My Favorite Teacher was…

We just posted our final two tokens of appreciation for STARs (35% DEN Store discount and the special DonorsChoose webinar for next week) and didn’t want to miss one more opportunity to celebrate and recognize our favorite teachers at the end of Teacher Appreciation Week.  We obviously have thousands of “favorite” educators – we affectionately call them STARs.  But the DEN team took some time to reflect on one teacher in particular who made a lasting impact in our lives.  We’d love to hear about the teachers that made that impact on you.  Just post a comment.

Lance Rougeux
marthaIt goes without saying that the teacher who has made a tremendous impact on me is a sixth grade teacher in the Harrisburg City School District (HCSD).  She was just recognized as the Teacher of the Year (Grades 4-6) for HCSD.  She is also my wife :) 

Steve Dembo
One of my favorite teachers was Mr. Martin, my 6th grade Language Arts teacher.  He gave extra credit for reading books and passing a test on them.  I finished that class with 197% and a reading habit that just won’t quit.

Jannita Demian
Mrs Onstott, my first grade teacher, was my very favorite.  I still remember sitting at the back table with my little readers and learning phonics!  But the true delight was when you were the “chosen” student to rub her back during the read aloud!  Can you imagine that?!?  Times have definitely changed!

Mike Bryant
Anthony “Tony” Amato, my 12th grade AP Biology teacher, encouraged me to study science in college.  He’s never hesitated to stick his hands in the guts of an animal to engage his students. 

Matt Monjan
Mr. Wright, who looked like Magnum PI, was my fifth grade gym teacher and used to take our class on outdoor adventures like zip wires and obstacle courses – and he used to drive us there in his Jeep – pretty cool trip for a kid in fifth grade!

Kim Randall
Ms. Dilts, my 3rd grade teacher was just awesome.  She would have popcorn parties for us after school if we volunteered to help out. It was a great way to avoid doing homework!

Justin Karkow
My fourth grade teacher, Mr. Tarantiles, was the teacher who inspired me to be a teacher.  He was very hands on, taking risks with technology (Apple IIe baby!) and with innovative techniques that extended beyond the walls of the classroom.  He turned kickball games into math lessons and the playground into a science lab.  Most importantly, he connected with us on a personal level.  The man could also play a mean game of H-O-R-S-E!

Dennis Swain
Mrs. Clark was a teacher at my Jr. High school, and she was my 9th grade Forensics team coach.  She was so encouraging and supportive, and a great coach.  I won the 9th Grade Extemporaneous Speaking competition for my district, and 2nd place at the regional level. I’ll never forget her, she had a tremendous positive effect on my life.

Brad Fountain
My favorite teacher was Jean Sanders, who taught 5th Grade at Martha Turner Reilly in Dallas, TX.  She was the first teacher I had that challenged the typical teaching practices.  We were required to give oral reports for every unit we studied and dress the part.  On one occasion she took me around the building to have me show off my Doc Holiday cowboy walk that I had incorporated into my oral report on cowboys.  It was in Mrs. Sanders’ class that I truly understood that learning could be enjoyable if approached from the right direction and that not everything to be learned came from a textbook.  She was a truly amazing teacher and as I stayed in touch with her through the years I learned how truly amazing she was as a person.

Don’t forget to share a favorite teacher from your life by posting a comment to the blog.

Comments

  1. Andy Losik

    Bob Losik, my dad! In 7th grade when he was my phys. ed. teacher I didn’t appreciate it like I do now. Playing football for him was something I will always have. Thanks Old Man!

  2. Dave Solon

    My favorite teacher was Mr. Ted Mannino. (Now Dr. Ted!) He was my HS photography teacher and a really funny, creative, and easy-going gentleman. I think the thing I most liked (and still do) about Ted was that he respected and trusted us, as people. He gave us a wide latitude to explore photography and learn in our own ways.

    We constructed knowledge in his class – and made that learning our own. He gave us ownership of our projects, let us fail and learn, and most importantly trumpeted our triumphs. He encouraged us to try almost anything – and supported our learning in such positive ways.

    And he was (still is) one of the nicest guys I know. I can still hear him calling out: “Boys!”

    Thanks, Ted. You continue to help Kel and I to be life-long learners.

  3. ks

    I’ll second everything said above.

  4. Jeremy Davis

    2 things…

    1. My favorite teacher was Mr. Good, my 4th grade teacher at Del Cerro in Saddleback Valley. We were an experimental 3rd 4th combo class and he was the master of differentiated instruction. We were never bored, we had Chuck E Cheese nights, picnic Fridays in the park, and we always felt challenged, never bored. Guest speakers came in to show us how to put together computers, and our creativity was always encouraged.

    2. Where are the polos? I went on the DEN stuff site to get myself a polo to wear around CUE, but they aren’t there…

    Jeremy

  5. Elaine Plybon

    My all-time favorite teacher was Miss Polly Potter at Allen Elementary School in Hutchinson, Kansas. She was flamboyant, young, and definitely a free thinker. I had her for two years – she taught a fourth/fifth grade class and then a fifth/sixth grade class for what I guess would now be called gifted students. She is the one who taught me to think outside the box – she even brought in her patio furniture during the winter, complete with big colorful umbrella because she said she wanted her classroom to feel like summer. I could go on and on about her – she was responsible for many of my philosophies today.

  6. Joe Brennan

    2 favorites. Mrs. Kavanaugh in 6th grade made every subject fun and introduced working in teams. Also Fr. Jim Friedel was my HS basketball coach, Spanish AND religion teacher (small school!) He emphasized subjects and sports were just a way to maximize your gifts to share with and learn from others.

  7. Lisa Parisi

    My favorite teacher was my high school English teacher, Mr. Boloker. We had fabulous discussions about books and he loved to let the students lead. I was truly an underachiever at the time and handed in my first report, done in about 20 minutes. It always got me A’s before. This time, he gave me a D and said he knew I could do better from my discussions in class. I worked my tail off for him from that day forward. We kept in touch through college but I have lost contact since. Mr. Boloker, thank you for seeing my potential and helping me reach it.

  8. Linda Hughitt

    I had a number of favorite and special teachers over the years. Mrs. Steele and Miss Clark in 5th and 6th grades. Then in high school Miss Benson, Mrs. Baxter, Mr. Headburg, and Mr. Hamilton. I was very lucky through the years to have had some really great teachers.

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