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.ย  “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.ย  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.

Approval.

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.

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657 Responses to “A Really Fabulous Teacher”

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Comments:

  1. 100
    Linda says:

    Miss Hunter – sixth grade. She was an excellent teacher, just the right blend of discipline and fun. Every afternoon, about fifteen minutes or so before the final bell of the day rang, she read to us. I could have stayed seated in my little desk chair for hours. She read so beautifully, and I was transported to wherever the author was taking us.
    I remember especially “The Swiss Family Robinson.” Even the boys were mesmerized. We couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next.
    I love, love, love books – and she knew how to make them come alive.

  2. 101
    Amy Storms says:

    How fun is that?!

    Mrs. Kirk was my second grade teacher. She could tell I loved to write, even way back then, so she gave me “extra” writing assignments. Remember those purple mimeograph worksheets? She gave me one that read, “A mouse lives in your desk at night. Write a letter to him.” I wrote to the mouse, and Mrs. Kirk wrote me back. We corresponded several times, and she grew my love for writing.

    Where would we be without Mrs. Kirks to identify and encourage our gifts?

  3. 102
    melanie says:

    First….I just love you! You are one of my favorite teachers! But, as far as school teachers go-Mrs. Abernathy was the best kindergarten teacher ever! She taught at JB Watkins Elementary School in Midlothian, VA. She is the reason I am a kindergarten teacher today! She read us Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox with all of the voices, she sang, she hugged, she loved us all and she loved being a teacher! I actually mentioned her in a blog post a few weeks ago. I think of her often. She was probably in her 50s when I was 5 (33 short years ago) and I have tried to find her and tell her, but have never had any luck. What a gift for you both that you were able to tell Mrs. Fannett what a profound effect she had as a teacher. I LOVE teaching and hope to be this teacher to some student one day!

  4. 103
    Bonnie says:

    Oh man, my favorite, most special teacher in the whole world, Mr. Walter Wagner. He wasn’t just my teacher, he was my friend. I get to see him every now and then through the years and we always hug each other and ask how things are going. He encourages me everytime I see him, things haven’t changed much between us through the years. that man alway treated me like I mattered, he made me feel important when so often I felt so unimportant. He made going to school fun, even after I didn’t have him as a teacher any more because he taught Jr. high, he was and is a special person to me. I could feel what you felt just reading your story. THanks for sharing it. Blessings!

  5. 104
    Katie says:

    Mrs. Beth Moore is my favoite teacher. She has taught the Word of God to me in a way that has truly touched my heart. Thank you Mrs. Moore.

  6. 105
    3GirlsMom says:

    Mrs. Sue Paulk – she was my English teacher in the 11th grade. I, too, was new to a HUGE school and she was the absolute light of my day. She played hymns constantly (but only the music – no words), so if you weren’t “churched”, you thought you were listening to classical music. But if you were “churched”, you were taken to church every 3rd period. I loved it.

    Also, Mrs. Rebecca Shofner -she was my choral teacher. She looked (and still does to this very day) like Mary Poppins. She was the coolest teacher on EARTH. We had more people try out for the high school CHOIR than the high school FOOTBALL TEAM – and we sight read every single day from the Baptist Hymnal. She was also my handbell choir director at church when I was a kid – our handbell choir was called the Ridgecrest Ding-a-Lings – we had shirts and everything. It was AWESOME. Now Mrs. Shofner is the grandmother of one of my daughter’s best friends and we see her weekly on the bleachers of the softball field. She keeps threatening to embarrass me with the yearbook and the feathery show choir costumes, and since she has not changed one single bit in 18 years, it’s a guarantee that I will be wanting those bleachers to swallow me up.

  7. 106
    Angie says:

    Wow! Let’s those tears roll Ms. Beth! Tears of joy, happiness and fulfillment.

    High School teachers… I was so blessed with many wonderful teacher. But, Mrs. Turner was my all time favorit… and not just due to the fact she was also a true “redhead”. She taught Biology… and she was a Christian. She taught God’s word in her class, that we were created by Him, for Him to have a relationship with Him. She was also our Student Council Advisor and helped us plan school activities, dances, etc. She taught and set the example of a Godly woman, teacher… and always willing to listen, cry and laugh with us girls. She taught me to believe in myself… I felt so “different” back then, awkward… red hair, freckles… ya know… not what boys at that age are interested in. She helped me to want to be the best I could be.

    I love Mrs. Turner. I stay in contact with her still…. she still teaches (and I’ve been out of school for over 20 years… ) She still has that beautiful red hair and the love of God.

    Thank you Ms. Beth for sharing this post…. makes me smile!

  8. 107
    Becca Groves says:

    Mrs Groves, 10th grade English and History. Best teacher I’ve ever had. My mom was diagnosed with cancer that year and Mrs. Groves became a supportive friend to me, teaching me volumes about life and hope and trust and God’s faithfulness. She helped lead FCA, so we stayed connected after 10th grade, and even throughout college.

    Then after college, I helped babysit her boys for a year, during which I fell in love with her brother-in-law and ended up marrying into the family. My favorite teacher of all time is now my sister-in-law! I love imagining God watching the two of us meet for the first time, 13 years ago, thinking to Himself, “you girls just wait…you have no idea what I have in store for you.”

  9. 108
    Tess says:

    I am so sad not to have a favorite teacher. Growing up I was very shy (and still today). I was always good and got good grades, yet I always went unnoticed. My home life was dysfunctional and at one point my dad went to prison for a year. I was always the “black sheep” in my family for being the good one – the one who never got into trouble. Even today my siblings look at me that way, even though they grew into dysfunction broken adults. The good news is that I love the life that God has given me. I am so blessed to have a wonderful husband and 2 great boys. I am pleased to say that my boys each have several favorite teachers and are still not finished with school. Thank you JESUS!

    • 108.1
      Lynne says:

      Hallelujah! Praise God, Tess, you broke the cycle! Atta’ gal! That takes strength and grace to do! Obviously your Heavenly Father did not overlook you :>)

    • 108.2
      becca banana says:

      As a teacher myself, I am so glad you shared this. It breaks my heart and shows the importance of noticing, caring, bringing out the best in every student.

  10. 109
    Alexia says:

    I had several teachers that were my favorite throughout my years of schooling, but the one that stands out most was my Biology teacher. Biology and Latin were my favorite subjects and that is some of the reasons why I chose a career in nursing. These subjects came easy and I had great teachers. So in Biology, it was “Mr. Wally Gregory”, he could teach in a way that I could learn so easily and retain what I had learned. He was kind, compassionate but also did not put up with any misbehaviors. In a small town growing up he knew my family, had taught 2 of my siblings. He did tend to call me by my sister’s name occasionally but I just smiled politely. My Sophmore year of high school we got a new puppy, he had these sweet, cute little buggy eyes and I called him “Wally” which seemed so fitting because he tended to look like my Biology teacher. My dad had told him this and it was the biggest, cutest, sweetest honor for him. I learned alot in my days of schooling. I am so glad I was there when school had discipline and there was respect. Truely great gifts to have!!!

  11. 110
    Peggy says:

    Sweet blessings and memories Beth… I love how you took some literary twists in the beginning with the Salada… and the fondness with which you shared this. I love your sense of humor and choice of words. She should be proud. Does she know who you are? She must!!! As a teacher, I know that this would bless me beyond words.

    I could write a book on MY FAVORITE TEACHER… I married him 6 years after meeting him! I happened to work with him & then in college, worked together in many projects & Human Relations classes & Spanish speaking services! But as my teacher, I only had him as a teacher the beginning of my high school Spanish classes then he was promoted to another school. My admiration for him & his unique sense of humor & teaching ability never stopped amazing me. Clearly other students would have more stories that they would like to share… you can’t imagine what it’s like after so many years, at a recent high school reunion when someone will ask me, “You really married him? I remember in class when…” Usually, he does not accompany me to my HS reunions. Now this summer, he wanted to have a special one but we could not find a list of the students from his first years teaching involved in an exchange with Mexico.

    He has many humorous stories and memories of students in his classes as well. The one he quickly remembers to tell is when we were assigned to give a Spanish skit (with very little ability in the language)and my group of 3, using a prop of a house that 2 were climbing into as “robbers” when one of the tall ones got stuck climbing in through the window and forgot her lines… and I was so upset that we couldn’t finish and so I was trying to give her her lines and continue as he was trying to move on to the next group…and my poor friend stuck in the window (rofl) but
    I wanted us to get our “A” and that’s all that mattered to me.

    And now here I am in Mexico… loving all he taught me & trying to use it for God’s glory!

  12. 111
    Sharon Meekins says:

    Mrs. Betty Young – 5th grade, Longan Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia

    Caring. Compassionate. Loved to teach. Role Model.

    Of course, I can’t leave out Mrs. Keith Moore! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Much love and blessings,
    Sharon

  13. 112
    Bobbie says:

    We all owe Mrs. Fanett a big hug for being such a wonderful inspiration in your life!! Teachers are my favorite people! They touch so many lives and sometimes NEVER know it.

    Mrs. Christian, 6th grade, was my favorite. Cut to the chase–I loved to talk! She called it visiting, so I needed to sit up front!! But I was able to gain so much that year, she made learning very interesting and fun. That happened to be the year JFK died, her heart was so tender to our young feelings. Almost everyone in my class had gone out to Hobby Airport to see his motorcade the day before, including my family. I had been on the curb as he drove by, the closest I’ve ever been to a President!! It was an emotional week or two for us, but it was a growing time because of her genuine heart for this age group. She guided us through a tough time.

    And I agree with others, Beth. YOU have had a unbelievable impact on my Christian walk. It began with Jesus, the One and Only 8 years ago. God has given you an incredible gift that I’m so grateful you share with all of us. I love that you recognized someone so special in your life and didn’t hesitate to say something to her! You made her day, I’m sure!

    • 112.1
      Joyce says:

      I remember when JFK died. My family and I were overseas and my mother was up in the middle of the night listening to the radio and I got up to see what was wrong. (Even had a Jacqueline Kennedy look-alike Barbie doll at the time.)

  14. 113
    Kristina says:

    Beth, we have a very similar story! My favorite high school teacher was my Junior Year English Teacher. I think the class was Honors American Literature. Anyway, my teacher, Mr. Clegg, was known to be one of the hardest teachers in the school. Many students were afraid to get him but he stirred something up in me. He never knew it, but he is the reason why I majored in English. He is the reason that I started to believe that my own opinion counted. He empowered me because he wanted to know our opinions about what we read, and no opinion was ever wrong.

  15. 114
    Ragan says:

    Beth!

    I love this post! I too was crazy about my High School English teacher! She is one of the reasons that I had the confidence that I had in High School. When everything seemed to be so crazy and wild, I always had English Class. When things were sad or lonely, I had English Class to go to. I’d bury myself in whatever reading we were doing and I loved how I felt when I entered the characters’ lives. I loved my teacher, Dr. Hopson or, as I lovingly called her, “Doc Hop”. She will forever be ingrained in my soul as someone who believed in me during a time where I struggled to know who I was, where I was going and who I wanted to be!

    Thanks for your post today Beth! I absolutely love, love, love your blogs. I never read visit this site without finding myself and the Lord in your words!

    +ragan

  16. 115
    Lauren says:

    Being a teacher myself, I so hope I have made an impact on just one one my students the way this lady made such an impact on you!
    My favorite teacher? Mrs. Moore, Senior Government. I LOVED that class and that lady pushed us beyond anything we thought we were capable of. When I graduated, I just knew I was supposed to major in political science because her class meant so much to me. It wasn’t until a few years into college that I realized she had not inspired me in the field of government at all, she had inspired me to be a teacher (and a good one at that)! Ahh, Mrs. Moore, how could I ever thank her?!

  17. 116
    Kristi says:

    My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Hammond, was the best! My home life was quite a shambles, but Mrs. Hammond made me feel special somehow and conveyed to me that life wouldn’t always be so awful everywhere I went. I loved her!

    Also, my mother was my English and Algebra teacher in highschool. Talk about awkward! My math book had to come home every night– I don’t know what for! I don’t remember opening it! But one positive thing that came out of that is that I have a pretty nice signature. People comment all the time about my writing and penmanship (remember that?). I owe that to my mom.

    But by far, the best teacher I ever heard and that went deep into my heart is you, Beth Moore! Thanks! And God bless you everyday!

  18. 117
    Erika says:

    Mrs. Nancy Hicks…1st and 2nd grade teacher. I went to a progressive elementary school, meaning we were the guinea pigs of a lot of 80s educational research. For example, open concept was one. There weren’t any walls to separate classrooms. It was one big open space if you took out all of the bookcases and coat closets on wheels. Another was looping. This is where teachers go up with their class from one year to the next, hence that is why I had Mrs. Hicks for two years. And, the most deadly educational idea for me was learning to read and write using whole language.

    For some reason phonics was thrown right out the window in the new reading curriculum. However, I needed to be hooked on phonics in a bad way. Also we were grouped according to ability level, which means me and five of my friends were in the lowest group and sent to REMEDIAL reading class with Mrs. Fox. I attended remedial reading class for my entire 1st and 2nd grade career.

    Now I am very thankful to Mrs. Fox for teaching me to read and spell, even though I still have difficulty spelling sometimes. However, I’m super thankful to Mrs. Hicks because not once did she ever make me feel like I had a problem with reading and spelling. And since she didn’t, my entire class never made a big deal about it either. So my young, fraigle self-esteem remained intact.

    How do I know this? She is my most favorite teacher hands down. I knew she liked me too. I would draw her pictures, and she would tack them up on her filing cabinet. At the end of my 1st grade year, I won the Best Hair Award, and feeling special, I thought, “Wow, she even noticed my hair!” I would pretend to be Mrs. Hicks on the weekend, setting up my stuff animals in front of my chalkboard and teaching them whatever six-year-olds teach their stuff animals. There are many more happy memories, but most importantly, I studied and became a (special education) teacher myself. I wanted all the children that I came in contact with feel like I did with Mrs. Hicks. Even though a child may be different somehow or struggle with something that that’s ok because that difference or difficulty doesn’t define you, but it’s God who ultimately defines you.

    Thanks Mrs. Nancy Hicks, where ever you are.

  19. 118
    Jody says:

    Hattie Mae Yarborough. Third grade, Roland P. Harris Elementary in Houston, Tx. I loved that woman, and she loved me. My parents had divorced when I was in 1st grade, and my mom had remarried a man who was not used to being around children. School was my refuge. She was the first teacher I had who recognized the potential in a lonely, shy little girl. I often wonder what happened to her. I’ve even tried to find her via the internet.

  20. 119
    Jennifer says:

    Oh gosh I have to pick just one?? If I had to choose I would have to choose Mrs. Frazier who was a computer teacher that I had my junior and senior year of high school. My junior year was very difficult for me. Not only did I have to deal with daily teasing but I was very depressed and was dealing with a lot of personal things outside of school. She was always there for me. I remember one day I had snapped at another teacher of mine and I instantly went to find her afte class was over. It was the last class of the day so I went in and hugged her and just started to cry. It was the most liberating feeling. In that moment I formed an unbreakable bond with her. I still keep in touch with her today and I thank God every single day that I was able to have a teacher like her

  21. 120
    Sonya says:

    My favorite teacher was my 3rd Grade teacher, Mrs. Miller. I’m not sure exactly what it was about her, I just remember loving that year and having so much fun! It was also the year I decided I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up! And that’s what I did; I never changed my mind! I still wish I had the opportunity to actually teach with her. I interviewed a couple of times at the school where she teaches and where I grew up! It’s so competitive that it’s hard to get in. I think I still have a few years left before she retires!

  22. 121
    Pat in Birmingham says:

    My all-time favorite teacher was also an English teacher! Mr. Smith made creative writing fun and literature an absolute blast. He encouraged us to use our brains and stretch our imagninations. I haven’t thought of him in a long time…thanks for reminding me of someone who poured refreshment into my self-conscious high school-aged soul like ice water on a hot summer’s day.

  23. 122
    GlowinGirl says:

    My very favorite teacher was also my aunt — but not just because she was my aunt was she my favorite. She was many students’ favorite. She oozed love, coated with discipline. She was creative and fun and intelligent. I had her in second grade and knew from then on, I wanted to grow up to be just. like. her. I still do.

  24. 123
    Susan Hill says:

    Ms. Nelson was my Senior English teacher and was by far my favorite teacher. I recall sitting in her class as we discussed Harper Lee’s, “To Kill A Mockingbird.” I was being raised by a struggling single mother and was in desperate need of a haircut and the lenses on my glasses were badly scratched. I recall raising my hand to answer a question and as I sheepishly brushed my bangs out of my eyes and looked up at her through my scratched lenses she said words I will never forget, “Susan, you have such insight for a young women. I see great potential in you.” Thank you Ms. Nelson, for encouraging a young girl in desperate need of a kind word.

  25. 124

    Miss Ruth Frederick in 8th grade at the Alliance Academy, Quito Ecuador.

    She was my Bible teacher, English teacher and cheerleading coach. She taught me to appreciate good christian literature and introduced me to Amy Carmichael, and C.S. Lewis. In her class we learned that Gods’ word is exciting as she taught us old testament history. She taught me the importance of being a lady at all times and how to laugh in life. She was clever, funny and lived life to the full. My favorite poem of all time I learned from her…

    Starkle, starkle little twink
    who in the world I are you think
    I’m not under the ninfluence of ninkohol
    like some thinkle peep I am…..

    and I’ll spare you t he rest.

    She was a single missionary who devoted her life to students all over the world. I don’t know where she is today… but I owe so very much to her.

    Heidi
    Fayettteville, GA

  26. 125
    Kay Martin says:

    Loved the post! My high school English teacher was my best teacher. When I write, I still think about things Miss Fowler taught us (and wish she could edit them for me). She is no longer living and I have wondered if I ever told her what a great teacher she was. I still remember her teaching us about possessive gerunds.

  27. 126
    Ali Weaver says:

    A Really great teacher really can make a difference! I had a Great high school English teacher as well. She was AMAZING! She had a Wonderful Passion for English, both reading and writing, that I shared with her. She was a rather outgoing person with high expectations and she intimidated a lot of students but not the shy quiet kid! I LOVED her! She not only taught me a lot about the subject but she helped me reach out to others and share my ideas and abilities with the class! Though I am still quite shy I am able to be myself around others and I definitely have more self confidence! I will always think fondly of her

  28. 127
    Jaime says:

    Ms. Lederach, Ms. Let-her-rock,
    I remember that name written on the board the first day I entered her class. I was starting ninth grade two weeks late because I attended another high school for two weeks (I never started and finished a single school, even my two years of Jr. High were spent at two different schools). I had Freshman English with her and she made such an impact on me I ended up her student aide my Junior year and president of the reading club she started. She once told me she thought of me almost like a daughter. This was important, since I didn’t have much of a mother. She would really listen to me and she would read the things I wrote and say encouraging things. I didn’t get much “encouraging” then.
    She didn’t just teach great English, or make me feel special. God used her to keep me whole and alive. He used her to pore into me some of what I ached for in a mother. He used her to shape me into the person I am today.
    In the absence of a loving mother, He used many of my teachers, not just the awesome Ms. Lederach. Mrs. Menucci and Mrs. Uribe deserve a special mention here as well.

  29. 128
    mariel says:

    Mrs. George-East…my high school english teacher…sounds a lot like yours! I ran into Mrs. G-E years alter when I was 8 months pregnant with my firstborn. She was pregnant too!!!! funny how adulthood sorta equalizes you…although even at 23 I felt like a teenager in front of her, big belly and all!!!

  30. 129
    Jamie says:

    When I started first grade a nice woman came into our classroom & showed each student several pictures & asked us to say what they were. I was aware that she made me repeat the word, “snake” three times. Next thing you know, I’m in speech therapy (back before the days of 25-page-long IEP meetings). Mrs. Vogel helped me with my terrible lisp, and I announced that, at age 7, I was going to grow up to be a speech therapist, just like her, and help other boys & girls learn to speak clearly. That was 47 years ago, and I have loved being a speech-language pathologist and helping students of all ages and needs communicate more effectively. Whether it is a child with cerebral palsy or autism or a little boy who just can’t say his “r” sound, God has given me a love for these kids, and I am still grateful to that gracious woman who cupped my head in her hands & loved me & taught me.

  31. 130
    sisterlynn says:

    Hi Beth!
    Fun post!

    My high school biology teacher,Mrs Ables, was the best teacher I had in high school. I took every class she taught because she was so good. She gave me a love for the life sciences that continues to this day.
    She wasn’t particularly fond of me nor was she a “kind” teacher but she was a good teacher… I can still tell you today how DNA replicates!

    Her class was the one that convinced me to major in biomedical science at A&M…in the hopes of becoming a doctor. Alas, God intervened… another story for another day!

    much love,

    Sister Lynn

    • 130.1
      Beth says:

      I had no idea, Sister Lynn! I meant to be a lawyer. We’d neither go back, would we?

    • 130.2

      Sister Lynn…You can talk again! well you know what I mean.:] I hope your days of silence were a blessing!

      michelle

      • sisterlynn says:

        Busted! I have one more day of retreat but I couldn’t resist giving credit to our teachers and what they invest in us…

        the silence has been a huge blessing… will write more after tomorrow!

        • You are too funny Sister Lynn. :] I didn’t even realize the days…I just know I have been wondering what that would be like to do this and I think it would be a huge blessing and relief to some degree. Instead of telling my kids just give me a minute, I could say, get back to me in eight days…

          Looking forward to hearing more.

          michelle

  32. 131
    Rachel says:

    What a beautiful story! You should write that down for one of those inspiration books for teachers. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My favorite teacher was Mrs. Headlee – third grade. She was so fun! I was definitely the teacher’s pet. I don’t know if the other kids thought so or if she made everyone feel that special. She was the first teacher to make school fun, interesting, and exciting for me. I adored her! And, yes, she made me want to be a teacher. ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. 132
    J says:

    I had two favorite teachers… Mr. Tabor was my math teacher throughout high school (algebra, trig, calculus). Obviously I’m a small town girl because I had the same teacher for four years. I know it is hard to imagine, but he brought life to math. Somehow he made it fun. He also didn’t put up with my skipping class antics. I think he had a love/hate thing going for me. I was a good kid, but tried to take advantage of the system, which is not so good…

    My other favorite teacher was much like a second mom to me. She taught me from the third grade through my senior year of high school… Mrs. Becton. She was my GT teacher and I spent 2 hours a week in her class. We took weekend field trips. I picked the grey hairs out of her head. (when I was younger and much more immature, of course) Occasionally she’d let us sneak off to Dairy Queen for a vanilla cream coke (so long as we brought her one, too)! She will always be dear to me. I can remember her challenge me by saying, “Why do you play dumb?” Somehow she saw beyond the facades I hid behind. But I really think she loved me anyway, which is a pretty special thing.

  34. 133
    Kay says:

    Mr. Gary Medford was fresh out of college when me and my four best girlfriends attached ourselves to him like crazy glue in the 7th grade. He was good looking (probably only 22 years old or so) with a mustache and 1970s big rimmed glasses. But once we got past the fact that he was “hot” and all, we realized he was also a gifted teacher, a wonderful person, and a bighearted guy.

    My parents were both teachers and I knew from the constant affirmation of their grown former students that they were superb teachers, so I had high expectations for my own instructors. I knew what a good teacher was and was not. I wasn’t impressed with high falutin’ knowledge as much as I was with commitment, dogged determination, and a real love for one’s students. Mr. Medford had all of that. Still a bachelor at that point, he put everything into his teaching.

    I believe Mr. Medford retired just this past year. And from what I understand, unlike most men teachers (including my own dad), Mr. Medford never left the classroom to go into administration. He stayed in that same 7th grade classroom his entire career. I think that says something about his heart for teaching. He was obviously “called” to teaching and took that calling seriously.

    Hats off to Mr. Gary Medford in Powder Springs, GA!

  35. 134

    mmm…my favorite teacher. I want to say my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Bird. She was what you picture a kindergarten teacher to be. Kind, sweet, read Little House books to us…

    But really my favorite teacher, Mr White, my 12th grade AP English teacher. By my senior year, my home life was greatly impacting my school life and I had found myself barely getting by. I had really given up. Just coasting by. I used to be a good student but I wasn’t even trying now. And I didn’t care. It was the final semester… And then I sat in Mr. White’s class. He wasn’t warm and fuzzy or personable…but boy could he make poetry come alive. (I have never forgotten a single author or poem we discussed in that class.) It was hard not to get caught up in what he was teaching. It was an awesome class…
    But he didn’t care whether I enjoyed the class or not.
    Two weeks into the class, he called me up to his desk and said I was on the road to fail the class….among other things, I had failed every daily pop quiz that we had on MacBeth which we were reading through also. Quizzes, that he reminded me were going to come daily for the next four weeks. He just looked me in the eye and said you still have a chance but you have to do more than make an effort. I have no idea what he said that impacted me or really why it did. I really had given up. But I went on to get an A+ that marking period and the next one. He got me try (more than try, I busted my behind) when I didn’t know I could anymore. And for a teacher that I thought didn’t really care or that was just impersonable, he made it a point to tell me how proud he was of me four weeks later when he gave me that A+. I will never ever forget that.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane! God really is so faithful and wonderfully kind.
    Blessings,
    michelle in VT

  36. 135
    Marcella says:

    I graduated from Northbrook High School too!!! Hehe! I have something, other than Jesus, with Beth Moore. Bell bottoms and short skirts were out. Neon colors, tapered jeans tucked into colored socks and unfolded collars were in. I don’t recognize that teacher’s name. Although I remember my freshman Pre-Algebra teacher. She gave us an exam the 1st day of class to see where we were mathmatically. I did so well (I was NOT a good student) that she recommended me move up to Algebra 1! I was so thrilled. I loved her forever after that. I did take her for Geometry and her teaching style matched my learning style beautifully. I *think* her name was Mrs. Palmer.

  37. 136
    Joyce says:

    My English teacher Mrs. Leach (funny name I know)was a pastor’s wife. She had a puffy hair-do, in fact she had thicker hair than my own. She was always smiling and sweet. She tried to teach Romeo and Juliet, but I never liked Shakespeare. What I did like was something I could understand like Edgar A. Guest, Robert Frost or other poets.
    One day she wrote a couple of themes on the board and told us to pick one, then start writing. Well, talk about writers block, I had it big time. There was about seven minutes left in class and I wrote as fast as I could on a episode that happen to me on Halloween one year. Mrs. Leach loved what I wrote and told me it was better than what some of the students put in the school newspaper. (I doubt that was true, but it was enough to bust my bubble at the time.) Now, I am still writing.
    She was an encouragement to me and I really needed encouraging at that particular time. You see, that year I had just became a Christian. In fact, at least 20 students that year came to know Christ. This was not a Christian school at the time either, but we had some Christian teachers. One lady who taught music from her wheel chair lead all the Seniors in the song “Pass It On” at the end of the year. God had really touch the hearts of so many young people that year!

  38. 137
    donna says:

    Can I list two? Mrs. Geri Clay, Mt. Pleasant Elementary – 6th grade. I thought she was the prettiest lady I had ever seen. She made all the subjects interesting. My favorite part of the day was right after lunch. When we got back to the classroom, she would turn off the lights and read to us from The Chronicles of Narnia.
    Mrs. Anne Fisher – Mt. Pleasant High School – algebra. I don’t remember ANYTHING about algebra, but I still remember that if anyone had a question about Scripture, Mrs. Fisher was the one to ask.

  39. 138
    Linda says:

    I love this! As I read your post, I was scanning my mind’s teacher inventory to discern who I’d pick as my favorite teacher. As soon as I read about Mr. and Mrs. Fanett’s travels it came to me: Dr. Wayne Martindale. College English professor. He was and is a complete gentleman: kind, compassionate, passionate, understanding, godly, learned, loving toward all his students, and always with a twinkle in his eye. It seemed he always knew just what words or looks to give to strengthen my feeble heart, to encourage, to uplift, to impart. When I was completely intimidated in a class of upper classmen, he at one point commended my work and placed a small and very needed grain of hope and confidence in me.

    God afforded me the great gift of travelling to England on a summer English program, and Dr. Martindale was one of the professors that taught that summer. He brought his wife and 11-yr-old daughter with him. He and his wife asked me to be his daughter’s companion for different parts of our British travel. I was terrified (oh, did they really know me?! I was certainly the very one to mess this up) and yet so very, very honored. Through the course of the summer, I came to love and respect each of them so very much more. What treasures they are. What a gift they are to the school and to each of the lives they touch. (And now I am teary.)

    I ran into Dr. Martindale and his wife a few years ago in a church parking lot near the college (where they told me their daughter is now grown, married, and a mama!). I had just recently been purging things for a move and came across a letter from them. I couldn’t part with it, and told them so that day. In response, they said that they too had just recently come across a letter of mine – and they kept it too. Oh, my eyes and heart are full.

    Thank you for stirring such wonderful memories.

  40. 139
    Linda says:

    I think the best teacher I ever had was Ms. Gunter, my high school Latin teacher. Maybe not my favorite, because I was just a little scared of her. But looking back, she was definitely the most memorable. She was a short little gray-haired lady with braids wrapped around her head. She said things like “You oughta be shot, drawn, and quartered” when someone messed up their translations really badly. Another saying I remember, when someone admitted they had not done their homework, was, “Confession is good for the soul, but hard on the Latin grade!” It was clear though that she liked her job and loved her students.

  41. 140
    Jennifer says:

    Mr. Sanders. Biology – 10th grade.

    My mother just left my brother and I and (thank God) my dad took the two of us in. Bought a house for us all to live in, and willingly switched from bachelor to full time dad.

    To say that life was hard is an understatement. I won’t go on with all of the other details, but Mr. Sanders saw something in my weary, broken soul that I could not see in myself, and didn’t for a very, very long time. For the first time, someone believed in me. I felt invisible, not to mention worthless. Many a days he “rescued” me from the hallways in tears and took me in his room to listen and care. He also allowed me to sit in his room during lunch time to be alone. Another type of “rescue” I guess, from the cafeteria.

    Over and over he would always say to be, “You’re really going to be something someday. And I am going to be there to see it.” He said it with sincerity, and conviction. I didn’t believe him, but somehow, his words resonated in my mind as I headed off to cellege.

    On graduation day, I was standing in line with my cap and gown on, prepared to walk accross the stage to receive my bachelor’s degree in nursing when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see Mr. Sander’s with a smile on his face, and he said to me, “I told you that you were going to be something someday, and I’m here to see it.”

    I’m not gonna lie, reflecting on what that meant to me brings tears to this day. We kept in touch for several years after that time, and I am very thankful I was able to share with him how I truly came to know how I became somebody… Jesus Christ opened my eyes and showed me.

  42. 141
    Leslie in Central Asia says:

    I was fortunate enough to have many wonderful teachers and coaches throughout school but the one who came to mind when reading this was my 10th grade English teacher, Mrs. Elliot. She was tough and worked us hard but I loved the books she exposed us to and how she pushed us. Most fondly I remember her for the care she showed me as I approached graduation and needed to practice my Salutatorian speech. My Mom passed away the year before and being as wise as she was Mrs. Elliot knew that this milestone would be emotional for me. So she had me practice my speech and directly asked me if I was going to be okay with my mom not being there. I thought I was fine but as I practiced I broke into tears thinking about my mom not being there. Mrs. Elliot kindly let me cry and work through these emotions and I was so thankful. I think because I had that time during practice I was able to successfully make it through my speech at graduation. I will be forever grateful for her kindness and intuition and care for me during this pivotal time in my life. What a gem and a blessing! There’s something about those English teachers!

  43. 142

    Just a few weeks ago my pastor (who is friends with my favorite old high school English Teacher, Mr. Hicks) told me something that suprised me, but was also a huge encouragement. My pastor visited with the Hicks family recently and mentioned that I went to his church. Mr. Hicks said “In all my years of teaching, Kristen was one of my very favorites. I used to watch her give these enthusiastic speeches in class and think –what a talented and gifted young lady” Oh my goodness. I truly didn’t know that. While Mr. Hicks was MY favorite teacher, he also intimidated me a little and I didn’t know if he liked me or not. What a neat thing to hear 15 years later! And just when I’ve been feeling a really down on myself lately!

  44. 143
    Debbie Ward says:

    My favorite teacher was Mrs. Skaggs in first grade. She was my first experience with school; this was in the days before kindergarten was part of public education. I fell in love immediately. She had the most fascinating collection of preserved snakes in giant jars lined up across the back of her classroom. She seemed ancient and wrinkled like a grandmother and had that grandmotherly type of love for her students. It’s still fun to think back on her and that class at Heights Elementary School

  45. 144
    Sylvia says:

    Beth Moore is my favorite Bible teacher. You have opened God’s Word to me and made it come alive.
    My 4th grade teacher Mr. Hartley – every Friday we individually quoted a memory verse we had learned during the week.
    My senior year in high school I got to take a humanities class -senior moment I can’t remember teacher’s name! She taught me to love classical literature, paintings, music and plays that I never would have been exposed to without that class.
    I always thoughts I would be a teacher but didn’t finish college, but love to teach my class on Sunday.

  46. 145
    Deanna says:

    Erma Banks – Crossett High School – Crossett Arkansas
    I had her for English and Speech. She saw me, she noticed me – ME. She didn’t identify me by who my older brothers were or by my family as so many people often seemed to. I was always known as “so and so’s little sister” but she never did that. I LOVED her speech class, I loved her encouragement, I even loved her criticism because I always knew she genuinely cared. I was not a “pet” in her class either, I think she probably was the same way with most of her students but the fact that she noticed me as an individual was such a huge thing to me at that time.

    Whenever the class was starting to get out of hand she’d always stand there with her hands on her hips, sometimes wagging a finger at us all, and say in a VERY stern voice “I will laugh and I will talk but I DO NOT play!” somehow that would always settle everyone back down. Back then, I had no idea exactly what she meant by that statement but it always got our attention and we knew she meant business.

    I’ve often wished I could run into her somewhere like you did your teacher yesterday. I’ve always wanted to tell her how much she meant to me.

  47. 146
    Lisa says:

    Miss Oldham, 12th grade English. I was a terrible student. She embarrassed me on several occasions but I’m convinced it’s because she knew my potential and refused to let me wallow in mediocrity. She brought English to life in ways I never though possible. I still love ‘Canterbury Tales’ because of the unapologetic way she taught them. I went from barely passing high school to becoming an English teacher. All because of Miss Oldham. There were unconfirmed rumors that she was a former nun. I would hug that woman tight if I ran into her now. She changed my life, very literally.

  48. 147
    Ann Jones says:

    Sister Margaret at Marymount H.S. taught history and was a very cool nun! She made learning fun and interesting. I felt smart in her class. You are my favorite teacher,(besides my husband, who is my Pastor!) Still learning from Lproof Irvine. THANK YOU!

  49. 148
    Mishababy says:

    ah my favorite teacher. One would think that it would be an English teacher given the fact that I would like to be a pubished author one day but….alas…it is not.

    It was my high school chorus teacher, Ms. Morris. She loved God and she loved us. She was a single woman in her 30’s (I believe) so we were her babies. She was passionate about music and wanted us to understand that passion. She would do exercises with us to help us become a cohesive choral unit. *big grin* One voice, if you will. (and yes we did perform that song) She met a sweet man and got married my junior year and had to leave us because they were moving. We were all invited to her wedding. Not only were we invited, we were a part of it. She taught us to sing “May the Lord bless you and keep you”. We surrounded the sanctuary and sang it to the couple as they finished their vows.

    I had the priviledge some years later to babysit her children a couple of times but have since lost touch. Maybe the Lord will put her in my path once again sometime soon.

  50. 149
    Denise says:

    Mrs. Nelson, 8th grade and had a scar down one side of her face from a childhood fall. She also taught English but her passion was reading and the outdoors. She loved the world God had created and loved her students. I no longer live in the same city and one day I got a phone call and when I answered, this voice said, “Hello I am a blast from your past and I would like to Know how you are”. IT WAS HER. She was well into her 80’s at this point and just wanted to know about my life. She taught for many years and hundreds upon hundreds of students and she was getting in touch with as many as she could located to see where life had taken them. I so wish I had returned to that city to visit her after that. It is a regret that I will always have. I have a passion for reading anything I can get my hands on to this day. Thank you Lord for the Mrs. Nelsons of the world.

    I can’t let this go by either, YOU BETH MOORE have given me that same passion for the Word. Thank you!!

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