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. 451
    Lorie says:

    The best teacher I had was Ms. Valdez. She was my high school math teacher my junior/senior year. She made math fun, and challenged me to always do my best. If I did poorly on a test, she would also let me know I could come in the morning or at lunch and get extra help. The best thing was the stories about her work in the Peace Corp. She had exotic posters of places she had work during her time in the Peace Corp. She opened my mind to math and the world and every time I go on a short term missions trip, I think of her.

  2. 452
    Rebecca says:

    I know I’m late in posting…didn’t get a chance to read the blog yesterday. I can remember every English teacher that I had & loved all those classes. Something about the written word & people who can use those words to describe wonderful & ordinary & wonderfully ordinary things…bliss!

    One of the toughest teachers I had in high school was my AP History teacher. He was serious about you earning your grade…no matter what it was. Here I was someone who loved English & reading trying to wade through all these history books…& he gave us tough ones to read. My tendency was to remember the funny side-bits of history instead of the dates & facts. I was more of a vague-ish history student…which also translated to not very successful. I held a solid B/C throughout the year.

    One paper I wrote (they were called DBQs…document based questions) I really nailed. I had a feeling that this one was a bit better than my previous papers but still the high school inscurity was in full force. I was in a smart class with lots of smart students & was used to being middle-of-the-road. When our teacher was going over our papers he read a few of them out to the class as examples of how to write & use the provided documents. I was stunned & turned all shades of red when he read part of my paper! The looks from my fellow students were those of shock & admiration.

    But in all honesty that wasn’t the best part. Sure it was great having my classmates know I wasn’t a total slouch but the real satisfaction & even humbling part was that on my paper along with my grade was his comment “Thank You”.

  3. 453
    Kimber says:

    This is easy… I have two favorite teachers… My mom and my husband.
    My mom was a 1st and 2nd grade teacher and eventually an assistant principal for over 35 years. Her students loved her, her colleagues respected her, and I stood in awe watching her excel at her career and be a single mom of two girls. My hat is off to her.
    My husband has been a middle school and high school math teacher at all boys’ schools for 15 years. We have 3 daughters, so in his work he gets to have a chance with raising young men. I admire the way he encourages his students to really think and to explore all the ways to solve a problem. He’s totally “on” when he’s in front of a classroom.
    So, there, my two favorite teachers. I love, love, love them!!!

  4. 454
    Patty Pierce says:

    My favorite teacher this so made me smile. I have had several memorable teachers. Some were only memorable because of their meanness or unusually attributes. My 9th grade english teacher Mrs. Muarry always wore black on report card days as she was in mourning for our grades,but she shared my passion for reading and I loved that. I ran into her this past year and more then 30 years later she remembered my name and personal details. My most favorite teacher though was Mrs Bobbie Coleman. She taught 11th grade English. Beth like you English was one of my favorite subjects especially the literature sections. MRs Coleman was an awesome teacher that encouraged that love of books. Over the course of the next 25 years she taught all 3 of my children their 11th grade english. Ms Bobbie passed away last month. It was amazing to hear how many lives she had touched in her career. Everywhere I went that week I ran into people that remembered her.She faught a very hard battle with breast cancer and never missed a semester of teaching. Our precious savior healed her and I will look forward to sharing a good book with her in heaven someday. Dont you think there will be lots of good books up there.

  5. 455
    Gwen says:

    The woman who changed my life (literally) was Sybil Absher. Mrs. Absher was my English teacher at Wetumka High School (Okla) from 1972-75. She was gracious, encouraging and believed in me; however it was not her English class that began the change, but her gentle insistence that I enroll in speech class. I was the consummate student, bookworm and hand-raiser from my seat (think Hermione Granger with straight brown hair and glasses), but standing in front of a crowd, scared me senseless!

    With her quiet reassuring tutelage, Mrs. Absher’s warmth and persistence allowed the speaker in me to blossom. I first participated in school plays and then in speech contests in our area gaining confidence in myself I’d never known outside of homework and grades.

    I smile thinking one day I accidentally called her “Mom” during class, but it was her God-given nurturing instinct and inspiration that to this day leaves me regularly say, “Thank you, Mrs. Absher for listening to God’s leading taking the time to see in me what God had always purposed for me. Thank you for helping me bloom!”


  6. 456
    Kim says:

    My favorite teacher of all time was my 9th and 12th grade English teacher. Her name was Mrs. Geer. I’ll never forget when she joined our class in the middle of 9th grade. Our previous English teacher had just been arrested for growing pot and the news was filled with the juicy tidbits of his life as a high school English teacher. For the first half of the year, we wrote summaries of his favorite soap opera (after viewing them in class). When Mrs. Geer stepped in to the room, my life changed. She pushed us to read literature, poetry and essays from authors of all walks of life. I think she packed an entire years’ worth of learning in the 4 months she had left. I’ll never forget learning and reciting Portia’s speech about “the quality of mercy”. In my senior year in high school, she handpicked 20 students to take part in a “College English Project” where we completed 12th grade English and received 5 credits at the local community college.

    When I got to college classes a few years later, I was so thankful for her stern insistence on breaking down the mathematical precision of grammar for us.

    I felt appreciated by her and inpsired. She is the reason I majored in Secondary English Education! I went back and visited her while I was in college, several times.

    God is so good to put mentors and leaders in our lives who draw out the gifts He placed in us!

  7. 457
    Cathy Bartrum says:

    A teacher by the name of Mr. Homer Trammel, though I wouldn’t say he was my very favorite teacher, he probably had the most lasting impact. In a H.S. Consumer Econ class consisting of approx 20 guys and only 4 girls, there was never a dull moment. The guys were relentless in teasing Mr.Trammel about his Christian Quartet singing, and just about anything else they could think of having to do with his strong Christian faith. He took it well, always obvious that he felt they just “didn’t know better”. However, it’s been 40+ yrs and I have never forgotten the day he announced to the class ” I’d rather live my life as though there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, then to live my life as though there isn’t, and die to learn there is…..my life has been far better believing than it could have ever been not believing! My way, I have lost nothing, but I would not want to die and find myself on the opposite side of that equation”
    I was not raised in a Christian home,and that statement really impacted my heart and thinking. That was 40+ yr ago and I have never fogotten it. I was blessed to be able to share that story with Mr. Trammel’s widow (Gail) last fall. I was helping with registering for, you guessed it,one of Beth’s studies (Esther),when Mrs. Trammel stepped forward and gave me her name. I asked if she was by chance related to my former teacher, she informed me he had been her husband of 50 yr, but he had passed the previous year. I relayed the story and she cried, she asked if I would email my story to her so she could share it with their adult children. God is so good! What a blesssing it was to be able to touch her heart that day with such a dear rememberance. We truely NEVER know the “fruits” of the seeds we plant……I’m sure Mr Trammel had no idea the impact his witness had on me that day. My only regret is I never had the chance to let him know. May he rest in peace.

  8. 458
    Suzy says:

    Actually – 4th grade in Springfield, MO – don’t remember her name, but I’m sure God knows, since He intentionally caused our paths to cross!

    She taught all subjects – but tranferred into me a love of the English language. Believe it or not, grammar, punctuation, the use of the most correct word all came alive when she taught it – she made it so simple and logical that I loved it….even diagramming sentences! (I know you probably think that’s crazy!)

    I also came to love literature under her hand, so that at a young age the classical literature had much more influence over me than teeny-bopper magazines or young romance novels.

    I always wished I could have thanked her – maybe one day I will get to – but I do thank God for her.

  9. 459
    elaine says:

    I was blessed with many wonderful teachers, but one that sticks out in my mind was Mrs. Price. I lived in an area that was pretty nice and back in the 70’s the district tried to implement “bussing”….bus some kids out of the area and bus some kids in…. to sort of integrate the schools. It didn’t last, but in 2nd grade, my teacher was one that was “bussed” in from the inner city of Los Angeles. She was African American…. obviously not wealthy…. she had to get on the bus early, therefore, she brushed her teeth at school… got her hair ready at school…. but she was the most real and the most exuberant teachers I’ve ever had. She brought those of us in our “shells” out…. she had structure… she just had a love for life. She called us all “honey” or “baby” (in an endearing way) I was not very talkative in school… but she taught us this one word… apparently the class as a whole was very talkative…. loquacious. never forgot it.

  10. 460
    Janet Cline says:

    I had 2 really great teachers in High School (and several good ones in grade school, too). One was my English teacher (there must be something about English teachers!). Her name was Ms. Lempe, and she made Shakespeare come alive like nobodys business! The other great teacher I had was my music teacher: Miss Darragh. She helped my passion for music swell to a “crescendo” and I could also tell she was a Christian. She’s part of the reason I am in Music Ministry today.

    I do have to tell you about one “not-so-great” teacher (we’ve probably all had one of those). Her name was Mrs. Voccarro. (We secretly called her Mrs. Volcano because she erupted a lot, if you know what I mean!) Anyway, it’s wonderful that the “good” teachers out-number the “not-so-good” ones!

    Thanks for sharing this post and reminding us how important, valued and needed good teachers really are!

  11. 461
    Amy says:

    Mrs. Debbie Milton. Tupelo High School 2000 & 2002. I had her for 10th grade English and Creative Writing my Senior Year. She had the most beautiful chin length, straight, gray, Native-American-like hair. She commanded respect too and everyone wanted to work so hard for her. I wrote the best poems in her class. She brought out the best writer in each person. And insisted that oxymoron was pronounced “ox-i-mor-in” instead of “oxey-MOR-ON”

  12. 462
    Sarah M says:

    Miss Barbee – 12th grade ENC 1101. LOVED her. Still love her. Funny…I don’t think I loved English all that much, but she made it fun!

  13. 463
    Deborah says:

    Mrs. Ann Sloan. Troy, Ohio. Sixth, seventh and eighth grade math and science. I hate math and science.

    I’ve taught sixth grade social studies for eleven years now, looking at number twelve in two weeks.

    If there is *anything* good about my teaching, it comes from the grace of God and Mrs. Sloan.

    We still get together for lunch & dinner, just because I like to do so. 🙂

  14. 464
    Suzie Stawicki says:

    One of my very special teachers was Mrs. Rosenberg. She taught second grade. She and her husband had no children of their own, but loved us as if we were theirs. She always made sure my active little brain had plenty to keep me busy so my body did not get into mischief. Back in those days, we opened each school day with the Lord’s Prayer, even in public schools. She faithfully led us in that prayer even though she was Jewish. Last year while home visiting my mother, I saw that Mrs. Rosenberg had died, at the tender age of 99. I decided to go to the funeral home and pay my respects even though I did not have appropriate clothes with me. The only people there were her nieces and their families – they had not really expected anyone else and were so touched to see me and to hear that I had been her student so many years ago. I was blessed to have known her, and I pray that somehow she came to know her Messiah before she died.

    • 464.1
      S says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your favorite teacher. I loved that you mentioned that you went to the funeral home even though you didn’t have appropriate clothes with you…it’s a great reminder that even if we don’t have the right clothes (or our hair doesn’t look right, we don’t have the best prepared dish to take to the grieving, or we think we don’t have the right words to say in response to a difficult situation, etc.) that many times people just need us to “show up” and be with them. You were a blessing to your teacher’s family that day. I bet that they will remember that you were there for years to come. Thanks for the great reminder!

  15. 465
    Mindy says:

    My favorite teacher was Mr. Gionet who taught Contemporary Issues, which was a required class for every senior. In 10th and 11th grade, all I heard was “you don’t want Gionet…avoid Gionet.” He had a reputation as being hard and even mean. So imagine my worry when I found out that Gionet was going to be my CI teacher.

    As things turned out, I loved Gionet! He quickly became my favorite teacher because even though he was indeed a hard teacher, he was also good and fair. I found his opinions funny and enjoyed the challenge of being his student. It’s not that the class or his teaching had any great impact on my life but it was just good!

  16. 466
    Heather Smith says:

    I know I am a little late in making my post… but here is my story.

    When I was in 10th grade, I was approached by one of the high school english/speech teachers to enter a speech contest. I was floored.

    She worked with me on my speech, and at the appointed time took me to the contest…. where I took second place… out of 2!! Oh the humiliation!!!

    But it didn’t stop there. She made me enter another one… and another one… and another one. And then I started winning…

    Fast forward 4 years and you won’t believe it: I was a speech/broadcasting major in college!

    Fast forward 2 more years, and I was hired by a wonderful Christian ministry (Peacemaker Ministries) where I had the privilege of teaching and speaking nationally.

    Fast forward to today (a decade+ later) and I am still speaking and teaching God’s Word regularly for our women’s ministry. AND I LOVE IT!

    I am so thankful for the influence Mrs. Karla Allen had on my life. Oh! I just found her on facebook a few months back… and boy did I let her know!

    God bless you all today from sunny Idaho! 🙂 HS

  17. 467
    Angela says:

    My favorite teacher was Mr. Willis. He taught me 10th grade honors Enlish and was not your ordinary teacher. He brought his guitar to school everyday. Oh, he was an excellent English teacher. Our class wrote small fictionl stories about a little school in a small country town. We each could write as many stories, and at the end of the year, he put them in a book and gave them to us…all 20 students. We had speaches and such, and he gave me an A along with his “chuckle of approval” when I gave a demonstration speach on how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. His love of music spilled over into his love of drama and literature. He played and sang for us everyday. Anything from James Taylor to The Beatles. It might be songs made up about whatever he was teaching such as Hamlet, but most of the time it was about what every 10th grade student goes through in this thing called life. We watched the movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life” at Christmas time, and I was the only one who shed a tear. His favorite part, and mine, too (the reason for the tears) was when George reads the inscription in the book…”No man is a failure who has friends.” Mr. Willis genuinely cared about his students, especially those like me who struggled with finding true friendship and battled with broken hearts and figuring out where we fit in. The last day of class, he shook our hands as we left. We he shook mine, I told him thank you for everything. He said,”My pleasure” and gave me that crooked grin with one eyebrow raised. That was his “sign” that it truly was a pleasure. Oh wow, now I’m getting misty eyed. I can honestly say, I wouldn’t go back to high school for anything in the world…except to be in Mr. Willis’ class one more time….

  18. 468
    Katherine says:

    Oh, Ms. Harris. My high school history teacher. She was just so…cool. Nice to everyone and made me feel special. She used me as her aide when I got into my junior or senior year (can’t remember which) and I was never so happy. I’m sure I love history partly because of her. A few years after high school she wrote me a letter to tell me she became a Christian (now my eyes are all wet, too.) But darn it, being young and foolish I didn’t write her back right away (even though I can’t tell you how excited I was) and then I couldn’t find her address. Anyway, Jeanne Harris, I always think of you fondly and pray for you and can’t wait to see you again! =)

  19. 469
    Amanda Billings says:

    Mrs. Barbara Brown was my 1st and 2nd grade teacher. She is wonderful. She is a member of the same church that my family and I attend. She sings in the choir and has a beautiful soprano voice.

    There were about 8 kids in the neighborhood (who also went to the same church) as we all gerw up and got married she came to each of our “church teas/shower”. She gave each of us a beautiful clock to hang in our new homes. I love my Bulova clock and it holds a dear place in my heart.

  20. 470
    Bobbie Lancaster says:

    The year was 1948 and I was about to enter the fifth grade at Versailles Elementary School in Versailles, Ky. Now when I went to school back in those days, the same teacher taught all subjects and we stayed in the same classroom all day long. We had a principal, Mrs. George, who ruled over our school like a prison warden or something. We never ran in the halls, we remained in our seats in the classrooms, we never chewed gum or never ever roamed around in the halls. Mrs. George had a great big long wood paddle with holes in it and she was allowed to use that paddle if it ever became necessary. Really all she had to do was walk through the halls or enter a classroom and you could almost hear a pin drop. We had a healthy respect for her and her paddle. But I was never as afraid of Mrs. George as I was of Miss Witt who was going to be my fifth grade teacher. I was so scared I cried and my Mother, who always took us to register the first day of school (which was always the Tuesday after Labor Day) had to almost drag me into Miss Witt’s room and when Miss Witt asked what the matter was I want you to know my Mother told her that I was afraid of her. I will never forget what Miss Witt did. That old maid school teacher called me over to her desk and put me in her lap, put her arms around me, looked me straight in the eyes and said something like this.
    “Bobbie, you don’t have to be afraid of Miss Witt. We will have a wonderful year because Miss Witt loves and cares for all of her students.” Suddenly all the fear left me and I was no longer afraid. Yes, Miss Witt was a very strict teacher and she’ll never know how much it meant to a little ten year old girl who on that very first day of fifth grade sat her down in her lap and wiped her tears away. Yep, Miss Witt, is my very favorite teacher.

  21. 471
    Terri says:

    I also had two fabulous teachers, Mrs. Herrman for World History and Ms. Banuelos for Government, Churchill High School in San Antonio, both my senior year. They were strong, confident, and beautiful women who seemed to really love teaching. Their example was exactly what I needed in my life at the time. We were on the strictest budget, my part-time department store job helped buy groceries, and while all of my friends were getting their senior pictures, and invitations, those were completely out of the question for me. Imagine my surprise when Ms. Banuelos stopped me on the way into class to tell me I had been called to the office. I was one of those annoying do gooders, never in trouble. When I got there I was handed a crisp blue box full of engraved invitations bearing my name. I explained that I had not ordered these and I could not pay for them, and the secretary told me it was ok, someone else thought I should have them. She never said out loud, but the smile she gave me when I returned to class holding the box told me that Ms. Banuelos had ordered them for me. There were no words to tell her what that meant to me. It has been almost 30 years and I still remember it like it was yesterday.

  22. 472
    Lisa of the Letter says:

    I could say Sister Jean Marie was my favorite but that would be so understated. She was my refuge. When I would be so tired from sleepless nights due to my father yelling and beating my mother, Sister Jean Marie gave me extra hugs. When no one in my house seemed to care if I ate lunch, she always made sure I had a lunch just like the other cool kids. When I could do nothing good enough academically to please my parents, Sister Jean Marie praised me all the way to the top of my class. She was so much more than a teacher. I tracked her down several years ago. It was an important part of my healing to let her know how she had been God’s refuge for me. We cried and God smiled.

  23. 473
    Deanna says:

    My favorite teacher was my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Carpenter. She was incredible and gentle and warm and accepting…of everyone. I loved her and wanted to be her. I grew up and became a teacher because of her, and taught for sixteen years. My last seven years were spent in a seventh and eighth grade classroom teaching English. During that time, I had the privilege of teaching and mentoring many many great students. Two of them, who are out of college and in the working world now, I still have the privilege of keeping in touch with.

    I now get to work with teachers helping them to implement technology into their classrooms. I love it…and I get to watch as they make their imprint on the hearts of their students.

  24. 474
    Cece says:

    While those of us who have been blessed to participate in several (all)of your Mom’s bible studies would not need such clarification, good for you, Melissa for defending her faith and beliefs. I may never meet Beth Moore face to face this side of heaven but I can say I have been tremendously impacted by this amazing lady ! Be Blessed.

  25. 475
    texatheart says:

    Have to hop back on here and share this. I have worked in the elementary school for 12 years and I love kids. I have a BS in Christian Ed but would like to teach in the public schools. Tonight, I just got word that I passed my alternate certification test and will be able to teach early childhood through 6th grade.
    On the way over to take my test I was going over all the memory verses on God’s faithfulness I had learned last year. God is good! (he would still be good even if I didn’t pass.) Now the door is open for me to have my dream come true!

  26. 476
    Michelle says:

    Mine was actually my novice rowing coach at UT Knoxville. The only thing I knew about the sport was that I was called to be in it for Jesus. My life long soccer passion would do me no good there. But this woman had a knack for figuring out what motivated people. Did she need to yell in your face to push you harder, or was that going to make you cry? Did she need to give you tender words to the side to push you to be the best you could be? She was an observer, a lover of hearts, and something about her made you want to be the best dang athlete you could be.

  27. 477
    Doogie says:

    Loved this entry Beth! It is so great to see so many people show appreciation for true educators. I was so honored to have had several wonderful teachers! It was so difficult to narrow it down to just one and sometimes I’m not very good at following rules. So I chose three (I know, overkill,right?):
    1. Tylitha Whatley- (my mentor, college adviser, and my wonderful Pastor’s wife)- she taught me what ministry is really all about…”meeting needs in the name of Christ.”
    2. Carlton Winbery- he imparted to me such a steadfast love for God’s Word and the Greek language. And he gave me an A on a paper that I was terrified to write. I even held on to it and keep it in a file box with “important things” like my marriage license and birth certificate.
    3. Philip Tapley- he helped nurture such a powerful desire to write. I had wanted to be an author for several years but didn’t really think I had anything to say. He helped me find my voice, and I have not stopped using it since then!
    Thanks again for a beautiful entry and it is so good to be reading the LPM blog again (I was the “randommumblings” furniture mover from several months ago)

    Also…a fairly shameful plug, but I wrote a blog entry on my birthday that I think you might enjoy reading. Something you said on LifeToday was a powerful word to me and I had the pleasure of seeing that word come ALIVE on the eve of my birthday. (http://randommumblings.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/treasures/)

    Til next time

  28. 478
    Nikki L' says:

    My favorite teacher was Mr. Morrison, he taught High School History. I had him every year in High School and I was also his teachers aid. He was a dear man and always treated me so kindly which was rare to me at that time in my life.

    He also taught Drivers Education and had a bad habit of falling asleep while we were driving on the highway with a car full of kids. We still laugh about that today:)

    Wherever you are Mr. Morrison, I love you!

  29. 479
    Anastasia says:

    I just read this blog Beth….oh I am so glad you soliciated our remarks on this one. My favorite teacher in High School is my 9th grade English teacher as well! She was only 7 years older than us and what a blast she turned out to be. She is Jewish and had never had her own Christmas tree, so the year she taught us, our class gave her one.
    After Christ revealed Himself in me 15 years ago I began praying for her salvation.
    I moved back to Denver 7 years ago and the Lord made us neighbors! She shared she was reading the Left Behind books and it gave me an open door. So many things happened to us in that neighborhood and the Lord willed me to move away….this Miliatary Brat does that, and I thought that was that.
    BUT NOOOOOOOOO, she kept after me. We are on FB together now and she found out about my trip to Israel and wanted to share her dream to move there. She wants to live in the Gallilee, oh my goodness! She is NOT religious and was at one time VERY left, but is very discouraged with our government. So she wants to move there, me too…btw.
    She shared that she has now read the whole Bible and took notes and is willing to believe that Jesus is the Messiah…WOWOWWOWOWOWO! Jump up and down! However she still has reservations.
    Her mom passed away in February and she is in the depths of greif oh but Jesus is surrounding her with Christians. I just had lunch with her last week when she told me one of her clostest friends from High School is Marty Goetz, I just about fell over in my chair.
    I shared with her that because of Marty’s music set to scripture I have memoriezed words that have held me up along in my walk with Jesus. She just about fell over in her chair! We both flipped when she noticed the Cha’i I bought in the Old City in Jerusalem and she had asked a friend to buy one for her in Gallilee. OH MY! Jesus is using everything!
    Beth, thanks for asking about our favorite teacher. The best I can pray is that if I am going to enjoy eternity, I want to have everyone there with me, and to have Laura Rothenfeld with me will be a great joy!

    In the Beloved,

  30. 480
    Karen says:

    My favorite teacher was Mr. Paul Grubb. He was my favorite teacher not for what he taught but for who he was and how he treated the students. In his classroom, there was order. We not only did we have assigned seats but we had walking patterns in the room. No one could take the shortest route to his desk. We all were required to leave our seat, walk to the back of the row, and walk to the front of the room using the aisle by the wall. Then we walked to the furthest wall aisle, back to the end of the room, and back to our desks. Walking a circle around the room.

    In a life that was totally out of order, his orderly room made me feel safe. I knew he abided by his rules and felt that I didn’t have to be on guard for the unexpected.

    He also read a novel to us at the end of class. It was a continuous story. A lot of times we would’ve liked him to read more but, of course, he followed his own rules. To this day, I continue to read to my boys…now 13 and 15. Every time they beg for more of the story, I am reminded of Mr. Grubb.

    Last but not least. He was a kind soul. I was an awkward kid that got picked on a lot. He always treated me with kindness and respect.

    For many reasons, he was my anchor of safety in a turbulent sea of changes and uncertainty.

  31. 481
    Carrie says:

    My favorite teacher was Miss Spain. She was my first grade teacher at the time that my mom passed away from breast cancer. I think one of my only memories from the time period after returning to school after my mom’s death was when Miss Spain took me out into the hallway and gave me a Barbie doll and told me that I was special and she wanted me to have it. She told me not to tell any of the other children because I was the only one getting a doll. I’ll never forget her reaching out to me. I felt so lucky at a time when I needed some extra love. Years later she took a job at my high school as my art teacher and yearbook editor. I loved her. She made a difference in my life.

  32. 482
    Glenda says:

    I read your blog about seeing your former high school teacher with such a connection I wanted to share it. My story also involved a English high school teacher, Mr Raccagni. I was 17, a senior and had embraced the culture of “free” living. Our class assignment had been to support our chosen topic in an oral presentation. Although normally feaful of public speaking I was slightly self righteous in my opinions. I picked abortion. What I didn’t know was at that very time, I was pregnant. I also didn’t know Mr. Raccagni and his wife were not able to have biological children and were adopting (praying someone would NOT choose abortion thereby allowing them to parent).
    I gave my presentation, and felt “there, I’ve spoken for my generation and defended my case well”. Yep, I got a good grade but never quite got over that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach of guilt. And, even before my pregnancy was known, inside I knew it was wrong to end a pregnancy with murder.
    I continued my pregnancy choosing NOT to abort and ended up having Mr. Raccagni as an English tutor the second half of my senior year. He as gracious, never an inkling of judgement. I, however, never lost the guilt over having defended abortion.
    I continued my pregnancy, became a single Mom, and married an extraordinary man (have been married for almost 40 years)and we both became Christians a few years after marriage. Our oldest daughter is married to an associate pastor in our church!
    To my amazement, one day a few years ago in the middle of Macy’s I saw Mr. Raccagni! I was afraid and delighted at the same time. I knew what I had to do, inwardly and very quickly thanked God for the opportunity. I went over and reintroduced myself and apologized for the presentation I had made as simply as I could as I knew I would burst out in tears if I used too may words! He was again so gracious and warm and accepted my confession and turned to the life he & his wife now enjoyed after retirement(having raised two adopted children).
    I have warmth in my heart in gratefulness to the Lord as I recount this release to this day…praise Him!

  33. 483
    Kim says:

    I have a group of favorite teachers and they were not my teachers, but those of my daughter’s. Moving to northern California, to a small town of 200 people, give or take a cow or two, I enrolled by daughter in a Kindergarten through eighth grade elementary school. I was concerned about what kind of teachers would be teaching my daughter. I enrolled her in Mrs.Dean’s kindergarten class and stuck around to watch. This was the beginning of a long line of teachers that would educate and mold my young daughter’s future. Of the nine teachers on staff at our little school, most of them were born again followers of Christ. A few of the teachers we got to know, attended the only church that was in the community. I am thankful for all the teachers that made my daughter’s early education such a wonderful experience.

  34. 484
    Cindi says:

    I can completely understand why you would be teary eyed upon seeing your favorite teacher. I know I would be if I ever had the joy of seeing mine – Phil Johnson – my 10th grade Bible teacher (went to a Christian high school) who taught me to see myself and others through a larger lense than I had used before. And since my daughters are teachers and want more than anything to make a difference in a young person’s life – as your teacher did for yours – I hope and pray they are rewarded with experiences like the one you blessed your teacher with – letting her make a difference in your life, then letting her know she did. I’m grateful God gave you the blessing of seeing her again!

  35. 485
    Valerie says:

    I’ve listened to your mom teach and have done enough of her studies to know that would not be a statement she would make.
    You’re a sweet & precious Melissa! <3
    Thank you!

    • 485.1
      Valerie says:

      I intended for my recent comment to be posted on Melissa’s latest post, not this one about a favorite teacher. Not sure how it got on this one & not sure if I was super sleepy or what?? I also meant to say “You are sweet & precious, Melissa.” : /

  36. 486
    Piper Green says:

    I would have done anything to have a memorable teacher like that…unfortunately, I did not-which supports your statement on how important teachers are!

  37. 487
    Jami Holland says:

    I LOVE this question. The answer would be: Mr. Davis.

    He was my High school AP Chemistry teacher, which is funny in itself because I hated science. I enjoyed Chemistry because it was more math based, but still, it was science. Gross. I don’t even remember a thing I learned, content-wise in that class. But I will forever have the visual image of Mr. Davis carrying a tiny stool, that was no more than 2 feet off the ground, and going around to each and every one of our desks to have a quiet conversation. He would set the stool down, and in his gentleness would simply ask “How are you doing today? How are things?”. He cared about ME, beyond if I knew what oxidation-reduction reactions were. Of course, he would then ask me what I was struggling with in the class, and would see what he could do to help me see something more clearly.

    Mr. Davis is part of the reason I am a teacher…I actually start my FIRST teaching job ever in about 2 weeks. I am ever so anxious!!! But Mr. Davis taught me the importance of “sitting beside” my students, not over them or on top of them. What a lesson for me in my every day relationships as well…I’m pretty sure if Jesus had been a Chemistry teacher, He would have had a stool to pull up beside each student, to quietly ask them how they were, with an ear ready for whatever was spoken. 🙂 Mr. Davis took 2 minutes out of his day to check on me, and what a difference it made!

  38. 488
    marylee says:

    I haven’t been on here for a couple of days, been a bit under the weather. But I can’t help but smile as I think of one of my favorite teachers, my kindegarten teacher. I never forgot her sweetness to me as a little 5 year old, imagine my surprise when I found myself taking care of her husband in ICU when he had heart surgery, and was so blessed to find they were both believers. I had the great privilege of being a shoulder for that dear lady as her husband sadly declined and then went on to glory. I will never forget the time we spent together, it was truly God ordained!

  39. 489
    liz says:

    I feel so sad I don’t have a favorite teacher. My goal was not to be noticed, did anyone else do that in school?

  40. 490

    My favorite teacher? Hmm … that’s easy as pie! You.

    ps. Look at my blog to see what my sweet husband did for me! True love after 23 years!

  41. 491

    Mrs. Schatte, my 5th grade teacher. She was beautiful and smart and made me feel beautiful and smart, too. She would write me sweet notes and hug me all the time. She was love personified!

  42. 492
    Jackie says:

    Oh Sister Beth, I am going to make this short and sweet. My favorite and absolute best teacher without a doubt, no contest, hands down was also my high school English teacher of my junior and senior years. I won’t take the time to reminisce, because all I have to say is DITTO and AMEN to your description! I could have written all the same things that you shared about the enchanted time I spent in Mrs. Jackie Sylvia’s classroom. I think I may need to look her up and tell her myself after these thirty plus years. Thanks for sharing this blessed encounter.

  43. 493
    Pam Bynum says:


    I have too many to name. I was fortunate to have several christian teachers in high school. I still keep in touch with several of them. They had such an impact on my life. I attended a public school and that makes it even more special.

  44. 494
    Jennifer says:

    Mrs. Scharmen (Please don’t SQUEEZE the Schmarmen 🙂 )–third grade English teacher. She was missing an ear and wore a wig–I don’t remember if she had been in an accident of if it was due to disease, but it didn’t matter. She was the sweetest best teacher I ever had.

  45. 495
    Teresa says:

    Mr. Hester was my favorite teacher in school. I had him for English in 7th grade and History in 8th, not sure how that happened. I grew up in the south and Mr. Hester was African American. I’d been taught all the wrong things about African Americans growing up and used the N word because I didn’t know that it was wrong. Mr. Hester had a way of teaching that engaged students. I loved going to his class. He also had a lot of compassion for kids who were struggling. He had more patience than Mother Teresa. He dispelled any prejudices I might have had. After I went on to high school, I’d go back just to visit him. He was awesome.

  46. 496
    Amanda says:

    My favorite teacher was my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Robertson. She had a way of making a student believe that you were her favorite but she was crazy about every student. Yes, in a public school. At the end of every day she would stand by the door and give every student a hug goodbye. I remember at the time thinking it was a little corny but now I just think of it as being so sweet. One time she had to remove chewing gum from my hair, and didn’t even complain or fuss at me for chewing gum in class. She came to her students events outside of class and was just the most encouraging teacher ever. I will never forget her.

  47. 497
    jenny howle says:

    I love, love Carolyn Scales, my 7th and 8th grade SS teacher. Just like you said, I knew she liked me. She was such a lady and so professional and kind but firm. I coor. with her by mail and I get choked up when I see her name on the envelope. I just love that women.

  48. 498
    Melissa says:

    Mrs. Taylor in Jr. High…She saw me.
    I still love her.

  49. 499
    cyndi grace says:

    All it takes is one teacher to affirm a student to make a difference in a life. Mine was Miss Montgomery and she was my speech and drama teacher my junior and senior year of high school. She saw in me something I never had not seen and encouraged me to speak publically and act! To start with I did my best to please this teacher who believed in me but by the time I was 18, I realized God had His hand on me and used Miss Montgomery to spur these gifts toward His will. Today I speak to women’s groups about the abundant life God wants to give us and also use drama when the situation calls for it. Thank you Miss Montgomery…whereever you are and thank you Father for putting her into my life when you did!!

  50. 500
    Trinna says:

    Mine was an English teacher too. 9th and 11th grade – fabulous.

    My best friend and I were such talkers in 9th grade. Mrs. Underwood would often get fed up with us and exile one of us to the far end of the classroom by saying, “Go to China!” She never forbid us to sit together in the first place, though…each day was a new day. She loved us, and we loved her. She also lived in our neighborhood, and we would visit her in the summers. Thanks for bringing her to my mind!

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