Would You Like To Thank A Teacher--Or Not?

Anderson, Indiana
February 14, 2008 7:55am CST
This is a forum for thanking a teacher who has made a positive difference in your life--or to pan a teacher who made your school life living hell. If you're panning instead of thanking, it would be a good idea not to mention the teacher by name. However, if you're writing something positive, you might want to mention this teacher by name to give him or her a well-deserved fifteen minutes of fame. I'm going to start with a tribute to my first grade teacher, Miss Mary B. Robinson. In the 1959-1960 school year, Miss Robinson's first grade class at Fall Creek Heights Elementary in the southeast part of Madison County contained about 25 students, give or take. When it came to academic ability, I would say that most of my classmates were quite a bit above average and a few might have been average. Michael and I were the bookends, so to speak, with him having a lot of difficulty learning the basic 3 R's and me falling into the "gifted" category with the ability to do third-grade math and read at a minimum of third-grade level. I also wrote poetry. During study times, Miss Robinson often took me up to her desk to read books with her and share my poetry. One time, she even walked me down to the third grade room so that I could get in on some of the lessons. One thing that really fascinated me was big numbers--and, especially, in relation to books. At home, I had taken books such as the Bible, a dictionary, and a few others out of the bookcase in our sunroom and turned each one to the last page--but each one fell short of what I was seeking. When I got to school, I asked Miss Robinson if there were such a thing as "a thousand book." Although she wasn't sure what I was talking about at first, she soon understood that I meant a book that had a whole 1000 pages in it. The most pages I'd seen in a book up until then had been a little over 700. She walked me down to the eighth grade room. When we got there, she picked me up so that I could look inside of this HUGE dictionary. My day was made, because not only were there 1000 pages in that tome but--OVER 1000 pages by quite a bit. One day, I started getting this horrible pain in one of my ears that made me want to howl non-stop. Miss Robinson took me to the cloak hall to pick up my coat. From there, we walked to the gym where she made a bed for me on the bleachers using my coat while telling me that I could yell to my heart's content without disturbing the other kids and that, maybe, I might be able to go to sleep. Which is what happened--I howled myself to sleep. When I woke up, my pain wasn't quite so intense even though I didn't feel like getting up to do anything. That was when I heard Miss Robinson speaking quietly to somebody. Then, I heard Michael's voice. She had gotten somebody to look in on the rest of the class after giving them some busy work. In the meantime, she had been sitting with me and waiting for my folks to get off work and take me home to the doctor. She also had Michael with her and was patiently drilling him on his reading. Looking back, I realize that Miss Robinson had about 25 students in her class, and she was able to play the role of special ed. teacher, teacher of gifted, and teacher of mainstream--and was able to do all of that in a top-notch way without specialists being constantly in her classroom to help her. It was definitely a different time back then--but, even for those times, Mary B. Robinson was an amazing teacher! ************************* Okay! It's your turn now! I'm looking for both stories that tell how a teacher should be and ones about teachers that fall *so* obviously below that standard. You can write about your teachers, teachers for your children/grandchildren, and teachers of other people you know. I'll share the story of a teacher who was simply pathetic and should have never gotten a teacher's license a little later.
1 person likes this
2 responses
@blueunicorn (2409)
• United States
14 Feb 08
I would, and have, like to thank my science teacher from Jr. High School. His name is Larry Langstaff, and he taught at Hendrix Jr. High School in Chandler, AZ. Not only did he teach science in a way that really made his students enjoy the subject, but he truely cared about each student as a person. I have recently run into Mr. Langstaff at a football game, and to this day he has a way of inspiring me. Because of him I will be going back to school next fall to get my teaching degree. I am 33 years old, and it is time to follow that old dream.
1 person likes this
• Anderson, Indiana
14 Feb 08
Best wishes with following your dream to teach. More likely than not, someday, one or more former students of yours will be writing something like this! What will your degree be in?
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Feb 08
That would be cool if a student did have nice things to say about me years from now! I don't know exactly what I am going to do yet. I have to get together with a guidance counselor at school to try to figure out my plan. At this point I want to teach 7th and 8th graders (I think), but I don't know what.
@joyangz32 (322)
• Netherlands
23 Feb 08
My teacher from grade 3 was lovely. I forgot her name. She was very nice to everybody. She presented me in front of the class as the most cleanliness from head to toe. I can't believed it. I never thought a shy girl would received a recognition like that. I wasn't perfect, nobody does. She still presented as the most cleanliness in the class eventhough there was a transferee who came to our class as my competition. I thought she would win. At the end of the school year. I received the ribbon. My mother was proud of me. My 3rd year high teacher was not brave enough to handle his class. Most of my classmates were naughty and stubborn. They did all the stupid things to make him angry and even walk out the class. They liked the time when he went out. When he returned, the classroom was a mess. We were all teenagers and love the naughty things. Until the time, he talked to us sincerely. We saw the tears fell down from his eyes. It was so sentimental to me. We listened just that moment. When he left, we all rejoiced. He was a good teacher and adviser to us. My friends and me respected him. We don't really joined the whole class do naughty things. I feel sad for him. At the end of the school year. It was hard to say goodbye to him. But we needed. I forgot also his name.
• Anderson, Indiana
23 Feb 08
Congratulations on being judged the most clean from head to toe by your third grade teacher! Your junior year teacher sounds like a kind and sensitive man. I'm glad that you had the chance to get to really know and respect him.