A Really Fabulous Teacher

Every now and then I know that a blog post is going to have such fun comments, I am almost giddy writing it. My “french tipped nails” (I saw that somewhere recently) kind of skip across the key board like a jackrabbit across a dewy pasture. Yesterday the Wednesday crew of the Living Proof staff went to lunch at a Salada not far from our office. (Salada is the Luby’s Cafeteria of salads. I just rolled my eyes. Of course, I’d rather have Luby’s. Seriously? But, as sprouts and spinach go, Salada will do the trick but it can be pretty pricey for those on a ministry celery. Now, lettuce get back to the story at hand.) We’d just had a seat at a long table with our sprouts when my eyes wandered to a table across from us and a woman I could only see from the back. You know how you get that feeling sometimes, “I know that back”?

I knew this one.

I’d seen that very back saunter down the aisles of my classroom at Northbrook High School in Houston, Texas, about three hundred years ago. I stared at her until she turned to a profile. About the time I jerked forward with recognition, one of my coworkers asked me what I was distracted by.

“That is my high school English teacher. I had her for two years straight. Junior and Senior year. She was the best teacher I have ever had in my life and the very reason why I minored in English.”

“You’re kidding!” my coworkers chimed in.  “Are you going to say something?”

Just about that time, my person of interest and her friend reached over, grabbed their purses on the floor and prepared to get up.  That’s when I knew I only had a second to move on it.I hopped up from my seat, darted over to her, knelt down on the floor by her and said, “Mrs. Fanett, it’s me, Beth.”

(I don’t know why but I have tears in my eyes. I’m really in a silly mood but for some reason recounting this moment is touching a tender place in me.)

She responded just like you’d hope. She stood straight up from that chair, hugged me and sort of cupped my face in her hands, searching to find that seventeen year-old again. (OK, I’m really about to cry now. GET A GRIP. This isn’t Kleenex fodder, Birdbrain.)

After we greeted each other with equal warmth, I turned to my staff at the adjacent table and said, “Ladies, this is Mrs. Naomi Fanett. She is the best school teacher I have ever had.”

And for just a split second, we were no longer at Salada. Somebody grabbed the remote and pushed rewind and there all of us were, even my coworkers, in bell bottoms and short skirts in a classroom in Northbrook High School. Mrs. Fanett was teaching us how to appreciate a word fitly spoken, a word fitly written. She used her hands a lot and her eyes danced as she taught. There was something poetic about her. Something that made high school girls that hadn’t smoked a lot of dope want to grow up and teach English just like her.

I’m not sure why, but she liked me and, better than that, I knew it. It’s such a waste when you don’t. I don’t mean she seemed to like me more than the other students because she didn’t. She was too professional to show a lot of favoritism. She just had a natural affinity toward the kids that actually stayed awake in class and raised their hands for more than permission to go to the restroom. Of course, not many students had the gall to sleep in Naomi Fanett’s English class. It wasn’t that she was as strict as it was that she’d be so appalled. She commanded respect somehow and I never remember a single football player ever even belching in there.

When Mrs. Fanett searched my face for that high school student yesterday, I thought back to what she would have imagined. I had only moved from our beloved home state of Arkansas to the biggest city in Texas the year before. I’d gone from a 2-A school to a high school population a third the size of my entire former town. I had an accent as thick as the piney woods staring down on my tiny childhood home out in Ouachita Hills. My wardrobe was the only thing vaguely big-city-fied, thanks to the employee discount I got through my part time job at J.C. Penney’s. Despite all attempts to sound like I belonged, I only had to open my mouth and yawn for someone to say, “Where are you from?”

But I had a romance with English. And sometimes when Mrs. Fanett would pass out our graded papers, she’d lay mine on my desk, glance at me with the quickest smile and tap the red grade at the top of the page.


It wasn’t that I was good at English. It was that Mrs. Fanett was good at English. She excelled at what she did. She acted like teaching high school students was the most important profession on the planet. She fascinated me way back then. She fascinated me yesterday. Before we parted, she told me that she’d recently retired and that she and her husband (also a teacher) were traveling now.

And suddenly I had an uncontrollable urge to go somewhere like Tuscany.

With Mr. and Mrs. Fanett.

There ain’t nothing like a good school teacher. Tell me it ain’t true.

OK, I’m dying to hear about your favorite teacher. Bring it, Sisters. I’ll watch this baby all day.


657 Responses to “A Really Fabulous Teacher”

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  1. 501
    Andrea Henley says:

    I had a teacher at the University of Tennessee that taught Shakespeare so well, he made the Bard himself look bad! In my own classroom, I have yet to figure out how he did it…

  2. 502
    Sparki2003 says:


    I had quite a few “favorite” teachers. I actually had the chance to see one of them a couple of years ago. She is also one of those people whom I could tell was her by seeing her back. Of course, being a natural red haired lady helps a lot. Her name is Mrs. Julie Bouton. She was my typing teacher back in 1984-85 [back when we had to learn how to type using electric and electronic typewriters, and made corrections using typing white tape and white out] when I was in 11th grade. I recall her being a very kind person, but was also very compelled to get us [her students] to learn how to type without ever looking at the keys on the typewriter. I actually remember her joking around, as she walked around the classroom with a pad of paper, pretending to be ready to “hit” our hands if she saw us looking at the keys. 🙂 However, ever since being in that class, every time I touch a computer keyboard, I thank God for her loving ways of teaching me/us how to type using the “home keys”, and memorization of all of the other keys; which memorizing things does not come to me very easily.

    Another favorite teacher of mine is named Mrs. Carolyn Fisher. She has got to be the most patient math teacher that I have ever known. However, I was blessed enough to have her for 3 years during my “high school” years. Mind you, we still had 9th grade at the “junior high” [7th-9th grades] at the time. Anyhow, the best year with her was my senior year, when I found out that I would have to take Geometry class before going on to college. Arg ! I have never been very good in mathematics, but learning the unusual concepts that are taught in Geometry, [as well as in Algebra 2 in college] seemed nearly impossible for me. But, Mrs. Fisher showed her patience and kindness to me by helping me finish my homework assignments during advisory class, in between classes, and during study hall time. However, she didn’t help me with these assignments until I became totally stuck on a problem or concept.

    And, last, but certainly not least, is a lady named Mrs. Jeanne Carfora. She is actually what I would consider to be my absolute “favorite school teacher of all”. I met her as Mrs. Carfora when I was in 5th grade 33 years ago this fall. However, when I was in 6th grade, she & her husband were finally contacted that they were accepted as adoptive parents. I’m sure that they were thrilled, but I was extremely sad that she wouldn’t be in my “pod” any longer. However, God had plenty of plans set in advance for the 2 of us. I went on to 7th grade [junior high], but, one Sunday morning while my family was in church, I saw her ! And, she ended up mentoring me in my walk with the Lord, [even though I did not have any clue what “salvation in Christ Jesus” meant until Spring 2003]and then, she went on to mentor me after high school graduation, and into my becoming a certified elementary school teacher, and we have been very good friends ever since.

    And, I truly Praise God for allowing me to maintain such an un-usual friendship throughout all of these years !

    And, even though I have done exactly what you told me/us to do, my dear Miss Beth, [to study under different Bible teachers, etc.], there seems to be no one else besides you who appears to be able to get me “hooked into the Word of God” ! You were the one person who was able to get through this silly mind of mine that Jesus truly LOVES even “little ole’ me” . . . And, it just happened to be through you and your Bible studies that I began to learn about salvation; and then I finally opened my heart up to Him enough to realize that I needed to “invite Him to take over my life, and to come into my broken heart” . . . And, I give all of the praise to God for sending His Holy Spirit to “lead me to Jesus”.

    However, I am quite sure if you had not been such a willing, caring, non-judgemental vessel of a Bible teacher, having such a Christ-like LOVE [even within a group of 3,000 + women], I’m sure that it would have taken a whole lot longer for me to come to know Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. But, we were both obedient to Him at that time, and I am So very grateful !

    And, thank you, Mrs. Fannin, for helping my dear Bible teacher come to a place of enjoying writing so much, that when He called our Miss Beth to write for Him, she had the tools to do so. 🙂

    In Christ’s Mighty Love,

    Jennifer Olmstead

    Janesville, Wisconsin

  3. 503
    fiona lynne says:

    My German teacher when I was 17/18, Mrs Bexon. We were a class of just four girls and she treated us as peers, usually ignoring the prescribed grammar exercises in exchange for fun chat in German. The best part was I think I improved more in those classes than with our other curriculum-focused German teacher. She also had us on a cake-rota for class 🙂

    She was not just good with us. She also was the year-head for the 13 year olds and that year was especially difficult with a lot of troubled young boys. Other teachers would yell and threaten and get so angry, and I would watch the boys retreat into angry stubborn silence. Then Mrs Bexon would sit down with them and start chatting, talking about their lives, their class, their home, trying to find a way to make school work for them. It was truly inspiring to watch.

  4. 504
    Charlotte Skadal says:

    Beth, I’m running a couple days behind reading the blog, but I was so thrilled to read this entry! I had Mrs. Fanett too!!! And, like you, she inspired me to write, write, write and do it RIGHT!!! Sometimes I can’t read blogs, email, tweets or anything else electronically posted these days without wanting to edit them for grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes. Did Naomi Fanett create a monster? 🙂 Like you, I felt her genuine affection for me.

    What’s really amazing is that her husband was my math teacher on a couple of levels (I forget which ones now) and you would have thought they were brother and sister because their personalities were so much alike. He was a FABULOUS teacher as well….he inspired me to select Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus over Choir when my schedule would not allow for both!

    Between the two of them, Mr. and Mrs. Fanett helped to create, not a math/english ‘nerd’, but rather a mother of three sons with a passion for learning, reading and writing…and I’m applying all of those in my daily Beth Moore Bible studies….it’s all paying off!

    Footnote: I’d like to know which of Amanda and Melissa’s teachers inspired them….my boys went to Langham Creek too and right about the same time.

    Thanks so much for the trip down memory lane Beth!
    Love, Hugs and God’s greatest blessings on you,

  5. 505
    Sharon Richards says:

    I fell in love with history under the starry eyed first year history teacher in the 10th grade. Miss Halvorsen was her name then, she was left handed, which interested me to no end, and printed perfect block style on the chalk board.
    At first when I would read the assignments in the text book I couldn’t get a visual of the events I was reading about however, when Miss Halvorsen went over the material in the class room I was transported to another time. It wasn’t long before I was getting my own feelings, smells, sounds from the text. To this day anything that takes me back in time I can see Miss Halvorsen at the board printing her little heart out and transporting me to another place in time.

  6. 506
    Tanya says:

    My typing teacher, Mrs. White. During my senior year, She offered to arrange for me to take a typing test at a local business (one of those that would be a great job for a lifetime), drive me there and carry the typewriter I had been using in class. In my youthful ignorance, thinking my life was about to be nirvana, I refused her offer multiple times. Fastforward 5 years, I am divorced with a child and the only skill I have is typing, and thanks to her it was the only thing in my life I was confident of. 20+ years later, I am a medical transcriptionist working from home. I owe her so much.

  7. 507
    LuAnn says:

    Her name was Mrs. Harless, she taught 3rd. grade. My home life was tough, my mom was sick and my dad was working 3 jobs. Somehow even though my mom did read to me on a regular basis, I got clear to the third grade with out being able to read, a lick.
    I can still feel the shame as I stood before her desk struggling to read, and not being able to. She looked up at me and with complete compassion she said, honey, you can’t read can you. I knew I couldn’t, I finally shook my head no. She got up from her seat came around and gave me a big ole’ hug and said well we just can’t have that. I don’t know what happened with the staff, but I know that the next day I was in what was called a “remedial reading class” where I learned phonics and how to sound things out. With in a few weeks I was reading and as my family will attest, I’m rarely without something to read.
    She read to us every day after noon recess and it was the best part of my day. I loved every book she read especially Charlott’s Web. I have had the opportunity to speak with her by phone and let her know how much she met to me and that she totally changed my world. This was at the urging of some very dear friends who are teachers. I so glad I did. That’s the story of the most special teacher in my life.

  8. 508
    Chrystie says:

    I didn’t really have any other way to say thank you…so, I am using this post as the vessel…Mama Beth, THANK YOU for the video you recorded for the P31 She Speaks conference. Thank you for sharing that with other women who have a passion and heart for sharing Jesus with the world through speaking and writing. Thank you for the reminder that no amount of success in ministry makes up for failure with your family. Thank you for your words of encouragement. Thank you for leading the way for the rest of us. Thank you for living a life poured out in Jesus’ name. Thank you for loving us with your whole heart (and we know that you do)! Your message on Saturday morning was so sweet for all of us who were there. And in case no one has told you today, we appreciate and love you so much.
    ~ Chrystie

  9. 509
    Christy says:

    Mrs. Debbie Wilson taught me 11th and 12th grade honor english. She was such a joy! She just knew how to grab you and pull you in, the kind that makes you just want to soak it all in. I loved her and she has and always will hold a special place in my heart. I am not great in english, but she made it fun to learn, she was definitely my favorite!
    Thanks for sharing with us Beth! I hope you have a blessed day!

    Summit, MS

  10. 510
    Laurie H says:

    I don’t have a favorite teacher but I loved English and French best. Loved to read and analyze a book, diagram a sentence and speak French with classmates or my teacher. I still love poetry and a good book but don’t have anyone to practice French with.

  11. 511
    Kelly Minter says:

    I had the best P.E. teacher at my Christian school, Miss Jackson. It was a small private school so she was also the secretary. She put up with a lot of my shenanigans and always had grace for me. She was the one teacher I knew who loved me and had a genuine interest in my love for Christ, not just in my being a better manager of my behavior. Just the other day I received a letter from her – I haven’t seen her in years and she had gotten my P.O. address. She said the most precious thing… “When I saw your name on Beth Moore’s website what a blessing came over me…you did get it together my little one.” Getting it together might be a bit of a stretch, but I loved her sentiment nonetheless. What a gift to hear from her! She was my fave.

  12. 512
    Valerie says:

    First time responding even though I have in my mind a tremendously amount of times. Today as I read your blog on your english teacher I sit here with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat–well, actually, tears coming down my face–for you see–I am a teacher–many call it “gym” but I say “Phys. Ed.”(just my thing) ha! for I have been called by God to this mission field to love on these students. Anyway–it’s August and that means thinking about starting another year.—Ohhh that God can use me to positively influence students and for them to see their value as a human being. THANK-YOU for being used of God and sooo freely sharing with “us” “me” what GOD has called you to do. Freedom has come from GOd through your obedience!! Hallelujah!!! So looking foward to someday meeting you–if not here–then heaven!!!

  13. 513
    Beth says:

    One of my favorites was Martha McPherson. We called her Mrs. Mac. The year before I had her, I was terrified at the thought. She didn’t take nothing off of anybody and she ran her classroom like a drill sargeant. I had her for 7th grade history in the 70’s, you know when we did current events. Do they still do that? She was the one who would tuck the boys shirts in their pants on the way out of her homeroom and go into the boys restroom to drag them out if she missed one. After that year, I had fallen in love with her. She was precious to me. It like to have killed me when I found out she smoked but I overlooked it and kept on loving her. When she retired from the classroom, she got a job as a baliff at the courthouse. How appropriate!

    Years later when I was working as an RN in our local hosptial, Mrs. Mac passed away. I was at work one day and her daughter came to the doors of the ICU and asked to see me. When she was going through her mother’s things, she found a letter I had written Mrs. Mac the summer after I had left her classroom. She had kept that letter after all those years and basically all it said was I was having a boring summer.

    Loved your post Beth. Thanks for the memories.

  14. 514
    Lisa Adams Hooper says:

    Beth…thanks for taking me back to the hallways of Northbrook too! I was hoping I might see you at our 35th reunion about a month ago (35 years…Is that possible???) What fun we had, what memories we shared, what people I did and did not remember and what JOY I found in hearing how many friends had come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Thank You JESUS!!!
    My favorite teacher was Mrs. Koch my choir teacher when we were still at Spring Woods. She always believed in me and encouraged my passion for music. Who would’ve thought “choir” could impact my life so much. Thanks for walking with me down memory lane. I hope I’ll see you at our 40th…

    • 514.1
      Beth says:

      Hey, Lisa! So fun to hear from you! I am out of that informational loop somehow. I didn’t even know there was a reunion! How fun! Blessings to you, Sister. I remember you fondly.

  15. 515
    Kelly Fisher says:

    Beth, I had to laugh as I read this – mainly because it brought back so many memories of a “chance” meeting with one of my very favortie teachers from elementary school, Ms. Chance.

    The funny thing is that Ms. Anita Chance is now a missionary with our church…and all the years I spent working there and attending there, I never made the connection. Not only that, but the connection was made at a funeral we were both attending….the funeral of her nephew. Go figure.

    But, on another note…you know that are still my very favorite aerobics instructor, right? 😀

    Love you!

  16. 516
    Lindsay says:

    Well I just wrote a nice long comment, and then my 8 month old son rolled over and hit ‘Esc’ so it’s gone. To narrow it down to one fabulous teacher in my life I would have to say Ms. Lara.
    It’s certainly not as sentimental, but she was my America History professor in 2008. I really would have preferred to take something like World History, or European History, but for the sake of my schedule I settled.
    I’m so glad I did. Ms. Lara has a way of focussing not so much on the “This president did…. and then we won the war.” But more on the everyday lives of the American people. Taking her class seemed to enlighten me, like all of the sudden I realized that people are the same no matter what the time frame, and the human spirit is strong, regardless of the trial.
    I’m sure if I were to see her on campus, I wouldn’t have this moment you described, but somehow that’s the beauty of teaching. You go and do your job, and then years later someone along the way says “you changed my life!” and you never even knew it.

  17. 517
    Carol says:

    I remember diagramming sentences with my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs Pigman. It was hard, but also exciting!

  18. 518
    Keisha Brotnov says:

    Mrs Schubert was my “awesome” teacher. She was my 7th grade Science teacher and when I went into the 8th grade, she became my Science, Social Studies and Math teacher. She was a gentle spirit and I can still see her angelic face before me. She never yelled and always demonstrated Christian love towards her students. I looked up to her figuratively and literally. Unfortunately, the literal part changed in my 8th grade year when I grew overnight and ended up being 5’11 and towered over poor Mrs Schubert. The first day of school when she saw how tall I was, she laughed and told me I would be the one responsible for hanging the heigher decorations for our classroom. She was such a sweet lady and went home to be with the Lord, but I know I will see her again and still tower over her!

  19. 519
    Sara Blair (Thornton) says:


    I got goosebumps reading your blog post today because Mrs. Fannett was one of my favorite teachers as well. I was just a junior in her honors English class, struggling to keep up but she was so kind and nurturing I did all that I could to try my hardest. God bless her soul, I turned into a math teacher! 🙂 I only wished that I could be half a good of a teacher, not just of content but of character and respect. She will always have a place in my heart!!

    On a side note, I just finished your bible study of David and I am amazed! This was my first bible study and I was totally into it and can’t wait for my church to start the next one. Thank you!!!

  20. 520
    Jennifer says:

    I can think of several wonderful teachers in my life. The most influential, however, was Carla Ford-Rich. I knew her as Ms. Ford…and she was literally a Godsend.

    I met Ms. Ford my freshman year at Vines. As many freshmen are, I was incredibly insecure with who I was and who I was to become. My self-esteem was low, as was my self-image. I am a Christian, and at that time, I was uncertain about how to act in a peer group that did not believe as I do. I had very few friends and did not feel comfortable in any setting. I was easily one of those students who could have been lost in the system…uninvolved and uninterested in life. Then Ms. Ford came into my life.

    In my two years at Vines, Ms. Ford encouraged me, supported me, and mentored me. She laughed with me and trusted me. By the time I moved on to Plano Senior, my insecurities were greatly diminished, and my self-confidence had grown…not only as a student of the theatre, but as a person of value. When I think back on my years in high school, my favorite memories are consistently and without fail memories of being in theatre. Some are from a classroom setting, where we were challenged to create a new personality and interact with the other students as that alter ego. Other memories include the moments when we were challenged on the stage to overcome stage fright and perform for family and friends. Still others, for me personally, are memories of being trusted with the responsibility of Ms. Ford’s lighting system. I spent two years as a lighting technician with Ms. Ford. Her trust instilled in me a sense of confidence that I have carried with me to this day. I learned that I could be a ‘techie’…I could build a set, rewire lights, and occasionally stand precariously on a ledge to change a light bulb. I made plenty of mistakes…many during performances for friends and family. And not one time did Ms. Ford criticize. She encouraged me, and she believed in me.

    I can look back over the last 25 years of my life since being introduced to the theatre and say with complete certainty that I would not be the same person I am today without my years in the theatre. I have a happiness and a confidence that I carry with me that have their roots in Ms. Ford’s theatre class. There is an entire culture that I am able to pass on to my children that I would know nothing about, were it not for Ms. Ford. And, yes, even my walk as a Christian was greatly influenced…for the better…by those same years.

    Ms. Ford retired this year, and though I rejoiced with her finally being able to travel and enjoy time with her husband, I found myself sad that generations of students will not experience her warmth and passion.

  21. 521
    Kay says:


    Thank you for this sweet story about your former teacher. I also have a favorite teacher: Mrs. Palfy, my 4th grade teacher. She was so delightful and she made learning so much fun. Her favorite subject was arithmetic and she had created a system of cards for our little math circles and we got stars around the card when we did well. How I loved those cards and the stars I received! And then how I began to love arithmetic and math!! I loved it so much that I majored in it in college and am now a high school math teacher! I was never able to go back and tell Mrs. Palfy what she did for me by giving me such a love for math……hopefully, I can tell her face-to-face someday in heaven!

    Thanks for giving us a chance to remember those people who played such a huge role in our lives. I pray that I can do that with my students now!

  22. 522

    Beth, I asked you to look at my blog and I had noticed I’ve been putting down the wrong address. That’s me! Sorry.

  23. 523
    Debra Funderburk says:

    Beth, I know I am late posting on this blog. But I just returned from my 40th high school reunion. I saw my favorite teacher. Actually he were my basketball coach. He begin teaching and coaching at my school right after finishing college. I was a freshman that year. Our girls basketball team until that year was not much to talk about or watch. There were 5 of us girls that loved the sport. We began winning games. Our senior year we made it to the quarter finals. Not what we had hoped for (finals was our dream). It was so great to see him and 4 of the 5 girls were there. A lot of special memories were shared. But one thing I so was touched by was that one of the guys from our school gave the plan of salvation at the end. That really made our celebration of 40 years great!

  24. 524
    Angela says:

    My favorite teacher was my fifth grade teacher from Greenville, SC–Miss Cox–known now as Mrs. Collins. While she was a relatively new teacher, she had been trained at the university that parented our elementary school. She was the best. Playing with us at recess, reading to us every day–Ramona and Beezus–I might add.

    Today she is still a part of my life. She came back into it a few years ago when my daughter returned to Greenville to go to the University and while there was in the hospital very ill!@!! Mrs. Collins came to visit and thankfully has kept up with me since this time. This past weekend in Greenville, she was there at Jess’s shower sitting beside me, talking to me and treating me as an equal. She has gone on to teach in the University and sent many teachers under her tutelage out into the world.

    She also was the one that took the time to pray with me to receive assurance of my salvation. She could and would–we were in a Christian school!!!

  25. 525

    Mrs. Nesbitt, my English teacher as well…She made you think, you know, about all of the deep things of life. She cared deeply about all of her students. She dreaded prom of all things when it would come that time every year because she didn’t want us to go out and do something disastrous and stupid to mess up our lives on prom night…She had us learn all these cultural literacy phrases and words to help make us more “well-rounded” individuals:) I am very thankful for Mrs. Nesbitt:)

    Blessings always to you Siesta Mama Beth,


  26. 526
    Darcie West says:

    Loved the story about your favorite teacher, especially how you recognized her even before you saw her face. I can’t believe (yes, I can) how you used the word “ain’t” not once, but twice on the very page on which you were describing the major English/literary influence of your life. It’s great that you were able to see her once again. My favorite teacher, Mrs. Patti Spencer, also inspired me to become an English teacher. She was cool, newly married, and I wanted to be just like her. She grew up as a missionary kid in France, and so for her to teach English and be fluent in another language was so cool to a bunch of sixteen-year-olds. My brother still prides himself today (he’ll be 49 this October) that he still knows all eight parts of speech. Grammar, lit, vocabulary, poetry, journalism…..we were taught thoroughly and loved it. The one thing she did to make me sad, though, was to become pregnant and not be able to teach my senior year. She regularly checked up on me when I saw her at church, and I could tell that motherhood suited her. She glowed while holding her baby boy just like she did when she stood in front of the classroom.

  27. 527
    Terri says:

    My Mrs. Fanett was Mrs. Martin who taught high school English. To this day, I try to write in the active voice (this sentence is NOT an example!) instead of the passive. She loved the English language and made me do it right. When I walked into her classroom, I knew that I had reason to fear if my preparation was less than thorough! One morning I must have been doing something that delayed her from starting her lecture, though to this day I really don’t know what it was…but it had to be SOMETHING because she was the teacher! Anyway, I heard the quiet, oh-so-awful words, “When Miss Rutherford is ready, we’ll begin class.” Even now, 38 years later, I remember that moment, thinking that if I could live through THAT, I could live through anything. 🙂

    At the end of the first grading period, she gave me a B. I asked her why, because I thought I deserved an A. I’ll never forget her blue eyes looking straight into my brown ones as she said, “You can do better.” And she (as always) was right.

    And though she forced me to write by the rules and to work hard at it, she also exposed me (and all the high school students who sang in our small school’s choir–and I use “choir” VERY loosely) to Handel’s Messiah. After I became a Christian, I remember hearing Messiah and being startled that those words were ones that I knew because
    of Rachel Martin.

    And yes, I wrote a note to her many years ago and thanked her for her faithful years of teaching. She also taught my husband (and my four brothers) and when my husband finished his Ph.D. program and became Dr. Smith, he and I knew that Mrs. Martin deserved so much credit for getting us through.

  28. 528
    Rachele says:

    Ok – laughter, tears, silent silly laugther throwing my head back with mouth wide open – I LOVED THIS POST! You were in a silly mood and so fitting for two weeks after my 20 year reunion where one of my two best high school teachers EVAH toured us through Flour Bluff High School! Mrs. Huckabee – looked exactly the same – received the well and long deserved teacher of the year. She was sweet and precious. I was so sick with a virus my family lovingly gave to me so I had little say for fear of becoming quite ill. But it was a marvelous wonderful trip down memory lane. She taught me in Anatom and Alg. 2. Withouth her algebra would still be a foreign language to me! (well I’m NOT fluent duh) Mrs. Huckabee was a rock for me! She mentored, she encouraged, let’s face it she taught! She is a TEACHER!

    Then there was Ms. McConnell who still taught ENGLISH! I did not get to see her but was so relieved that she was still there. I have so much to share with her and how she inspired me. I fell in love with english at an early age and have had more stories in my head then most people will ever have unless they have more than one personality! LOL Unless you can relate you just don’t get it! (Fast forward – Turner Falls OK I am on my way to hear this lady I had not ever heard of YOU Siesta Mama it was Y-O-U) Anway I say some random paper plate fixed to a tree and a story was in my head which I continued to create as the weekend went on. It was a marker for someone who had lost their way….oh wait writing about TEACHERS here! 🙂

    Ms. McConnell wrote the most inspring and encouraging things in my daily journal as I would wander off as I just did. She showed me that in creative writing there were no true boundaries!!! She took an interest in an area that I would not embrace until much later. She loved, laughed, and learned us good! (could not resist and she would cringe!)
    Thank you for the well needed walk down Hustlin Hornet Lane!
    Abiding still, Chel

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    Oh, I LOVE Mrs. Fanett!! I had her, too, and we still exchange Christmas cards. She has always been my standard for good teachers, and I still think of her when I hear a Thoreau quote or see a reference to To Kill a Mockingbird or Our Town!

  30. 530
    Katie says:

    My favorite teacher was Mrs. Walla, who taught speech and drama and debate. She made me feel so confident! We enjoyed a wonderful trip together for a regional speech competition and stayed at the cutest B&B. Even now, when I speak in front of people for my job, I think of her and how she encouraged me to be funny, be precise and be clear. Thank you Mrs. Walla!

  31. 531
    Amy T says:

    My favorite teacher was Mrs. Sprouse. I had her for Honors English Junior and Senior year. Everyone thought she was so hard until they went to college, then they came back and thanked her for helping them be prepared. I kept in touch with her for years after school and sadly lost touch after a couple of moves between us. This makes me want to find her again. Thanks for this post Beth!

  32. 532
    Delinda says:

    Mr McDonald. Ditto, ‘enough said.

  33. 533

    OK…I live in North Carolina, went to High School in Ohio.
    One Friday night my husband & I hosted a cook-out, for several new families & singles to our area & church. Most everyone was there by now, but in comes a “stragler” the “stragler” comes in, sees another guest, both their mouths drop open, they run to each other, hug, look at each other in disbelief, asked each other “what are you doing here?” with exclaimations of “oh my gosh!” It was a fantastic sight for all of us to behold! Turns out they had been roomates in ENGLAND at a worship school! Well. Later on I was still so moved and excited over their reunion that I just said to the Lord “I want to run into someone unexpectedly…I pray I do.” Sooooooo, one Saturday, not long after the above incident, I am laying on the floor playing with my kids, I SUDDENLY sit up and say “let’s go the Apple House.” (about a mile or two down the road) we do…I see a car with liscence plates from Ohio, I walk in and a lady and gentleman turn around AND IT’S MY BIOLOGY, ZOOLOGY TEACHER FROM HIGH SCHOOL!
    (I also baked my first EVER Apple pie that day! I LOVE how Jesus works!!!!!)

  34. 534
    Candace Keck says:

    Mrs. Joanne Miller. She sent me to in \-school-suspension my sophomore year in high school. She had told me I was tardy. I told her she was mistaken (although I had never back-talked a teacher ever in my life, I had recently come to believe a.) she liked me too much to punish me and b.) I was too much of a “good, positive presence” in my school to actually worry about something so trivial.

    I was wrong. I couldn’t believe it. I was sent to in-school suspension, in the company of the low life’s of high school. I also had to run 2 extra miles everyday after basketball practice, was called to the principal’s office to “get a talkin’ to” and let’s not go into what my parents loving authority provided.

    After two days, I left with new friends, a smaller hiney (from all that running, or possibly from all the chewin’ I got from the authority figures in my life at the time) and an absolute sense of the fact that I wasn’t above the students in suspension hall, and that I certainly wasn’t above Mrs. Joanne Miller’s sense of justice. Humbling, scary, worth every second…

    I, of course, feeling horrible, begged forgiveness from Mrs. Miller. She smiled and hugged me, really not as moved as I thought she would be, but I was happy with the old me being back, and quite disgusted at what I had become for a short period of time. Lesson Learned.

    I went on to college and became a teacher – 7th grade – middle school. My biggest driving force was… you got it, justice. After all, I had a good memory of what a great lesson I had been taught.

    As I entered Karns Middle School as a 7th grade teacher in the fall of 1996, I was feeling pretty good. I, after all, was not just a teacher, like many there. I had a Masters Degree. I might just be a little bit better, right? I thought that for about 2 seconds, for sitting there, a teacher that would be on the faculty with me was

    you got it.

    Mrs. Joanne Miller.

    Yea, that Masters Degree… not that big of a deal after all. I never even got the nerve to tell her I had one. All I told her was….

    “You were the best teacher I ever had”.

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    Willos scott says:

    This is a good read.

  36. 536
    Sherri says:

    Mrs. Fanett! 1 n, 2 tt’s. I was looking for an Algebra 2 teacher for my son, when somebody recommended Mr. Fanett. I went online to see if I could find their number, and your blog came up. I had many wonderful teachers at Klein Forest, and this is not a slight to them, but Mrs. Fanett is special! I became an English teacher because she inspired me. I stole all my best classroom ideas from her, and I am so pleased to see you honor her in this way.

  37. 537
    Kimberly says:

    Is it weird to reply to a several year old blog post? I happened be searching for Mrs. Fanett, 1 N 2 Ts and came across this. I had her for Junior English at Klein Forest high school and she was my favorite teacher. The skulls on her desk? Her love of bright colors? She was bright and bubbly and I was overwhelmed at first but she quickly won me over. Who didn’t blossom in her class? Please tell me you have contact information for her.

    Class of ’83

  38. 538
    Becky says:

    Naomi Fannett was my high school teacher at Spring Woods back in the early 70’s. She was such a huge inspiration to me, and has always been my favorite teacher. I think I wrote a book in her class on my philosophy of life. My mother died of breast cancer that year, and she allowed me to go go outside and sit in the courtyard on a bench when I needed to have some time for myself. She never questioned my time away. I truly loved this lady. She taught from her heart, and connected with each of us. She fed our minds and nourished our spirits. When I became a teacher, and had taught for 15 years, I decided it was time to look her up and thank her. I heard she was still teaching at Klein ISD, so I had flowers and a letter delivered to her in class. She called and thanked me and said her students were wondering what the special event was. It made her day, and I am grateful for that small token of appreciation I gave her. She is the only teacher I truly loved and tried my best to emulate her throughout my own years of teaching. I hope she is still traveling and enjoying new adventures.

  39. 539
    Shameka says:

    Naomi Fanett was my teacher too. I love her so much. She inspired me to actually treat my students like people. Class of 1999 Klein Forest High School.

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