. B still takes the cake. In my generation, reading is mostly considered "boring" or "stupid." The habits I've created by reading have made me the person I am today, and boy, am I grateful. My peers struggle to formulate sentences and relate their ideas (spitting "like" , "kind of" , "whatever", etc.) because they are not truly literate. She taught me personally how important reading is.

    The ability to speak and write well are results of my reading habits, and I mostly owe that to her. I hope people can again grasp the value of literacy from a young age.
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    Nov 19 2011: Yes I had one. In early days of my university when all my teachers thought me to be hopeless misfit in class, he was the only one who thought I am definitely misfit in the system but not hopeless. So he gave me special attention.....
    He thinks I proved him right. Interestingly after so many years I am still in contact with him.
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    Nov 18 2011: W.A. Hughes, British Literature and Creative Writing professor.

    He saw the artist in me and pulled it forever out.
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    Nov 17 2011: Oh Yes !!! My mentors happened to be teachers. I went to an elementary school (Catholic) that one teacher taught two grades in the same room. I arrived in the third grade exhausted from a nun I could not stand, to meet Sister Sigisbert. She was short and round and had a beautiful smile on her face. She treated me with such respect and care that I just really blossomed under her tuteladge. At the end of the third grade year, she told me that I could do fourth grade work so she passed me to the fifth grade.I cried I did not want to leave her room. And so I landed in another room with Sister Lucretia. Even the name scared me. She was not bad but to me it was like being thrown out of paradise. In high school, my senior year, I met Lota Hayes/Kulhanek, an English/Drama teacher. She encouraged me because she thought she saw potential in me that needed to be nurtered.I wrote an essay on "MacBeth" that astonished her so that she asked me if I wrote it myself.............She gave me the leading role in a school play, etc. These two people greatly affected my life. And my life coach who woke me up to a life I did not know existed. These were my mothers and this Thanksgiving and the rest of my life I will be grateful for them.
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    Nov 17 2011: Profound teachers come from places other than schools as well.

    When I look back over the course of my life, I know that much of what went right in my life was as a direct result of an aunt. I was raised for most of the first five years of my life in my grandmother's home. She was already ill by then and my care or at least tending was often left to my aunt who is just 7 years older than I am (and with her my uncle just 5 years old who tagged along as her best friend). As a young child, she took me everywhere with her. She treated me with dignity, kindness and respect. As a young girl she was full of grand imaginings and we, Louise, Tommy and I started a major expedition to China through a hole under the porch of my grandmother's house. They valued my ideas, included me, encouraged me and taught me how to behave. I remember once when she was taking me for a soft drink at a soda counter that she warned me that the man who would dispense my beverage had only one arm. She told me in clear easy terms exactly how to behave to be at ease and to not embarass the man. These lessons lasted a lifetime and helped me many many times. We were separated for the most part when I was about 5 but I will never ever forget the foundation she laid in my life. She manifested such goodness even as a small child.
  • Dec 15 2011: I can think of a few, then I suddenly remember many. It may sound cliche, but I think all of my professors collectively give me impressions of their experiences. I really don't think you need a Coach Carter to come along in your life.

    There are professors that we all hate. I believe these are the ones who never really cared for their students. But the ones that do care, they will deliberately or inadvertently let-go of some piece of advice for their students. Even if they may look like they don't care, if they do, they will most definitely have an impact on their students.
  • Dec 14 2011: I just graduated high school and since then have been confused about what direction i want to take in regards to my future. Looking back on the last years of my life i realized that one of my teachers, Mr. RIdyard, was one of the most inspirational figures of my life. He bought us to borrow the least frequent paths and to never stop learning. He bought us to be sensitive and to always walk a mile in someones shoes before any comment. Finally, he showed us all that we had the power to change the world, and make it a better place if we only tried.
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    Dec 12 2011: The teachers who transformed my life and career were profound and severely impaired residents of a residential facility (mental institution) who had a history of violence. Many had no speech and needed help with basic self-care. The Behaviorism that was accepted standard of care made me cringe and I had no idea how to bring calm to a room of 26 men in a room with locked doors and bars over the windows and the phone in a cage.

    I hung out with them, watched and interacted in whatever ways seemed to work. They taught me a new language beyond words where we could connect and understand each other as equals. When I was in tune on this level, they responded beautifully, when I was out of tune, chaos returned.

    They taught me about an interconnected world beyond words, inhabited by every human but with access blocked by over-stimulation, mental pre-occupation and ego. This has provided a foundation of hope along with a basis for understanding what works in solving human problems.

    The other important teacher was the person who taught me to meditate almost 40 years ago and those who reinforced the value of daily practice.
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    Dec 11 2011: I think these days, unfortunately, this is becoming very rarely, and is practicaly part of an utopical vision.
    I´m saying this beacause, of course, i've never had that teacher.
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    Dec 11 2011: There is a play entitled, "The Method Gun" I saw recently.

    As you entered the theatre they gave you a scrap of paper and one of those tiny pencils. Before the performance began there was an announcement that we were to write down the name of a person who most influenced us and put it in the basket that was passed around

    The play itself was the story of a small acting company that was under the directorship of a charismatic drama teacher who would at times ask them to do things that seemed on the surface to be pointless,even dangerous. In the end, they learned that there was a method to his madness...

    As the play came to an end, a screen dropped down and on it was a scroll of names - the names of the individuals the audience had written down and placed in the basket. As the names scrolled down you could hear the audience gasp one by one as they looked for and recognised the name of the individual that had meant so much to them in their lives. It was a moment I will never forget as I saw my teacher's name slowly scroll upwards and disappear. I will never forget that moment of satisfaction I experienced as I sat there in the dark theatre looking at the name that has made all the difference to me.
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    Dec 11 2011: Yes I do. His name is W.A. Hughes. He taught me to see the world as a great story being told. He encouraged me to engage in the telling of that story.
  • Dec 11 2011: yea i have a two, both work at leominster high school. Robert Gendron and David lane
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    Dec 11 2011: That would have had to be Mr John Barrett, my personal tutor while at the University of Bristol in England and my three year lecturer in Developmental Psych. In my freshmen year, and in his first lecture he came into the lecture theatre with a big aluminium question mark sat on his head. He impressed upon us the need to question absolutely everything he said and also what we believed. he truly instilled an enthusiasm for scientific method, Popperian methodologies and was able to unpack things in such an animated and enthusiastic way that whilst in his company, one completely forgot that one was learning.... He died a couple of years ago and I was totally upset. I'm so pleased to have known him though, he rawked !
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    Dec 10 2011: Two teachers, actually: Mr. Don Dineen (4th grade) and Mr. Bill Charleston (5th grade). Together, they formed an after-school electronics club and got the elementary school to purchase two personal computers (in 1978!) for students to learn BASIC programming. Mr. Charleston's focused emphasis on project-based science had us 5th graders building model rockets and using trigonometry to calculate their apogee!

    Their efforts literally changed my life in terms of learning to teach myself subjects outside of the formal school curriculum, and setting me on a path to a very rewarding career.
  • Dec 10 2011: My fifth grade teacher Mrs. Tangy. She was the only teacher who ever sat with us in the cafeteria. She used to bring boiled eggs, tomatoes, and apples for lunch. I thought she was so special. She would bite into her tomatoes like you bite into an apple. And, she would take her thumbnail and cut her apple in half before eating it.

    But what really moved me and I have never forgotten was the creativity and dedication with which she taught. We would play learning games in class like spelling baseball.....I still remember how many of us struck out on the contraction "you're". We all would insist on spelling it "your". We also made vanilla ice cream from scratch using a churner, what a treat!!!

    Mrs. Tangy made such an impact on my life, that I always credit her for the kind of teacher I became. Sadly, when I went to thank her many years later for her devotion to her teaching, I discovered she had passed away. I will never forget her. Her face is etched in my mind's eye.

    I have enjoyed reading all your entries :)

    Here is one of my favorite teacher quotes: "Teaching is a work of heart"
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    Dec 6 2011: Two come to mind immediately. Mr. Miller my freshman highschool English teacher. He only taught for a few years, but was one of the best teachers I had. He taught me how to 'cut the crap' from papers and only put in the facts and important information. He graded down on fluff and filler - he wanted information and he wanted to know you understood what you were writing. It made me change how I learned as I had to weed out the fluff to get to the 'good stuff''. (I wish I knew where he was - I would love to thank him.)

    The second was Fr.John Schmotzer - he taught at Fairfield University in the Graduate school of Political and Corporate Communications. It wasn't so much what he taught as how he lived that inspired me. He had been a prisoner in China when it turned Communist because he was a Jesuit priest in the area. His family was from Czechoslovakia, so he was behind the Iron Curtain at home as well. Yet, he was the most loving and forgiving person I've ever met. He was more concerned about others and it made me feel like I should emulate him with his love and passon for people. I was able to thank him for what he did for me before he passed away. In typical Fr. Schmotzer fashion, he thanked me for being a god student. One of the best compliments I ever received.
  • Dec 5 2011: Whenever I look back on my school days, there is only one teacher who I can say inspires me the most and made me realize the numerous aspects in my life that I have to be prepared of. Dindin Villarino as she was fondly called by her colleagues. I met her in college and I the first thing I noticed in her was her much fairer skin. Such a very childish way to describe a university instructor but I was pretty shallow at that time. Because of my immaturity, I was quite unprepared of what college is. I tended to be relaxed and less focused on my studies and each day was a drag.
    I have heard rumors of her intelligence and her teaching style in the university yet it didn’t budge me to be serious. As days went by, she reproofed us of our lack of interest. As a punishment, she assigned us chapters to read. I sincerely love my subject with her, but reading many chapters each night just to catch up with her was a pain and this went on for the whole year. Her name is etched in my memory and the thick books I had to read.
    Years have passed, I graduated and I have my own career. I thought working would free me from the tedious task of reading but I was proven wrong. I have to continue reading to learn something new and equip myself with new knowledge. As I began to read a lot, I remember my beloved instructor and what she did to me and my classmates as well. Through her reprove, I was forced to READ and LEARN countless things. Reading is a simple task but it helps me in so many ways in my life. It helped me pass my licensure exam. It helps fill me boring days. It enables me to impart knowledge to others, by that, I am listened by others with admiration.
    She, in some ways, shaped me through her deeds and “ mocking” words. Remembering her, I am grateful for her tongue lashing because without it I would not appreciate what I have become, a reader not only who teaches knowledge but wisdom as well.
  • Dec 4 2011: Mr. Kavanaugh, my 6th grade teacher. The first week of school I grabbed a desk in the back row with my friends. I was buying large bags of candy at the store and selling them in class. I made $50 bucks the first week of school. The second week of school, Mr. Kavanaugh, who was a stocky no non-sense Ex-Marine, moved me to the desk directly next to him in the front of the class.

    We were all required to do book reports throughout the year. One day at recess, Mr. Kavanaugh called me into his office alone. He was holding a book report I had done on Jackie Robinson, the first African American to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball. He started interrogating me about the book report, and flat out said he didn't think I could have written this alone, "Who helped you with this?" I couldn't help but smile. He said, "Why are you smiling?" "Because no one helped me, I did it myself, so I am taking this as a compliment." He continued to stare at me for a moment. Then he said, "If you really did write this, then you are too smart to be horsing around in my class." After that we became friends, and I learned to really enjoy reading that year.

    At the end of the year, Mr. Kavanaugh stood up and said, "I have been teaching in this classroom for over 30 years, and someone this year did more book reports than any student I have ever taught. I have a present for that person." Then he walked over to my desk and handed me a one dollar bill.(Haha, it was the 70's)
    I never forgot that, and 30 years later I am a published author and filmmaker.
    Thanks Mr. Kavanaugh!
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    Dec 3 2011: My 11th grade math teacher, Mr. Robinson, at Lower Merion HS. I was not a good math student. It never made much sense to me. I would consistently fail my tests because I would take 'swipes' at every problem, rather than try to answer a complete single problem. I thought I might be able to fool him into thinking that I knew what I was doing. After 2 or 3 "F"s, Mr. Robinson called me up to his desk and said to me, "Josh. You're really struggling with this. You're not going to be a math major in college, are you?" I had to agree. I wanted to be a lawyer (...it was 1973 - everyone wanted to be a lawyer). "So, rather than mess around with each problem, why don't you just try to do one or two COMPLETELY. If you can get a couple completely right, we'll celebrate that. You won't get an A, but you won't fail, either. Show me what you know." That was so liberating. A teacher who was willing to celebrate small successes rather than chastise big failure. Nearly 40 years later, that memory still resonates, and defines what I try to do with my 4th graders. Never made it into the legal profession, Mr. Robinson pointed me in a direction that was to be much more satisfying.
  • Dec 3 2011: When I was in college I had a English Comp professor who drove me crazy. I was a scholarship student and as part of my student work hours I actually tutored English. I ended up tutoring some one who was in the same class I was. I helped this student write and rewrite their paper. We both turned in our papers and the student I was tutoring got an A! I, however, got a C on mine. I was livid. I had helped with that student's paper and I knew it was not as good as mine. I banged on Dr. Machon's door and he heard me out. Then he said "That student worked very hard on that paper and it was the best work they could do. You banged your paper out the night before it was due. It was A work for her and C work for you." It told me he believed in me and it forced me to be better. I use it now myself....
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    Nov 27 2011: My sports teacher in high...played a vital role in making me wat I m .........

    in sports as I used to get nervous soon.....I always used to take part in running in school days bt always failed to get first position..most of the time I was second or third in the competion.
    One day my sports teacher came to me and asked why dont come first and I said " Perhaps the person who came first runs faster than me". But he shouted at me and said " No, that person is not faster than bt ur nervousness makes u slow."
    Next day during the practice he asked us to come individually on the track and complete 100 m as fast as possible ..Meanwhile he noted our time of completion with stopwatch bt he didn't disclose our timings to us. After some times rest he called me and said " wolud u like to know who has taken the least time to complete 100m ".I replied " oh yes sir." at which he smiled and said " thats u.. and u r faster than others bt when u r in competition u get nervous and bcoz of this nervousness u fail to come first "
    I understood what my Sir wanetd to explain...in the next race i just focussed on the race without getting nervous abt the results ...and this time DARA SINGH came first.
    So then I realise that its 'our mind ,our thought,our will ' that are to be controlled and to be moulded in right direction to achieve something
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    Nov 26 2011: YES ! when i chose to come to the USA for study i didn't really thought that they will be someone rather than your close friends or family who will understand what you want or be there when you needed somebody to show you the way to your future but i was wrong .. and i was lucky to have a great professor her name ! Dr.Kim Tucker . she made me believable in my self ,trust i can do it when i didn't believe in my self and she was always there for me . bottom line she held the light at the end of the tunnel and trusted me to go through it by my self.
  • Nov 25 2011: Not to the best of my recollections, but now having children of my own I look at their current headmaster and think if back when I was in school if my headteacher had his inspiration it would have driven me to greater heights.

    Also if you want to see inspirational teachers there has recently been a documentary in the UK called educating essex a fly on the wall show with warts and all the head and his deputy are an aamazing pair of teachers... well worth a watch.
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    V Raj

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    Nov 23 2011: When I look back over the course of my life, I know that much of what has gone right in my life is a direct result of the time and efforts spend in inculcating some good habits in me by my parents and teachers.

    I guess there’s no better adage then ‘First Teacher of a Kid Is His / Her Parents’. From the very early days of my childhood I realised that I wasn’t just a KID for my Parents, I was also another person who has an opinion.. They valued my ideas, included me, encouraged me and taught me how to behave. And never for once chided me saying ‘U won’t understand as Ur a Kid’

    With time, I also had the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest minds of the world... who not only encouraged my thirst for knowledge but also how to channel my energies, keep a focused mind.

    Dr. DALJEET SINGH BANS – My Principal in the High School
    Mr. SURRINDER MALIK – My English Teacher in the elementary school
    Mrs. USHA KAUL – My Economics Teacher in Senior School
    Dr. RAMESH CHANDER MALHAN – My Economics Professor in College
    Dr. MANMOHAN SINGH – My Economics Professor in Post Graduate Course
    Prof. SEENU SRINIVASAN - My Doctoral Advisor!

    Got me to think how beautiful and yet undiscovered this universe is, they helped open my mind to the simplest and most complicated problems. They instilled in me the value of commitment, hard work and most importantly “Life is not all about just doing your home work on time and scoring good marks in exams but it is also about exploring the world around U, being kind and gentle to one and all, valuing people and relationships’
  • Nov 21 2011: Yes his name is Jesus Christ
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    Nov 21 2011: Mr. Pehlivanov was one of the best teachers I've had in my life as well as some others (but he made great things for us as a class teacher as well!). I had a teacher who was a native speaker from the Peace Corpse from Alabama - Amy Watson and she was a very sweet addition to my list of nice people around. As for my teachers in Bulgarian ... well, for them I have no words to express my gratitude!!!
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    Nov 19 2011: Two for me, one who got me to think of how vast our universe is and opened my creative mind. The other who taught me how hard work can pay off for good in the long term. Im afraid that I found many of the teachers in my secondary school hostile, and disinterested in inspiring their pupils
  • Nov 18 2011: I had two teachers...one taught me how to focus on what I needed and what I wanted, then taught me the road I had to take to get it. The other told me to quit school because it was boxing me in, stripping me of my creativity, conforming me to what everyone else there considered a sucessful person and a brilliant mind. Now thanks to them Im a fulfilled writer and poet and I believe I have found a place of mine in the world.
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    Nov 18 2011: I was fortunate to have many teachers throughout my schooling who shaped constructive ways of looking at the world and my role in it. Putting aside inspirations outside the classroom, of which there were certainly important ones, I believe my middle school counselor, Mr. Berz, had important influence at a critical moment, and I believe school counselors of adolescents often have a great and too little acknowledged impact at the meta-level of education and life planning.I no longer remember the name of my high school guidance counselor, but he too imparted life skills that I remember today.Finally, I would note my doctoral advisor, Lee S. Friedman, who introduced me to one of my greatest compelling interests.
  • Nov 18 2011: Nicoleta
    I have had many teachers through the years. In this comment I want to mention some from my elementary and high school years.

    Bonnie Stulken who taught me how to listen to music
    Alan Christian and Robert (I think) Fudge for believing in me
    Eunice Larkin for not believing in me but making me work so hard to prove her wrong (which I did)
    Diane Martin for letting me know I could could write something with meaning

    There were others but these I remember not just with fondness but with a depth of meaning in my heart.
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    Nov 18 2011: I've had several college professors who have changed my life, John Augustine sticks out though.

    I took John's class when I was 19 years old, Freshman composition.

    John had a way of teaching that became a sort of build it yourself instruction manual- he showed me where the light was and he told me how to turn it on.
    Turning that light on has illuminated the way- helping me discover and execute in all walks of life.

    I firmly believe it was the most important moment in my life.

    Now I dream to become a college professor of composition and show others how to flip the switch.
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    Nov 17 2011: Mr Taylor's appreciation for my art; one huge "finger print" :-) :-)
  • Nov 17 2011: Do not remember any school teacher of note

    Jill Robertson from animalsasia is a great inspiration

    Gill and John Dalley from soi dog are inspirational

    If I was to pick an artist it would be Ai Wei Wei

    My dog JAI of seventeen years my greatest teacher

    Anyone who thinks bigger than themselves or for that matter thinks greater than their own species i find truly inspiring

    If we all saw the bigger picture 'the great question is then would climate change be happening?
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    Nov 17 2011: This is a question I hear a lot in my profession as a teacher. It is ironic that I am a teacher because a was a horrible student and I did not like any of my teachers growing up. I only remember a few of the teachers I had in my life and they were the ones that gave me total freedom in the classroom. The teacher I liked the best, that maybe showed me that all teachers are not bad, was an English teacher in high school that would show us concert footage from bands like THE DOORS and try to start conversations based on their lyrics, etc. He also gave us freewrites and discussion on quotes, often using Buddhist or Zen quotes. He and I also played pool together and exchanged music cassettes (remember those?). In short, he allowed me time to think, ponder, question. He was not judgmental. Did I learn anything in his class about English? No, but he provided an outlet for me to express my thoughts, which I was not getting in any other class. His class was one of the only reasons why I did not drop out of high school.

    Sometimes as teachers, we need to take a step back from filling student's heads with so much information, and allow them time to think, add, subtract, express, etc. Students at the secondary level are having so many issues just with growing up and becoming adults that we need to give them time to look at life a little differently. Take time to smell the roses before getting back to work...
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      Dec 15 2011: I think climate change happens for a variety of reasons and of course I would not be so arrogant and claim sole responsibility.