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. 51
    Beth says:

    Mrs. Judy Lewis… Fifth Grade. She is the reason I became a teacher. She made school fun! She taught history the way it should be taught. She taught the story. Mrs. Lewis sounds like your teacher, maybe that’s why we remember them being the best. They make you want to be in school. Command respect, without demanding it. And eyes that let you know they like you and care about your success!
    I even invited her to my high school graduation party… who does that? But she came and she gave me a book to read with my future students. Its the perfect book for the public schools these days, Treasury of Virtues. I read it every year; and now that I am a full time mom, I read it with my children.
    Oh I just love Mrs. Lewis. Typing this is making me want to call her up and say “Thank you!” Teachers like her are few and far between. (I know this, because I have worked in the school system.)
    Oh I hope I have a chance encounter with her, like you did, Beth. How fun would that be?!

  2. 52
    TraciG says:

    I have two: Mr. Roberts who was my high school English teacher and Dr. Nowlin.

    I can still hear Mr. Roberts laugh uproariously over something someone said, a malapropism, or just something witty. He exposed us to all manner of excellent books: “The Once and Future King” and the Trilogy of the Rings… and that was as Freshmen. He gave us credit for having brains and expected us to use them. He made us think we COULD use them, not just sit mindlessly and remember trivia. He wanted us to think, and explain why. He too was the reason I became an English teacher, and I even used some of the same assignments and reading material for my students.

    Dr. Nowlin was a professor I had when I was working on my master’s degree in school counseling. He was the kind of teacher who would make me work and work and work, until I achieved that A+. He just wanted to make you please him with a well-written treatise on whatever was the subject matter. I remember the day I earned the A+, Excellent Paper at the top in his very neat, almost blocky handwriting. I had a little party by myself in my seat at the side of the room. He just smiled his soft little smile. He had been a school counselor in some of the toughest and poorest places, and knew what he was talking about when it came to the topic at hand.

    Thanks Beth… for the opportunity to give a little tribute to two very influential people in my lives. I’ve had the opportunity to tell Mr. Roberts–he’s the principal in my old high school where he once taught. But Dr. Nowlin, not sure where he’s at. Might be worth finding out to tell him thanks!

  3. 53
    April says:

    My favorite teacher was Mrs. Smith, my fourth grade teacher. While I know what a common name “Smith” is, she was NOT a common teacher. I was just about her height and she was very petite, but she could get mad and have a temper. She had a twinkle in her eye when she smiled and a very loving, witty character. She did a lot of different things in her class- something very unconventional in a private, Catholic school, she loved her job and her room was decorated in all things Peanuts (Charlie Brown, etc.), and her sweet tooth- we got candy from her which really appealed to my sweet tooth! I run into her every now-and-then and give her a hug every time. She’s gotten older and more frail, but she’s still got the twinkle in her eye and is larger than life.

  4. 54
    Mary says:

    I attended catholic schools all my life and was taught by many a nun (probably not gramatically correct!). I had Sister Marion for 7th and 8th grade English. She was a pro at diagramming sentences. Seemed like we spent months learning how to diagram a sentence! When asked if “I could go to the ladies room”, she would reply “I don’t know, can you?” Still cracks me up. Of course, she was waiting for us to ask if “I may use the bathroom”. I learned a ton from Sister Marion, and later learned to really enjoy English. Still makes me crazy to read misspelled words or anything gramatically incorrect! Luv you Beth!

  5. 55
    kim says:

    My favorite teacher was Ms Dalton. She was my freshman English Literature teacher in high school. She helped me to find my inner voice and to express my “little girl.” She helped me to know that it was ok to speak up and that it was not ok to be “in the dark.” She shined a very special light on me and gave me a very special hope for the future. I will always be grateful to her.

  6. 56
    Tami says:

    My favorite school teacher was my high school Psychology and Sociology teacher, Mrs. Everly. She was funny, energetic, and the most animated person I know. She mesmerized the class with her stories and examples of how the human brain worked. I remember sitting in her class thinking how cool this is to learn how magnificantly God created our brains, and how He ordained our development. This was public school mind you, but she taught with such a personal awe and wonder about the subject, you knew she believed we were fearfully and wonderfully made. Being a bit of a nerd or perhaps OCD Ü, I still have all of my notes, exams, and worksheets from every class I took from her, and I graduated almost 30 years ago. That is no small feat since I have moved atleast 15 times since that time. Even when I had taken all of the classes she taught, I signed up to be her classroom assistant so I could hear her teach. She is responsible for give me the love I have for learning for the sake of learning. She was truly used by God to inspire and motivate me.

    Thanks for the nudge to walk down memory lane! I needed that today!

  7. 57

    I have two…and being who I am, we are still in touch–be it on Facebook or yearly Christmas letters or meeting for lunch or email. I just keep up with old friends–faithful that way, I guess.

    Isabel Lewis was my high school journalism teacher for two years. Today, we talk about “Chopped,” cooking, old photos and general how are yous on Facebook every week. I love her. She is dear to me! Fun fact: My Chris had her, too. Though we did not know one another in high school. He called my sweet teacher, “Isabelly button.” tsk tsk tsk!

    Christine Zwahlen was my English teacher for two years. I loved her. She was hard on me. Sometimes, she would basically tell me, “Did you even think before saying/ writing that?” Yet when she praised me, it was authentic. She loved me then and still does. And I love her. It delights me that her emails are just written out and poured forth to me, without an obsession over editing. I love that about her. She also has a wit that still makes me laugh.

    Glad you got to see your teacher yesterday, Beth! I know it was a delight for you! Speaking of delights, I thought of your DELIGHT bear story the other day. We are camping in MT and I’m hoping to see the “bar” from afar.

  8. 58
    Heidi says:

    I am a 5th grade Language Arts teacher and I so want to be that kind of teacher to my students- challenging yet fun adn making them love to read and write! I hope some day I will have that experience with a former student!

    My favorite teacher was Mrs. Carter in 4th grade who saw something special in me that I never knew was there until she showed me.

    • 58.1
      Heidi says:

      OOOOOH! I wish I had thought of you first- but by far, Mrs. Beth Moore is my favorite teacher ever! I have learned to love my Jesus so much more from her, to hide God’s word in my heart, to really study the scriptures and dig deeper each day, to love other Bible teachers along with her, to love other women no matter what our backgrounds, to keep following God no matter where he leads you, to have fun and love being a girl! Thank you Mamasiesta! 😉

      • Beth says:

        You are such fun, Heidi. Thank you for those sweet words. I do dearly love the classroom and praise God for His grace to let this former pit-dweller serve. I am blessed to be encouraged by people like you and worry for our school teachers out there in the harsh elements that need so badly to hear “Well done!” We need you Godly women out there in the public classroom!! Stay with it!

  9. 59
    Lindsey says:

    My favorite teacher was my second grade teacher, Mrs. McWilliams. She. was. excellent. She loved her students and wouldn’t let us leave her classroom without giving us a huge hug every single day. When I left second grade, I would return to her classroom daily to see her. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is about her, but she is the reason I went to college to be a teacher. Now I am a teacher (elementary and special education) and to this day, if people ask me why I am a teacher, I tell them about Mrs. McWilliams.

  10. 60
    k&c's mom says:

    (Wiping tears.)
    I am a teacher and have watched my students grow up well in the Lord, some from my kindergarten class who now drop off their own kindergartners. The happiest words they can say to me are, “You made school so much fun!” Believe me: it’s mutual. What is not to love about looking into five and six year old eyes that are so full of wonder?

    But my favorite teacher? Mrs. Weed; sixth grade. I had a horrible home life and she made school the safe place I looked forward to coming to. She always noticed little things about me and made me feel like I mattered. I still shamelessly copy so many of the things she did in her classroom. 40 years later (!) I now read “Where the Red Fern Grows” to my classes who are old enough to hear it. Recently I lost my husband to cancer. Mrs. Weed sent cards and letters throughout the illness to encourage me. Such a gracious woman.

    I am a teacher because of her.

  11. 61
    Laura says:


    I have a handful of really special teachers that I think of when scan through my years of school- some elementary, some high school, and some college. I am about to start my seventh year of teaching myself; I now have an even greater appreciation for my teachers! Who even knew how hard they had to work?!? I must admit that I always hope that some day I will have a student who remembers me like you remember Mrs. Fanett. You certainly made her day!

    Laura Sherman

    p.s. You should read my blog- I’m almost as funny as you! http://www.theshermanshoutout.blogspot.com

  12. 62
    fuzzytop says:

    I would have loved Mrs Fanett! She sounds like a great teacher…

    I had two favorite teachers in high school – Mesa High, Mesa AZ – Class of ’79.

    Mr. Bradshaw, our yearbook advisor, entrusted me with the position of photo editor for the yearbook. And then he stood back and let me do the job. I learned so much about leadership, and management, and he was such an encourager. There were times I failed, and times I simply felt like a failure, but he never took over. Instead, he let me learn, fix my mistakes, and move on.

    My other favorite teacher was Mr. Lee, who taught math. And I L-O-V-E math! He was my trigonometry teacher my Jr. year, but I couldn’t take the calculus class my senior year due to a scheduling conflict. So Mr. Lee took the time to teach me calculus after school. I would meet with him every other day or so, and he’d go over the material he had covered in class, answer my questions, and take a look at my homework assignments. He didn’t have to do this, but he did anyway. Because of him, I was ready when I took calculus my freshman year in college.

    And lastly, my most favorite teacher would be my mom! No, I was never in her class, but I saw her effort, all the extra work, and the affection she held for her students.

    Great post! I’m looking forward to reading the comments!

    Love and hugs,

  13. 63
    Nancy in GA says:

    My favorite teacher was also my first teacher of a different race (segregated south in the 60s). I never saw her as a “black” teacher, but only saw her as a great teacher. She cared & brought out the best in my insecure self. She was stern, strict, & a force to be reckoned with if you dared to disobey or ‘goof off’ in her class (I was always too afraid of my shadow to THINK about misbehaving!), but she was fair. She inspired me to LOVE learning. I reconnected with her several years ago to let her know the impact she had on my life. At that time, she was teaching future teachers–who BETTER to do so??

  14. 64
    bbmac says:

    yeah! i am one of the first to post! i heart great teachers!

  15. 65
    Carol says:

    I loved Mrs. McCann’s Spanish class. She had a gift for teaching foreign language. She would never walk in to the classroom- rather she would march in, already talking in Spanish and getting us ready for the first drill. She never made fun of us if we didn’t know the answer but she had a fun way of drawing the right answer out of us. She had a passion for the Spanish culture that made me captivated and resulted in a couple trips to Spain and my majoring in Spanish in college. (It reminds me how contagious Beth’s love for God is!) I knew Mrs McCann like me and she knew I liked her!

  16. 66
    Sheryl says:

    My favorite (and best) teacher was also my English teacher! Mrs. Duffield, Grove High School, was simply awesome. She reigned over her classroom like a queen, and commanded excellence from all who entered it. Including a few who did not believe it possible of themselves!

  17. 67
    Amy says:

    Lovely story~Ms. Beth…..My Mamaw was my favorite teacher…..She taught school for 43 years and then tutored……Everyone in the community loved and revered her….They had either been taught by her or their parents or children had…..She was an English and reading teacher….She taught me to read…..Probably one of the greatest loves of my life…..is reading….It was a tremendous gift she bestowed on me….My life was not easy and reading became my haven and anchor….I think about my Mamaw about everyday and I know she along with Jesus will be the one to meet me at the pearly gates. Thank you for letting me honor her in this way…Love you:)

  18. 68
    Tiffany says:

    I just gasped out loud…

    I am your daughter, Amanda’s age, but I had Mrs. Fanett my junior and senior year of high school (but at a different high school). I too LOVED her, and she is one of the reasons I minored in English. I still have papers I wrote and notes I took from her class, and I even reference some of the activities she gave us in my graduate classes.

    Not only was she a wonderful English teacher, but she is an amazing Christian. Both she and her husband also taught Sunday School at my church. Thank you for your tribute to Mrs. Fanett!

    My other favorite teacher was my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Linda Pierce. She’s the reason I wanted to teach elementary. I taught 4th grade writing before staying at home…the making of the combination of two wonderful teachers!

  19. 69
    Nancy in GA says:

    One more?? My high school chemistry teacher was very dry (& to us teenagers, dull). During my junior year, my parents divorced & I was a MESS, but I tried to hide what was going on in my life from everyone (except my high school counselor). Later, I found out he had noticed ‘changes’ in me in class as well as in my work & had asked her if I was okay & if there was anything he could do to help. He was the LAST teacher you would expect to pick up on anything other than chemistry class, but his concern had a big impact on me AND on how I then started to look at other adults in my life. “You don’t care how much they know until you know how much they care.”

  20. 70
    Kimberly says:

    Glenna Gibbs! I will never forget her. She was my band teacher in MS and HS. There are so many precious memories I have of her. She taught me to challenge myself and strive to the be best that I could. There was something about her that just invoked a self motivated challenge in me. Sitting under her direction, the music came alive. I was part of something bigger than myself. Every instrument was important and we all had to work together. She taught us to be “in tune” with each other. As she directed us, we not only watched her, but we watched and listened to each other. So many life lessons were wrestled out in that band room. (and at the time I didn’t even know it)

    I remember a trip to Washington D.C. that our band took. As I marched down the street I was proud to be a part of South Vermillion’s High School band. I remember looking to the side searching for Mrs. Gibbs to make sure I was in line, in step and ready for the next song to begin. I see how that transfers to my walk with Christ now!

    Glenna proved to be a good christian role model in my life. She was not only my teacher, but later she became my friend. She had encouraged me to become a teacher when I was in high school. I was too scared. I didn’t think I could do it. I turned my back on that door out of fear of failure, but God opened up that door again for me a few years ago. Who would have thought that at age 40 I would be starting a new career as a special education teacher? It took over 20 years for me to really get on with God’s plan for my life, but I am so excited to know my ministry is in public education. The most amazing thing is that I have come full circle. I am teaching at the very high school that I attended! This August I will begin my second year of teaching.

    I have much to learn, but can not express how amazing it is to look back and see how God used Mrs. Gibbs (and 20 years) to prepare me for teaching.

  21. 71
    Brandi says:

    My favorite teacher was Dottie Gasbarro, the teacher of almost ALL of my upper level Math classes in college. I loved her. She was a former Highschool Math teacher, and she truly taught me how to teach Math, or anything else, with a passion. She reminds me a lot of Ms. Beth Moore. 🙂 She is retiring in August, and Athens State University is losing the best teacher they have.

  22. 72
    Jaime says:

    Prof. Dennis Morimoto at the Univ. of Northern Colorado. My wise, witty and wonderful photography professor. Not only did he entice all of his students to want to put forth their best effort and strive for the best photographs we could possibly capture, but he’d take extra time for those of us who were trying so hard and struggling. I majored in photography and loved every single moment of my college experience because I loved every single class with Dennis. And, he had a file cabinet full of snacks, peanut butter crackers, cookies, rice crispy treats. It doesn’t get much better than a cabinet full of snacks when you are broke and in college. Thanks Dennis!

  23. 73
    Julie says:

    I have had so many wonderful teachers, but the one who sticks out the most is Mrs. Douthit. My neighbor, Becky, was a first grade teacher at the elementary school I went to, and when I was getting ready to begin my third grade year Becky told me “I hope you get Mrs. Douthit! Her first name is Julie (as is mine), she has red hair (as do I), and lots of freckles (as do I)”. Low and behold, I ended up in Mrs. Douthit’s class! I was always a very quiet and courteous student (I couldn’t stand the thought of getting in trouble!), so we would have probably gotten along great anyhow. But I will definitely say we had a special connection, and at the end of the year I told her I wished she could be my teacher again the following year. A few days later she told me my wish had come true! The school was experimenting and all of the 3rd grade teachers would be moving up to teach their same students in 4th grade! Best two years of elementary school hands down! Best of all we have managed to reconnect through facebook over the past year and since I am no longer her student, I have found her to be a sweet, Jesus loving woman!

  24. 74
    Redeemed says:

    What timing for this post! I just re encountered my favorite teacher from school – and one of the most influential people in my entire life.

    Mr. Bob Meeks, my high school band director. He was my most favorite teacher and mentor. He taught me so much about music and discipline and life in general, I’m still reaping the benefits of being under his guidance. He moved on to teach college my senior year, and came back and offered me a full ride scholarship. I followed him!

    Life interrupted my college degree, though. I never finished. Just recently I had the thought “all those years of music theory & education – WASTED.” And then I saw something profound: I’m on our congregation’s Praise Team, working out arrangements of music and even dabbling in writing. It hit me (sometimes it takes me a while) – God is redeeming all those “wasted” years for Himself now! I get to pour all that education out at the Throne.

    Mr. Meeks, sir, you made such an impact on me. I will never ever forget you and your gifts. And I SO want you to know the Lord.

  25. 75
    Cecilia says:

    Oh Beth; I so feel you here sista. I have had many, many wonderful teachers throughout my life but my standout teacher would be my 5th grade teacher Ms. McElveen. She looked like Barbie(no kidding) her shoes and purse ALWAYS matched her outfit(fashionista I am) I took notice. Really though what made Ms. McElveen special was that she treated everyone of us curious learners like her own. She always sensed when we had worked particularly hard and it was nothing for her say “today kids we’re doing nothing” She would prop her neat little self on top of her desk and chit chat with us like we all around a campfire. Nothing was off limits. She loved corn chips so she would always send a lucky student out to the vending machine to grab her a bag and she would chomp down on those things and laugh and I mean when she laughed it lit up our souls. Ms. McElveen was especially kind to me because all throughout Elementary School I was the only little Black girl in the class and not one time did she ever make me feel differently. If she called me to her desk, she would always say how cute I was and play with my pigtails, correct me gently and send me on my way. Thanks Beth for helping me recall those moments. I wish I was back in that little desk with my crayon box beside me.

  26. 76
    NikkiPoppins says:

    I totally understand having a favorite teacher and the joy that comes from still having them in your life years later. It’s a little awkward though when you were homeschooled and you have to admit that your favorite teacher is NOT your mom! lol!

    My favorite teacher was Miss Dottie Johnson. My school was very small and she taught at the school one year before I had her, but because my mom was the head teacher/principal, I got to know her after school and during the summer. Miss Johnson let me help in her class room and showed me all of the cool things in her room.

    Because our school was so small, there were usually 2 grades in a class and 1 teacher for both grades. I had Miss Johnson for 3rd and 4th grade. I loved Miss Johnson’s class even more because it was an all girl class. Not on purpose, there just weren’t any boys in the school that were in those grades. I think we had one boy for half a year but not long term. It being an all girl class made it so much fun when we would get the chance to have a classroom party or a movie day because we would get Anne of Green Gables or some fun girl movie like that.

    Our school was so small that we didn’t have a library and would have to go to the city library once a week. Miss Johnson had a 2 door Honda Civic and it was a 5 speed manual and silver. I loved riding with her because she would let whoever was in the front seat change the gears as she was driving.

    I should point out that Miss Johnson was in her mid-late twenty’s and living back at home with her parents. She was an awesome example of a Godly woman and someone I looked up to a great deal. I was fortunate to be there when she met Mr Right. I was able to be there when she got married and even today it’s hard to refer to her as Mrs Penney and she’s been married for almost 20yrs. I remember when she had both of her boys and got to hold her first born when he was a newborn and he’s about to start driving.

    Last summer I was blessed to go spend a day with her at her home and she asked me to call her Dottie. I told her I was still having a hard time calling her Mrs PENNEY and it might be a while before I could get my mind to think of her as DOTTIE! She just grinned!

    I love the way God brings people into your life for a short time but their impact on you can be life long. You never know which person you meet will still be in your life years later and to be able to have a story of a relationship that spans many years is such a blessing. I love the fact that my 3rd grade teacher is a dear friend now. I’m older than she was when she was my teacher and that’s not exactly fun to admit! :/

    Thanks for sharing your story of you and your favorite teacher! I loved reading about it and teared up along with you…such a sweet image!

    Hope you have a great day!
    Big hugs!
    (Sorry for the book!)

  27. 77
    Church Lady says:

    I was telling someone of my favorite teacher just the other day. Her name was Miss. Bly. She taught math at my high school. I come from the smallest town in Tenn. (by population). She was from New York City. I to this day don’t know what brought her there. She was the best teacher. She spent time working with her students (mostly her free time). She was fair to everyone. No one got special treatment. If she saw that you tried, it seemed to touch a special place in her heart.
    She taught all of the advance math classes in our school. So in my senior year I took calculous (I don’t think that I can even spell it let alone do it). I had went as far a my little brain could take me in math and she could see that. She knew that I was trying my best but still struggling. She passed me with a 70. She was the best!

  28. 78
    Melissa says:

    My favorite teacher was my fifth grade teacher Mrs. Conner at Raymond F. Orr in Fort Smith, Arkansas. I moved from Hot Springs, AR over that Thanksgiving break and I was more scared than I had ever been in my life. I dressed up for my first day, which was a HUGE mistake, because to this day that is all most of my classmates remember. Nevertheless, Mrs. Conner was there for me that very first day. She was very tall, had all of her hair on top of her head and it looked like she had spray painted it silver. (Maybe she did for all I know) Here is what I remember most. Every single morning we stood and recited the pledge of allegiance, HAD A PRAYER, and she read us a short verse or two out of the Bible. That would have been 1970/71. I had the wonderful opportunity to see Mrs. Conners at a restaurant some 25 years later and just like you I had to say something. I went over to her, reintroduced myself and told her about those wonderful memories I have of beginning our day with the Father. She looked at me, smiled and very gently she said, “And it did not hurt us one bit did it?” I said, “No mam it did not.” She thanked me for speaking to her and I walked back to my table with a huge lump in my throat. I am so very glad that I let her know she had made a difference……people simply do not do that enough.

    • 78.1
      Siesta OC says:

      Silver painted hair, its possible. I adore that she read verses from the Bible, I remember being taken out of class to go to the Good News Club. It would have been nice if the Good News Club was everywhere in my school.

  29. 79
    Aishlea says:

    My favorite teachers (I have two, can’t narrow them down!) were sisters. I had one as my first grade teacher and the other as my third grade teacher. They loved me like my mother, they made everything to do with learning fun, they taught me more than they could ever know with their Godly attitudes and motherly smiles. I still remember the way their classrooms smelled! These two sisters are the very reasons I am able to read, write and multiply!!!

  30. 80
    Amy says:

    Whew, girl, you’re bringing back scents of fresh notebooks and sharpened pencils!! I’d give anything to go back and thank my senior year Clinical Rotation high school teacher, Mrs. Valenta, a million times over for writing such thoughtful, encouraging notes on my clinical reports. Talk about feeding your soul. The woman knew her students and wanted them to excel at their work. Makes me still wish I had gone into the medical profession!!

  31. 81
    Jen says:

    I will never forget Mrs. Guyon my 2nd grade teacher 🙂 The first day of class we arrived nervous and excited for a new year of school and found a Hershey’s chocolate bar waiting for us at the front of every single desk. As I’m sure you know when you’re 7 years old nothing is more heavenly than a Hershey’s chocolate bar. While one might assume she was trying to bribe us with chocolate her intentions were far more brilliant.

    She stood before us that first day and explained that each of us had an opportunity before us. That chocolate bar was ours and we could eat it at any point. Every day we would be given the opportunity to take a bite, nibble it, or leave it on our desk. It was our candy bar. BUT, should we choose to wait at the end of a month whomever had the most candy bar left would win a gigantic Hershey bar (you know the ones that the size of half a piece of paper?!).

    Speaking the language of a 7 year old she began to instill the importance of discipline and how our choices effect our futures. It was amazing. She was amazing.

  32. 82
    Charlotte says:

    I thought of several which would include my English teacher all the way back from fifth and sixth grade. That’s where I first became fascinated with English and writing essays. I think my most favorite High School teacher would be my Junior and Senior English/Lit teacher; Mrs. Kirksey. Her passion for teaching us to write essays and love for English made my passion grow stronger. Her stories of going to college to be a writer (I think she said) to later deciding to major in English and be an English teacher were so inspiring; I only wish I would have pursued that passion in college but for some reason I leaned toward business at the time.

  33. 83
    Jennifer says:

    Beth, I just got tears in my eyes. I’ve had some really good teachers. I’m thinking of my Physics teacher, but what touches me even more is that I am a teacher. I teach my own kids now, as a homeschool mom. But I taught Special Education classes and French in a public high school before that. So often, teaching is a thankless job… even teaching homeschool can be a thankless job. My kids would prefer not to have to work, either. But I can only imagine what your teacher would feel to read how much of an impact she’s had on your life. And for the rest of us, your post is a reminder that we also sometimes have that effect on our students. You remind us that teaching IS worthwhile. Thank you for such an inspiring post.

  34. 84
    Katie says:

    The reason I am a teacher now is because of Ms. VanBarneveld, who taught me in grades 4 AND 5. She didn’t have a teaching degree, but she was just a natural teacher. She made learning fun and treated us all like ADULTS…which is a big thing when you’re 9 and 10 years old.

    She read us novels and always seemed to stop at the most dramatic part. And she was full of good stories. She has the best laugh. She truly showed us the love of Jesus, with patience and understanding that I’m still realizing now.

    Being from a small town, years later she was our high school catechism teacher. She also helped out with the church youth group. In all honesty, I think she still feels more comfortable around teenagers than she does around people her own age!

    That reminds me…I think it’s time to give her a call and get some advice for the upcoming school year….

  35. 85
    alicia- frozen peach says:

    Mrs. Jamie Lavender… her name is as sweet as she is! she was my 3rd grade teacher and helped me immensely during my parent’s divorce that year… and every year that followed. i went back and visited Mrs. Lavender to celebrate the joys and the heartaches that middle & high school brought with them! she had a sweet southern accent, loved the georgia bulldogs, raised beautiful springer spaniels, had the most delightful little doll houses & a smile that would melt your heart!

    i’m a music teacher now & I’m always reminded of Mrs. Lavender’s patience & kindness. i hope my students see at least a tiny bit of that in me 🙂

    ~thanks miss beth for throwing this out there, what a sweet way to start my day!

    georgia peach livin in chicago

  36. 86
    Shalom says:

    My favourite teachers were always my English teachers because I loved the subject. I was an easily forgotten student, my clothes were my dad’s old stuff (yes my dad’s) and I had no lunch money. But my very fave was Mrs. Rauch, my first grade teaacher. She loved me and showed it, even told me so. Perhaps she could sense the deprivation in my life and what lay ahead for me, teachers can sense those things you know. I was a good little first grader, smart and well behaved, (too scared to act out). I loved to read. She made being good fun and worthwhile. She made me want to be good. Oh no, now my tears are falling, not because of the poverty of my youth, but for the wealth of Mrs. Rauch’s goodness. Shalom

  37. 87
    Jerry Ann says:

    Oh, my!

    I grew up in a small town in Northwest Arkansas (Prairie Grove), graduating class size of 63, graduated 1984. My favorite class began with Home Economics (basic sewing, cooking), Mrs. Phyllis McGinity. I loved that class, and the way she taught. She made learning of cuts of beef fun. She talked with her hands, and would giggle throughout her lecture portion. Her eyes would close and she would smile when comments weren’t correct, but she would let you work it through. I took basic child education classes, to advanced cooking classes. My senior year, I had a free period, and became her assistant.

    She really did mean the world to me. As a graduating gift, she gave me “Apples of Gold.” A beautiful little book with quotes, and scriptures for everything in life. The inscription meant the world to me, and all it said was “Thanks for smiling when I taught.” There was more written, but this meant the most.

    I did attend college, but never went past the first year due to many things. I still regret not getting a degree in Home Economics, but believe that I have been gifted by her teachings, and carry many with me daily.

    I think I will send her a Thank You. Teachers need to know.

    Thanks Beth!
    Jerry Ann

  38. 88
    Jamie says:

    My favorite teacher is a toss up. My 2nd grade teacher was wonderful. I was an extremely shy girl and she got that. She didn’t force me to stretch too much but pushed me just enough to expand those comfort zones. I also had a professor in college who made me want to be a history teacher. I’m not a history teacher, but I was ready to switch majors after having this professor. Today, I’m an English teacher and I too enjoy having students who love to learn!

  39. 89
    Chantel says:

    I was home schooled 7th-12th grade. When I was in private or public school…I had two teachers that continue to stick out in my mind. One was my kindergarten teacher, Miss Howington. Thanks to the power of facebook, we were able to reconnect not long ago. My other favorite was my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Hanson. She really understood me and the way my brain worked. She knew where I lacked focus and helped me to understand myself and the way I processed tests. She meant a lot…didn’t always appreciate her then. She was what a teacher should be!

  40. 90
    Lauren Kelly says:

    Oh my goodness, I got so excited when I realized the direction this post was heading!!

    My favorite school teacher was my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Duggan!!! I will NEVER EVER forget her. I was in 3rd grade when my Mom’s husband (my sister’s dad) passed away in a boating accident. That was a very difficult year for my family and she was there for me. She will never know what her kindness meant to my 3rd grade heart. She listened to me, she sent me notes of encouragement in the mail and said I could call her any time I wanted to and talk and one time I took her up on that offer, and I tell you, for every single holiday, I gave her a gift and sent her Christmas cards loooong after I was in her class. She put a mark on my heart that will be there forever. She also lived right down the road from my Grandma and she has recently moved but until she did, I kept in touch with her still. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to share with you about this fabulous teacher that made an impact on my life!!!

  41. 91
    Dean Patton says:

    If you would allow a comment from a husband of one of your “sisters” I would like to share one. My wife shares your blog with me daily and as an aside I must confess I enjoy them as much as she does. You will never know how you are helping my wife but that is another story.
    My favorite teacher was Ms. Kerley my 6-8 English teacher. She was rough and gruff and loved the reputation. She had even propagated the rumor that she had been a lady wrestler in her younger years with the stage name “The Pretzel Kid”. I cried through her class my 6th grade year, but by the 8th grade I discovered the real woman behind the “villain’s” cape and loved her dearly. I am now a school teacher myself, and trying to gear up for the start of the new year. Your story got the wheels turning for me. Thanks for all you do!
    Dean Patton
    (husband of one of your sisters and closet blog reader)

  42. 92
    Kathy B says:

    OK, here goes: you know how you said you get all tingley with anticipation knowing they’ll be some juicy replies? Well that’s how I feel when you all but dare us to reply. My heartrate elevates slightly and I begin to weave my tale, swirling adjectives and adverbs around between my ears and hoping that maybe just maybe someone will be even more entertained than me.

    Interestingly enough, my sweetie pie and I were just reminiscing over influential coaches in our lives over our anniversary dinner last night. I think those kind of evenings just lend themselves to swimming in warm memories, don’t you? Please allow me to veer slightly from the given assignment. I think Mrs. Fanett would understand.

    My favorite, hands down was my cheerleading coach. Ok, ok, I know. Is that really a sport? And how boarderline conceited of me to bring it up. Sorry. Honestly. But she was such a peach of a gal, she warrants this spot in my heart. When you’d run the gamut of having the garden variety of science teachers and secretaries that just incidentally got stuck babysitting this squad of self-absorbed girls, Miss Young was a breath of fresh air.

    She’d just graduated from Cedarville College where she’d been the captain of her college squad. Praise the Lord and pass the pompoms.

    She told us she was going to make us earn every bit of glory we were already going to recieve. And since she roomed with the girl’s bb coach this initially meant we had to start running laps and sprints with that team. You never saw a bb team so glad to see their cheerleaders lose their lunch after laps. I guess they considered it poetic justice of sorts. Who could blame them?

    Miss Young taught me that old fashioned hard work and discipline have enormous pay offs. She also showed me that though she had a tough-as-nails exterior, she had a heart of pure gold.

    May God richly bless you, Rhonda Young Pew! I’m better for having tried hard to please you for those short years.

  43. 93


    It’s okay to cry:) I was doing that right with you! I don’t know what kind of life you were having then, but my freshman year was the worst year; in every area of my life. And for a teen you know that was a big thing.
    That particular year, after a series of situations where I was misunderstood by certain assumptions…I kept to myself, I did everything I could to seem “different” than who I was.
    I remember my first day of class I wore blue and green nail polish, red disco shirt, and white painter pants.
    Mrs.Worthington(Who I have called Kit now for yrs.) she
    was there for me in a way that if it was possible that God’s angels would have walked the earth, she was one of them.
    I remember telling her, ” I am sorry I must be the most depressed kid in your class.” and she replied, ‘ Are you kidding me, you are the most enthusiastic.” She saw my writing, she saw my heart through the pain I was feeling.
    I was taken out of school for a few days for personal reasons, and I told my mom to call Kit and tell her what happened to me, and so mom did and later said after the phone call, ” I can’t believe she speaks so highly of you.”

    Kit actually has said to me that she wants to take all of my writing and make it wall paper on her bathroom walls:)
    She loves everything I’ve ever written.

    I could go on, but I just want you to know that Kit being in my life was a prime example of how God won’t only use Christians to make a difference in our lives. But she accepts everything that I believe in, and she lets me share everything. Instead of her being the teacher, I’ve actually been able to take the role of teaching her what I learn about Jesus, and everything I read in the Bible:)

    Kit is still my dearest friend in the world, when people ask who she is in the picture in my room, I say, ” That’s my big sister”. There is no one on this earth that has gone through more alongside of me, and I am very blessed to have her in my life.

    And if you do see this, please pray for her. Her dream job was to receive her doctorate of English, now she has it, but finding a job has been very hard for her.

    Thanks for letting me just go on this y’all…that story would not have done much justice to not share at least that little bit with y’all:)

  44. 94
    Paula says:

    I am an educator and have been reading the many compliments of your favorite teachers. I would like to suggest in addition to writing those notes here that you let that favorite teacher know by a simple note, email, facebook, twitter, etc.
    A former student of mine did that this summer and it made my day! (I was totally surprised) Not only will it make your teacher feel appreciated, but I’ll just bet it will make you feel good as well.

  45. 95
    Anonymous says:

    Pray for my daughter to have a sweet, impactful teacher this year. Last year was a disaster!

  46. 96
    Kimberly says:

    My mom had been a Kindergarten teacher, but she left that to teach her 4 girls at home…yes, we did get all the normal subjects, but mostly we learned from her to love Jesus. My mom is the one who helped me ask Jesus to be my Savior. She then taught me to pray for my biological mom to come to know Jesus, too. She modeled to us how to pray, study God’s Word, and to tell other’s about Jesus’ love. She taught us compassion, and passion for the World to come to know Him. She read to us about Hudson Taylor, Gladys Alward, Lottie Moon, etc. When we could read for ourselves, our reading books were Missionary Bios. We loved it! She taught us to love God with everything and to obey Him always. She also taught us a love for discipleship….and a love for your Bible Studies Beth! 😀 My mom is my favorite teacher-no, she wasn’t my only teacher either just because i was homeschooled-but she was my favorite, because I saw her daily kneeling before her Teacher, Jesus Christ.

  47. 97
    Lauren says:

    OK would you fix my mistakes
    I am on my phone. Thanks

  48. 98
    Yolanda says:

    My very very favorite teacher, spoke so much life into me that yet to this day, 26 years after graduation…we still write one another every single Christmas. I spent not one, not two or even three, but all FOUR years of High School with Miss Snyder & her classroom. From Physcial Science and all four years of High School math. She also went to our school counselor and asked if I could be her aide for one hour each day. I’m telling you the truth, and this girl that wasn’t receiving love at home got more than my share from her. She married the summer after I graduated and moved a couple of hours away. She has three children, and I’m positive that she is the best Mother out there. Why? Because she poured so much love into me and nurtured with “hesed”. I’m incredibly thankful for Miss Marylou Snyder.

  49. 99
    Delores says:

    I had two — Mrs. Norton, 4th grade, who brought the classroom alive. When studying presidents, we got to host a “Harry Truman” birthday party that she let us invite him to (like he’d come visit at classroom of 4th graders when he was 84!). We did get a nice letter though.

    And Mrs. Schillie, 3rd grade. This was a rough year for me. And she always was there to make it a little more bearable. Just that extra tough a youngster needs to continue on and not get lost along the way.

  50. 100
    Beth says:

    I can’t fix them (I can only delete portions to edit) but I can post this comment so they’ll know you were on your phone!

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