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.Β  “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.Β  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. 151
    Robin B. says:

    I have been truly blessed to have many wonderful teachers in the past. My favorite will always be Mr. R. Johnson. He was my high school History teacher and he was passionate about his lessons. He was a giant of a man with a quiet and humble spirit. His very presence demanded respect. Mr. J. did not teach from a book. He talked to us..explained things on our level. He might use a crazy hat, a skit, a newspaper, or drop a stack of books to bomb a ship during the war. He did whatever it took. Above all, Mr. J was a Godly man and we all knew it. He was not afraid to share the gospel with us and that was rare. He practiced what he preached on a daily basis. As I enter my own classroom every year I strive to be just a fraction of what he was to me in high school. Mr. J was the best!

  2. 152
    Melanie L. says:

    Miss Heidi Kitzmann, 5th Grade, Kreps School, Hightstown, NJ, 1979-1980. I was poor, but I didn’t know it. I was neglected, but I didn’t realize it. I was abused, but I wasn’t aware of it at the time. I was the kid everyone picked on. I knew I was smart, but I was dirty, smelly, socially stupid, and unathletic.

    Miss Kitzmann had a contest that year. We would read books and write a report on what we read. We earned play money for each report, with various amounts depending on the quality of the report. There was no limit to the amount of books we could read! At the end of the school year, we could use our earnings to bid on items and experiences donated by celebrities. Here was an area where I could excel! Even back then, I read very fast, and I read a LOT. I read books, magazines, cereal boxes, just about anything.

    There was one item I had my eye on all year, one of the most highly coveted auction items of all – a birthday cake baked by my dear teacher. I tied for third with 44 books read in a school year. When auction night came, I kept my eyes on that prize. I would not be denied. I bid for & won a couple minor items, but when the cake came up for auction, I bid and bid and stood my ground, and I WON! I won that cake. I could feel the contempt of my classmates, but I didn’t care. I anticipated that cake all summer, because my birthday wasn’t until the following September.

    When Miss K. dropped off the cake, I hugged her. I don’t think she was expecting that, and I’m sure it took her aback. It was a joyful day, that 11th birthday. One of the few bright spots that year as my family splintered in pieces.

    A couple years ago, I tracked her down. She was a principal in the same school district. I wrote to her, and relayed the story I told above, with some additions. I told her all I had been going through, and how that contest changed my life. How I was the only one of my 4 siblings to last 12 years of school, and the first to get a bachelor’s degree. How my love of reading helped me to do well in school. How I felt like I could succeed at something for the first time in my life.

    She wrote back with tears in her voice (does that make sense, somehow?) and told me that she read my story to the teachers at the beginning of the school year, to show them how they could make a difference.

    Thank you, Miss K.

  3. 153

    My favorite teacher was Katherine Lancaster – also my English teacher in my junior and senior years in high school and the reason I majored in English in college.

    Mrs. Lancaster was an excellent teacher and brooked no nonsense in her class, but you could also see by the half-smile and twinkle in her eye that she really enjoyed the antics of teenagers. She pushed, prodded and encouraged me to excellence. I wish beyond anything that she could be at my high school reunion in September but she has passed on. Perhaps one day I’ll get to see her face-to-face again!

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Beth!

  4. 154
    Amy Warfield says:

    Mrs. Hunsucker, Health Care Science to high school students

    This is a bittersweet post for me. You see, Mrs. Hunsucker grew my love for all things related to the medical field–she taught us well, she took us (God bless her!) on field trips to the Houston Medical Center. She encouraged my desire to be a nurse (she was a nurse and decided to start teaching students). She just all around fascinated me. I looked up to her so much as a teacher and role model.

    About 5 yrs ago, she passed away from cancer. She was so young too–no more than 50 years old. But what a legacy she left–the church was packed full of friends, family, and her students. So many students that she touched with her love, her kindness, and her teaching.

    Yes Beth, there ain’t nothin’ like a great teacher!! Thank you Lord for them, a gift and a true calling to not only teach, but love the students you do teach. That was Mrs. Hunsucker. I still think of her as I minister and nurse the patients I have now.

  5. 155
    tngirl says:

    My favorite teacher was Mr. Shoemaker. I had his class for American Govenment and World Geography. Everyone called him “Shoe”, but I called him “Sir”. He was a great teacher of the subject at hand, but he taught us more than history and geography. His moral code, right and wrong came shining through in every class. He didn’t beat you over the head with his Bible, he made it cool to love what is right. He was genuine. Much like you Beth Moore! You knew where you stood with Sir. He made you want to be better than you were or even thought you could be and He treated you like you already were.


  6. 156
    Siesta OC says:

    You bless me Beth…yeah I can’t imagine why she liked you πŸ™‚ Duh!
    I just find it incredible and have to praise the LORD for HIS attention to your teacher who, quite honestly, sounds like you…’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.’
    HE used her to deposit into you and you in turn deposit in to us, an authenticity, a dance if you will. How gloriouse are HIS WAYS!!!

    School was not my favorite place, I never have made friends easily and I kind of just wanted to grow up so I could be an adult and not have to be at school, but go to work or run errands…you know grown up things.
    I had some great teachers along the way, but I have to say that one of my favorite teachers is Mrs. Bruns – my English (must be something in the pages) professor at college.
    I went to jr. college right out of high school, and quickly realized I didn’t like school, never had. So I dropped out and went to work. I worked for ten years, before I itched to go back. Now from a student that it was probable that she passed because of her personality…I never did well in school. But when I returned to college, I got A’s, I was on the dean’s list. Approval.
    Christy Bruns was a woman that pushed my writing. She prodded me to go further, deeper and to take the time to lay out the thought. She endured my habitual habit to capitalize words I think are important, and she encouraged me to take a little more care in my work. My final paper was written on something that was filling my thoughts more and more…Grace. The rough draft was a C…she told me I just wasn’t understanding writing. I was devastated. I LOVE stories and had always wanted to be a writer. I wasn’t good at grammer, but surely I had a shot. I went home, I worked on it. And I tried my best to follow the outline and had it proof read and everything. After turning it in, I received an email from Mrs. Bruns that said something along the lines of, ‘forget what I said, you CAN write!’
    It was a thrill to me as well as a lesson, I will never forget that literature worth reading took a lot of time and care. Not to rush or skim over. She taught me so much and I don’t think I will ever forget her.

    • 156.1

      Its so awesome that she wrote you and said ” I was wrong you can write.” Some teachers can say things without thinking first, and it devestates a child. You can tell it was on her heart to make sure she said that!
      Those teachers are what we need more of in this world!
      Ones who teach right from wrong, but admit when they are wrong:)

  7. 157
    Lynne says:

    Great post – again! I do love this blog!

    Beth you are my favorite Bible teacher ~ you present things in a way that allows me to hear a familiar story told in a way that allows me to really “get it” for the first time. E.g., your sermon on the beatitudes in Denver . . never heard that they (the meek etc)were blessed because they KNEW they needed Him, before – made perfect sense!

    Anyhow, besides you, one of my favorite teachers has to be my Torts professor in law school. (Note to Beth – I had always wanted to be a lawyer so, at 40+ after raising my kids, I did go to law school). His class reminded me of how I felt when skiing (I’m from Canada so that’s snow skiing for you Southern types)- slightly out of control but exhilarated! Great teachers are such a gift aren’t they?!?

    • 157.1
      Beth says:

      Good for you, Lynne! Way to pursue that dream after 40! Only God could have retained that fervor in you through those years.

  8. 158
    Amanda says:

    My favorite teachers were my English and Science teacher in High School, they are married. To my knowledge they are still atheist, but they loved me, the quiet church girl in their class. To this day, they ask my parents about me each time they see them and clap and celebrate each victory or milestone like I was their very own. Man, I love them and pray for their salvation, which to me will be victory, Oh let it be, sweet Jesus!

  9. 159
    Lydia says:

    My Jr. High reading teacher. She had the biggest hair, the longest nails, and the loudest perfume. She had the discernment to realize that I didn’t hate reading. Just life. She gave me different books to read than the rest of the class. Books about people rising up from their ashes. I devoured them. It changed everything for me. It inspired me to not only see my own story but to have hope. I became a teacher and a mentor because of her. Just without the perfume issues.

  10. 160
    Becky Bell says:

    Hi –
    Great question! I had a hard time narrowing it down but actually would choose my high school Sunday School teacher. Wonderful teaching style, the ability to connect-even with H.S. boys(!)and such an encouraging way about her. She was a godly woman who spent much time in Bible study, yet she managed to stay current with what was going on in the world and most endearing – a wonderful sense of humor that never put anyone else down. She’s in her mid 90’s now and can’t always make it to church but her daughters & granddaughters meet at her house every week for a Bible study. The fact that she called me Princess when I was at an ugly duckling stage didn’t hurt either! Thank You Lord for such a treasure!

  11. 161
    KaraLinaFan says:

    The easiest way to share with you about Vickie (or Mrs. Honeycutt is to share my blog post with you when she passed away a few months ago…FAR too soon!)

    “Giving Back to Vickie”

    Hello Blog Readers!

    Last week, Cabarrus County truly lost an angel on earth as my friend and former teacher Vickie Honeycutt passed away after a long bout with breast cancer. While we know that cancer can’t rob a person of their reward in Heaven, I can’t help but be struck with the pain that Vickie’s husband and children must be dealing with now. In that sense, Alan, Ashley, & Dane–this one’s for you!

    Vickie was my friend years before she was my teacher. I grew up in a small Mount Pleasant church, MPUMC, and was in a class of only 4 girls my age. When we went into middle school, Vickie was our Sunday School teacher. We met in the church library, and I remember that on the first day we met, she encouraged us to know that her class would be a place where we would learn about Jesus, but we would also learn about ourselves. She told us we were in a safe place where we could share what was going on in life. She said she wanted us to be honest with ourselves and others and that she would help us navigate the changing world of young teens. She quickly became a friend and trusted confidante.

    My sophomore year of high school, Vickie became Mrs. Honeycutt. She was my AP English teacher. Her classroom, as her Sunday School class years before, was a safe place for her students. Oh, she was demanding, and she didn’t let her students take her class lightly. She had high expectations, and she wanted each of her students to learn all they could about diagramming sentences, gain a love for poetry and prose, and she instilled a life-long love of journaling in this student. I can’t thank her enough for my journal–a Carolina blue (are you shocked) spiral-bound notebook, filled with my thoughts and dreams for the future. In her trademark red fine-tip Bic flair pen, she would write encouraging notes, challenge me to look at a problem from all sides, and exhibit the warmth and love for me that I had always known was there.

    Something else stood out about Vickie, however, and that was her deep and abiding concern and compassion for her students’ lives. Filled with teenage angst, we would pour into her classroom, ready to read Twelve Angry Men outloud, and she would meet us with a warm smile that reassured us that everything would be alright.

    I’ll never, ever, forget one day in particular in Vickie’s classroom. A girl in my class, one I was not particularly fond of at the time (we were teenage girls after all), learned that her boyfriend had broken up with her during lunchtime. She was incredibly heartbroken, crying, sitting alone on one of the benches near the library. Our English class was immediately after lunch, and the girl did not show up for class. When Mrs. Honeycutt asked where she was and was informed of what happened, she quickly assigned a journal writing project, left the classroom, and went to spend the next 20 minutes with the girl, comforting her and sharing her pain. THAT was Vickie. She exhibited Christ’s love on a daily basis for her students and was the model of teaching professionalism and ethics.

    Twenty years after graduation, I sit at a computer and share my thoughts, my life, my pain, my joys with those who choose to read my blog. Just as my journals have always been, this is my outlet, my release, and a source of joy for me. I can’t help but thank Vickie for inspiring and helping to nurture my love for the written word. I may never be a Faulkner, a Shakespeare, or a Beth Moore (for all you fellow Momma Beth lovers out there), but a writer’s truth, a poet’s soul, must find ways to be expressed. I am so grateful to Vickie and other English teachers I had (Mrs. Suther, Mrs. Barringer & Mrs. Fesperman) for being the mentors and encouragers in my journey as a writer.

    Sitting in the church as hundreds of people paid their respects and mourned Vickie’s loss last week, I was struck with the urge to “give back”. I needed to find a way to say thank you to Vickie and the men and women who have poured into my life as educators. (Are you one of the people who can literally name every single teacher you’ve had from elementary through high school? I can, and I can tell you specific stories and lessons I learned in each of their classrooms.) I knew I wanted, and needed, to give back, but how could I possibly honor the lives of those who’ve meant so much to me?

    This past Saturday, I found my answer! I signed up with the Cabarrus Literacy Council to become an Adult Literacy Tutor, and spent Saturday and part of Monday evening receiving training! I will be paired with one of the more than 35,000 American-born residents of Cabarrus County whose literacy rate places them at 5th grade or below. We’ll meet and begin the journey of allowing the person to learn to read, write, gain basic math skills, etc. I can’t wait until my person can go to a restaurant and read a menu, get a driver’s license after taking the test, obtain their GED, whatever their goal is.

    Sitting in the classroom on Saturday morning, each of the tutors were asked why they were at the Council–what brought us there? As I introduced myself, I spoke of Vickie, and I shared that I felt it was my tribute to her to help inspire another person to love to read and write, just as she had inspired me.

    Vickie, I hope that you’re looking down from Heaven and noticing my small tribute to you. Thank you for all you poured into my life. Heaven is all the more beautiful and glorious to have you there. We are all still sad to no longer have you with us, but I and hundreds of your friends and family members have many beautiful memories of you to inspire and encourage us to focus on Desiderata (“those things most needed or desired”). You were right when you shared with us that, “with all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”
    I love you and miss you,

    • 161.1
      Siesta OC says:

      Well, this just blessed me so much! Praise GOD for allowing her to pour into you HIS LOVE and CARE. Your attention to those who you are now serving is mind-blowing. Little things we take for granted (reading a menu) HE is pouring thru you!
      I love to see the legacy the people of GOD leave. How we are connected. It gets my thoughts going on what kind of blessed connections might be made.

      There is a song (I believe written by Gary Rea on an upcoming cd)

      Heaven is here now,
      Your Spirit is here now,
      LORD we believe it, we’ve started to see it,
      Your Kingdom come.

      LORD come and reign here,
      LORD, have your way here,
      Establish your rule, come take your throne,
      Your Kingdom come.

      Take all I am LORD and use me for your Glory,
      Take all I am LORD and use me for your Glory,
      I’m not my own, I belong to the KING.


  12. 162
    Hilary says:

    I was blessed with many wonderful teachers – first my mom, who homeschooled me through elementary, and then many others at a small private Christian school for jr. high and high school.

    Mrs. Chapman taught me english for 8th, 10th, and 12th grade, and it’s because of her that I love to read and write, and love Charles Dickens.

    Ms. Rankin taught ensemble, and it’s because of her that I love to sing.

    Miss Dufort taught spanish, and it’s because of her that I love missions.

    But I would have to say that my favorite teacher of all, the one who impacted me the most, was of course, my mom. After she homeschooled us, she went on to teach kindergarten at the school where we attended for jr/sr high. I spent so much time in her classroom, helping design bulletin boards and learning centers, playing with the kids… I love the classroom environment so much! If I could have escaped the call of God on my life and done my own thing, I would have been a teacher too. πŸ™‚ But nothing compares to God.


  13. 163
    Bethany says:

    I went to a Catholic school from 1st grade to the 8th grade and I would have to say that my most favorite teachers were from this time. I loved most of my teachers from 1st to 8th but my favorite was a lady named Sister Clara Eskar. She was one of the few nuns left at the school and I just loved that she had a heart for God and for us. I did not understand God well at this time nor did I enter into a relationship with Him until much later (Sister Clara was my 6th grade teacher) but I learned so much about Him during my years at OLM that set the foundation for my faith in later years to come.
    And of course, Beth you are a favorite teacher with a special place in my heart because I started studying with you when I was new to the faith. Under the direction and leadership of the Holy Spirit, you have taught me what it is to walk in a open and transparent relationship with the Lord. Thank you Miss Bethie!

  14. 164
    Becky in Indy says:

    My first grade teacher, Mrs. Edwards. I remember seeing her in a store one time and I was so shocked and shy that I couldn’t utter one single word – NOT very like me πŸ™‚

    Becky in Indy

  15. 165
    Tracy says:

    Three special teachers in my life –

    Mrs. Kate Beard – my first grade teacher. She taught me to read and opened the world up to me.

    Mrs. McClain – my third grade teacher. She gave me my first English book! It was orange and black! I think she would be thrilled to know I’m going back to college this fall, double-majoring in English and Biblical Studies (at 47!)

    Mrs. Weaver – my fourth grade teacher. She was sick part of the year, so we had a substitute, but when she was there, her gentle spirit, and love of the students and love of learning and teaching just created the same in me. I still remember the geography book we studied in her class because I realized there was more to life than just our small town.

    Each one of these teachers loved me too, and just like you said, not in a favoritism sort of way. After I became a Christian (at age 22), I realized it was a Christian love they each had for us, because each was a precious woman of faith.

    Gosh, this just makes me want to go hug them! I can’t wait to meet them again in Heaven!

    Thank you for such a special post. I’m so glad you got to see your teacher!

  16. 166
    Twila Baker says:

    I too agree that Mrs. Beth Moore has been the absolute best teacher ever. As for school I have two. 1st grade Cleveland Ave. Elementary-Atlanta, Ga. Mrs.Mullinex. She made me feel special with my cat eye glasses and lazy eye. Then 8th grade Georgia History Mr. Eberhart. Walter F. George “76”. He was my first male teacher and he was very strict but he made history in general very exciting.
    Thanks for sharing!

  17. 167
    Mary says:

    Mrs. Vinzant..highschool English teacher…I am now a certified English teacher AND I read like a madwoman. πŸ™‚ I trace my love for books right back to her.

  18. 168
    Hannah says:

    I have two favorite teachers.

    In 3rd grade I had a teacher named Mrs. Ripley. She was amazing! Loved us kids and loved to teach. She had fun ideas to teach multiplication and cursive that I still remember to this day. However, why I love her has nothing to do with any of that. It has to do with hair. I have always had a ponytail. It is part of me. But until high school my hands were too little to put my hair up myself. It had to be perfect and smooth with no bumps. You know what I mean? Well, one week my parents were going out of town so Mom wouldn’t be able to put my hair up for me. Mrs. Ripley agreed to put my hair in a ponytail for me everyday. How sweet of her! She was a wonderful woman and I was privileged to get to write a letter on her behalf for Teacher of the Year.

    My other favorite teacher was Ms.Chamberlain (now Mrs.Williams) in high school. She was a wonderful Christian woman who loved her students and whose students saw her faith in her everyday actions and words. She helped lead Student Government and a Community Service club. She taught me (I now teach)how important it is to get involved in kids’ every day lives. I helped set the church up for her wedding and we are still friends today.

    Teachers can make a huge impact in the life of a child and as school is getting ready to start again, I hope you will all choose a teacher this coming year and pray for them constantly. They need it desperately.

  19. 169
    Susan says:

    I was blessed to have two favorite teachers. Of course, being the Southerner that I am, we called all our teachers “Miss” whether they were married or not. Miss Christine and Miss Newbern–my 3rd and 2nd grade teachers. Both of them loved all of their ‘children’. That was back in the dark ages when teachers could give their students a hug, and they did! I loved reading, and being read to. They both read to us daily. Miss Christine even read the Bible to us—imagine that in public school in today’s world! I can still hear the scriptures in her sweet Southern lady voice.

    Thanks for bringing back precious memories.

  20. 170
    Beth says:

    Mrs. Seimers, another High School English teacher! I lost a close friend to domestic violence our sophomore year; it was the first time our class had lost someone our own age. Even though I wasn’t the most eloquent of writers, I wrote a paper about that loss. Some of the other students in the class told her about my paper and she asked me if I would share it with the class. As I read it, the whole class got very emotional, and when I looked up Mrs. Seimers was crying too. Those tears went along way in healing all of us that day.

  21. 171
    Pat in Kansas says:

    What a fun encounter! I can’t imagine any of my old teachers are still living!! (Maybe I’ll find out at my next reunion — 45 years!!)

    My favorite all-time teacher was Mrs. Kern, first grade, because she taught me to READ. She was a perfect character out of a Dickens novel, stern, matronly, tall and thin, with bony fingers. But oh, could she ever read aloud! I loved to lay my head on that desk and listen to her stories. She instilled in me a love for the printed word, and I wanted to read it for myself! What a gift. Thank you, Mrs. Kern.

    But probably the teacher I value most in my life is the Precept leader I had back in the 90’s, who first recognized in me a teaching gift and spent her precious hours at her kitchen table with me, helping me learn to prepare a lesson to teach! Sara Guffey was such an inspiration to me! She taught the Word with such passion and respect. She KNEW her lesson, and KNEW the Word we were digging into — and it showed in her delivery. She taught me that lesson at her kitchen table — to be engrossed in the Word you were teaching, so it became part of you. Sara let me lead her class a few times while she was “on vacation” (I think she secretly was sitting at home, just wanting to give me an opportunity to lead on my own). And then I went to training and became a full-fledged leader! What an honor and humbling privilege. I led for 3 or 4 years, until I had to go back to work full-time. Thank you, Sara, for inspiring me to lead, to love the Word, and to love the women with whom we were studying. I love you and pray you are well.
    So thankful,

  22. 172
    Amanda says:

    I loved so many of my teachers but the one I wish I would run into is Mr. Loudis – my sixth grade Language Arts teacher. We kept journals in his class and that habit is what made me love blogging. His encouragement and approval meant the world to me. I saw him about 8 years ago but didn’t have the nerve to say hi. I’ve always regretted it.

    I also had a wonderful, charmingly quirky chemistry teacher named Mrs. Gilley. That was the hardest subject of my high school career and it was far outside my realm of understanding. I felt like the dumbest one in the class but Mrs. Gilley believed I could succeed and made me want to. I was the happiest I’ve ever been to get a B!

    • 172.1
      Beth says:

      I guess you know that any favorite teacher of yours or Melissa’s is a favorite teacher of mine. Parents long for their children to have really remarkable and motivating teachers. And not much is scarier than when they have one that’s meaner than a snake.

  23. 173
    Nancy says:

    What a wonderful story, Beth. I often wonder if the really good teachers know how vast their influence can be. On the other hand the really bad teachers can wreak just as much havoc in the lives of students.

    The teacher who had the most influence on me, and I still get teary-eyed when I think about it, was Mr. Engel.

    Mr. Engel was my teacher three times, 7th grade, 10th grade and 12th grade. I grew up in a small town (pop around 1200) and we had a 7-12 school. Every student I know that had Mr. Engel for Life Science can still recite, “Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species”, regardless of how many years it has been since Life Science class!

    When you live in a small town, everybody knows everybody and everybody knows your business. I had two older brothers who were, well, trouble, to put it mildly. Most in the community had low expectations for me as well. I was not a bad student, but around 10th grade home life got ugly and a few things happened to me and all of the sudden I was really struggling. I knew the material, but I could no longer take a test to save my life. Algebra was the worst – my hands would shake, my nose would run. It was awful.

    Anyway, I had Mr. E for Biology that year. He noticed that although I was answering questions in class and handing in correct homework I was tanking when it came to testing. I don’t know why I was having so much trouble. As I think back I wonder if everything outside of school was so stressful that the added stress of a time limit on a test just froze my brain. After a particularly bad one he called me in after school and asked me all the questions. I knew all the answers. The remainder of the year I took all my tests after school in his office while he graded papers.

    He didn’t have to do that for me. He could have let me fail. Every other teacher let me struggle and stumble through, but Mr. Engel believed I could do the work and gave me the extra time I needed to get it done. He believed in me when no one else, including me, did.

    So that is my favorite teacher story. I am sitting here balling my eyes out like an idiot. I graduated 26 years ago for goodness sake!

    May God bless every teacher who shows a child s/he cares!

  24. 174
    Sara S. says:

    Okay well, I might be a little bit of a dork, but I seriously, loved almost all of my teachers. I loved school! Even now, I still wish I was in school sometimes because there isn’t anything like being in a classroom with an amazing teacher…sometimes it can almost feel like you are traveling with him/her to another time, another place, or just another world. It is amazing…which is why I became a teacher. Now I am a missionary in Guatemala with my hubby and two kiddos, and we are house parents to 14 teenage girls…but I still miss my classroom. I know I am a teacher even now…just a different kind, but I miss the classroom (and the smell of books and school supplies and even sweaty kids!). But, in answer to your question, as I am a little off track, my favorite teacher was also my English teacher, Mrs. Leslie Youngs. She was an AMAZING teacher…still is. She was also one of the few Christians at my public school, and I was so impressed at how Christ still radiated through her each and every day even if she wasn’t technically allowed to talk about Him. She taught me so much about English (which i still love to this day), life, crossing cultural boundaries, and after her son died of cancer when he was just a young man with a young wife and small child, she taught me how to remain strong in Christ even in the midst of incredible pain.

    • 174.1

      You are not a dork:) I have kept in touch with a lot of my old teachers…I guess its my way of ” giving back” πŸ™‚
      So amazing that you had a teacher like that:) Makes me wonder if she had something to do with you being a missionary:)

  25. 175
    Julie says:

    I had three favorites. They all, coincidentally, happened to be some of the “cool” teachers. And I was determined not to like the “cool” teachers, just because everyone else did. But there was, after all, a reason why they were the “cool” teachers. They genuinely loved kids.

    And the reason I loved all these teachers was simple. Their love for me.

    Mr Netolicky. 4th grade. I was sick with a fever but didn’t want to acknowledge it. Wanted to finish my seatwork And he came right up to my desk and whispered that I needed to go see the nurse and go home. That he could see that I wasn’t feeling well. That my work wasn’t the most important thing.

    Mrs. Young. 6th grade. She challenged us to use words other than “nice” to describe others. She hated the word “nice”. She posed like a model for our “last day of school” photos and laughed like it was a highlight of her life. She challenged each of us to be more than “nice” and loved every single one of us just the same.

    Mr. Strait. 10th grade U.S. studies. He pulled me back to his desk one day to tell me that he knew all about the guy that I had started dating. Told me that he knew this guy was using drugs. That he wasn’t a good guy. Told me that I deserved so much better than that. That I was smarter than that. That this wasn’t a guy for me. Something no one else in my life was telling me. He told me that right while that very guy was sitting in that very class. Three rows over from where he was telling me that. And I dumped the guy right away. Just because he told me that. Because he cared.

    And that last one, just may be a Kleenex moment!

    Thanks for sharing about your favorite teacher! There truly are some fantastic ones out there!!!

  26. 176
    Andrea says:

    I’ve had a few, but I think my all time favorite was my grade 3 teacher, Mrs. Poitras. She liked me, too. πŸ˜‰ I loved that she challenged me and gave me extra things to do when I was finished all my work. There was just something about her that always makes me smile when I think of her. I sure miss her.

  27. 177
    Darla says:

    I attended 5 High Schools altogether. In 10th grade it was Mr. J who taught Bible and Social Studies. He made it a point to have lunch with each of his students and share the 4 Spiritual Laws. He didn’t assume just because it was a Christian school that we were all Christians. I had gotten in some trouble and found myself questioning my relationship w/God. I thought I had blown it and God wouldn’t want anything to do with me. God used this teacher at this time to help clarify truth and then I was able to seek forgiveness and be restored in my relationship with God. Yeah I appreciate this teacher taking time to share what was important to him.

  28. 178
    Anna Mitchell says:

    Oh, I am so glad you asked!

    My favorite teacher was Mrs. Herrington, 4th grade. Newly married and childless- she lavished us kids with love and knowledge. Besides teaching us- she invested herself into each of us. One day, the boys were called to a Boy Scout recruiting meeting- leaving all us girls alone in the room. She huddled us into a circle and begin to talk to us about our bodies- how they would soon be changing. About being modest. About good touch. About bad touch.
    I struggled with math and often had to stay in at recess for her to give me some one on one help. I was really timid and coming from a home of abuse and being called “stupid” regularly, hated feeling truly stupid. She picked up on my insecurity and as she & I stayed in at recess and worked on math, she always treated me with a bag of peanut M&M’s. Suddenly, I wasn’t stupid- I was special!
    Mrs. Herrington died several years later of breast cancer.

  29. 179
    Toni says:

    My favorite teacher was a college history professor. History was NOT my favorite subject (or even my second or third favorite). However, Mr. Ellis brought it to life. He chucked the dry text books and took us into richly written books by a single author who was passionate about his/her chosen subject matter. LIVING books, a brand new concept for me. No multiple choice tests either. Essay. I wanted to die at first. Questions were deep and thought provoking. “Give 3 comparisons and 3 contrasts of Sally Hemmings to Andrew Jackson’s wife.” Whoa! Better be doing my reading and keeping my brain engaged while I’m at it. And he took us on FIELD TRIPS! Honestly, who goes on field trips at the college level? We did. And they were WONDERFUL. Mr. Ellis was filled with drama and filled with passion and he poured it out liberally on us every single day. Our community college was blessed with an absolute gem and I will never forget him.

    That said, my second most favorite teacher was (don’t laugh) my gym teacher from 1st and 4th grade (had her twice in two different schools). She had been a nurse in the Korean war and inspired us to be a part of things much bigger than ourselves. And she was a published author who taught us creative writing in the 4th grade. She gave me an autographed copy of a children’s book she had written. In it, she inscribed, “Toni, someday you are going to make a great mother or a great writer. Probably both.” I have NEVER forgotten those words (and yes, I still have the book). I’m in the midst of the first (goodness, it’s HARD to be a great mother). And I’m still hopeful that I will someday be a published author as well. All thanks to Ms. Elwitz’ inspiration.

  30. 180
    Terry says:

    I LOVED this post…how good God is to orchestrate yesterday’s meeting for you both. Thinking back on it, my favorite teacher would have to be Mr. Dillard my band director. He taught from 5th grade beginners to directing the High School band so I had him for 8 years in some capacity. It is quite strange that he would be my favorite as I was a VERY shy child and Mr. Dillard was “scary”. He was rough and had a temper. He always told us he couldn’t direct with a baton, because he would probably throw it at someone and put their eye out. He was a tough guy and not a Christian. I grew up very sheltered, in a very conservative Christian environment, so he was a polar opposite for me. Yet somehow, from the very beginning we connected on some level. I was very shy, crazy buck teeth, very small for my age with terrible self-esteem issues. When I started music I wanted to play the flute but my arms would not reach all the way to the end so I had to play the piccolo–total humiliation. Mr Dillard taught me alot about music and how to be a little “tougher”. He always treated me kindly and respectfully and helped me to believe in myself a little more. I left high school with a good music education and was a better person for all the years spent with him. I would like to believe that as I grew my Christian example was an influence on him as well.

    Thanks for this post…it has been good to think back on someone who was a big influence on my life who I haven’t thought about in many years!

  31. 181
    Janice says:

    It would have to be my high school english teacher Ms. (can you tell it was the 70’s?) Pallant. She drew out the creativity in me that wasn’t there! My BFF had her too and we ended up writing the most fabulous sci-fi story ever!

  32. 182
    Nicole says:

    Mrs. McComas- 5th grade English/Reading teacher. She actually read stories out loud to us. We read Where the Red Fern Grows and Bridge to Terabithia…and of course we all cried, even the boys. She read with such drama and then could barely finish the sentences when it was a sad part. I credit her (and my mom of course ) for my passion for reading! I would love to see her again.

    And you, Siesta Mama, you are my other favorite!! Thanks for stirring up my passion for His incredible Word! πŸ™‚

  33. 183
    Stacy says:

    “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.”

    This is a brilliant sentence and proof that Mrs. Fanett was all you say.

  34. 184
    heather says:

    What a great story to share. I remember Mrs. Smith, my 5th grade teacher at Hanover Elememtary school in Bethlehem, Pa. She was one of the sweetest people I had ever met. So loving and caring and so concerned for the kids. She was soft spoken and just wonderful. I also loved my high school Algebra teacher Mr. Harris. He made me love math and even for a brief moment I wanted to be a Math teacher “when I grew up” πŸ™‚ He made me understand and always took the extra time making sure I understood. A very patient man!

  35. 185
    Kathy says:

    Aggie Hopkins, my sixth grade teacher. She was fun, innovative and challenged us to think. She obviously loved teaching and loved us. She prepared us well for moving on to the next level of education. I still see her quite often and love visiting with her.

    Elinor Metcalf, my second grade teacher at the same school. A friend and I tracked her down about 10 years as she moved away soon after we had her. She was our teacher in the early 60s. She screamed and laughed when we identified ourselves. We had the best conversation, and it was an honor to say “thanks” many years later.

  36. 186
    Shari says:

    Mr. Rainey…5th grade. I was so lost after three state to state moves in five years. He saw something in me. Because he believed in me, he put me in the “gifted” program (ha!) where we worked on creative writing and “thinking outside the box”. For a lonely, rootless 11 year old he gave me soil and planted seeds deep in my heart. We only lasted in that state through the end of the year – but before we moved he wrote a note I have never forgotten….you will either lead a guerilla army or be President of the United States – you have it in you to change the world – go do it! As I have pursued God over the years, that phrase has never left me. A few years ago when I started an intercessory prayer group I thought we would have a few people attend, we ended up with a group with 50 people in it. After the first meeting I heard the Lord say – child you are leading a guerilla army, just like Mr. Rainey said. You just happen to be warring against the gates of hell battling for my children and my Kingdom, not fighting against flesh and blood. I have often wished I could find Mr. Rainey and tell him how big a fingerprint he left on me. Teachers really do have the power to alter the course of a child’s life. A big shout out to the Mrs. Fannet’s and Mr. Rainey’s of the world. Thanks for the memories Beth.

  37. 187
    Elisabeth says:

    Ooooh! I love this one! Okay…..
    I signed up for Kim’s class by accident. It was 2005 and I was just trying to get through the General Ed classes at the junior college. I signed up for Kim’s class because it was a requirement. Speech. Yuck.

    From the first moment I fell in love. Not with the concept of speaking in front of people, but of the way it enables you to have a voice in their lives. In their minds and hearts. Kim was one of those graceful people who simply drew you in and caused you to be enthralled by whatever she talked about. You thought everything she said was fascinating and intriguing and hilarious and deep and you didn’t want to miss a word. You hung onto the pictures she painted with her words and thought about them as you drove home that night. And you always wanted to throw yourself into the assignment. She had a way of making every speech, every person’s research seem incredibly important. Like it wasn’t for school.

    It was the first time I fell in love with a subject and discovered something I could love doing every day with my life. No, I don’t like getting up and speaking in front of people. It makes me sick. But I absolutely love sharing with people something I’ve learned or discovered. Kim saw that I had found something that lit a fire under me school-wise. She fanned that flame. She has spent the last couple years bugging me and pushing with with so much excitement and affection. I’ve been trained and taught now to be an effective public speaker. I still get woozy when I get up to speak. But it’s so fulfilling. I work with the jr high and high school ministry at my mega-church as a volunteer coach and mentor. I have transferred my skills to the young girls. Let me tell you, NOTHING compares to the feeling I get when I research and study and then get up in front of those kids and share what the Lord has given me to tell them. The look on their faces when they get a Word? Man. I want to do this all the time. Even if it meant nausea every day. It’s worth it. THEY’RE worth it. And all because Kim cared and invested in a young lady who had no idea she had any skills to offer anyone. I wouldn’t have this dream and hope for my future in ministry if it wasn’t for her.
    Praise Jesus! (Craziest part? She doesn’t even know Him. YET.) πŸ˜‰

    • 187.1
      Beth says:

      Elisabeth, what a great twist in that story! You are one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen, young lady.

      • Elisabeth says:

        Why, thank you! Funny you should say that. As hard as I want and try to be very much Liz, everyone at church calls me “Minnie-Beth.” I get compared to u daily. But maybe that’s because I say things like, “so, Beth said something to me today that got me thinking……..”. (Because I’m forever playing some DVD or other as I clean the house, etc…..) I find it hilarious. No matter what I try to do to steer from it, I’m destined to be a “you” to young ‘uns. I’ve finally just stopped fighting it. It’s like the daughter who doesn’t want any comparison to her mother as a teen but then realizes she’s really quite good at the same job her mom is and finally goes into the same work:) I love you!

    • 187.2
      Siesta OC says:


  38. 188
    Lindsey says:

    I had a few absolutely amazing teachers in elementary school. I couldn’t possibly pick just one of them. These teachers had a way of making even the most boring topics seem so exciting and fun. And the way they brought the characters of our favorite story books alive made me sure that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.
    I pray that I can be the kind of teacher they were for me for the precious kindergarten and first graders I have been privileged to teach over the last 3 years and for the ones in the years to come!

  39. 189
    Jennifer says:

    My first grade teacher – Mrs. Wheeler.
    My eith grade science teacher – Mrs. Higgings.
    Basketball coach (high school) – Mr. Murry

    The first two were patient, kind and never exhausted me.
    I excelled in both their classes (if you can excel in first grade) and it was due to their teaching. To this day (I’m 38), my first grade teacher will give me a hug when I’m back in my home town and we see each other.

    My basketball coach pulled and pushed me, but never exhausted me. He believed in me and worked me into a starter position and onto the varsity team when they went to districts when I was a sophomore. Oh, and our sophomore basketball team went undefeated that year!
    He was a great coach and he had a willing group.

    And Beth, your teaching brings the Bible stories to life, I see them in a new perspective. I’ve completed five of your studies and saw you in Grand Rapids Michigan this past May with my study group, I still have Travis’s Live cd in my vehicle and listen to it every day. Thank you!

  40. 190
    Sheryl says:

    I knew right away I would say Mr. Gil Nelson, my typing teacher! Typing was easy because I’d taken piano since I was 7 years old, but that’s not why he was my favorite. He was a real relationship person, not a teacher sitting on ready to “correct” or one that dreaded his job. He took such an interest in the students as people. He was very rare. After I graduated and became engaged a few years later (my husband also had him as a teacher), he and his wife had us over for dinner to just talk about life and the future. He was such a people person, caring and genuine. I remember the mixture of feelings sitting at their table, I’m being treated like an equal adult, but still not being able to deny the respect I had for him as my teacher. He has probably done more for young life behind the public’s eye than many. Thanks for initiating the memory. I will stop and thank the Lord from him and ask the Lord to bless he and his wife. They never had children.

  41. 191
    JJen says:

    Her name was Mrs. Pressley. She was maybe 5 foot tall, tiny, big glasses and not cool at all, but she loved us and you knew it because she told us and wrote us corporate notes that said so and she in all of her five feet had one hero… Michael Jordan! She had his posters and a cardboard cutout all over the room. And she cried and cried the day she read “A Day No Pigs Would Die” out loud to the class. And she taught me how to like writing and poetry because she wasn’t afraid to love it and share it. She moved that year after school ended, never saw her again, but I won’t forget her for sure!

  42. 192
    Kathy says:

    I had 2 favorites:
    The first was Mr. Miller. He taught chemistry. Now…I was not a good chemisty student. Good chemistry required good algebra…and I was AWEFUL at algebra (and anything math related). I went into that class as an average college bound senior (surrounded by really smart sophmores). Mr. Miller would sit on my desk (he was young and really cool), and talk. He believed in me. He knew I was good at language, and he talked and talked to me. He convinced me that I could be good at chemistry. He worked and worked with me…and you know what? I got it. It started to make sense, and I actually got it. He used language to show me how…he was one of the few teachers who believed in me as an individual, and after awhile, he taught me to believe in myself, and my abilities.

    The other favorite teacher was Mr. Ash. He directed our Concert Choir, and taught music theory. I was in the choir and in music theory for 2 years. He and his wife took us to Canada, and to Washington DC (it was 1976, and it was quite a thrill to visit DC during the bicentennial celebration). He taught me to love and value music and music performance. We recently had a Choir Reunion of all the years Mr. Ash taught at our high school. Former choir members from 1972-1979 reunited for practice, a banquet, and then a concert. It was like being in Heaven! Seeing old friends, hugging, and talking as if 30 years hadn’t passed. Then we sat down to sing music from our teens. The first song was kind of rough…but the second…it all came back…voices joined in song. No longer young voices, but rich, mature voices. It was absolutely beautiful. I think it was one of the most wonderful weekends of my life!

    Thanks Beth…teachers do shape who we are forever. Thank God for providing those teachers who love what they do, and who love the lives they touch!

  43. 193
    Roxanne Worsham says:

    I have tears as I read this post. First of all, because I, too, am a Ragin’ Raider – Class of ’81! ….Though many years may pass us by, we’ll be true to Northbrook High!
    Beth, we have an ALL CLASS REUNION every year for all NB alums. It is great to see everyone and renew friendships. So many NB alums are sold out for JESUS and many are pastors or serving the LORD and HIS CHURCH full time! I marvel at that!

    The next reason I LOVE THIS POST is because three of my very best friends were teachers I had while at NB. Judy Scott Darby – Algebra I; Nancy Krill Noonan – Geometry Teacher but I was her student assistant; and Carolyn Ann Laskie – Office Procedures.

    Judy is the one who introduced me to a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with JESUS CHRIST! She knew Him very well and I wanted to know that same love and passion. I was the middle child of 11 children. My older sister Shavonn was a Bandolera, a Cheerleader, and a Homecoming Queen! All things I knew I could never be. I was lost when I was in high school – in more ways than one. The LORD orchestrated it so that my sophomore year of high school I would be wooed into a loving relationship with the King of Kings. Judy sowed so many seeds of kindness and love into my life that year. Funny thing is, that was the only year she taught there. I KNOW it was ordained by God! She invested time and helped my find my own worth. It wasn’t in pageants, popularity contests, or found in a cheer, it was found in none other than Christ Jesus. How I praise HIM for putting her in my life.

    She was the one who helped turn my life around and the reason I became a teacher. I also went back to every teacher I ever had or knew and apologized to them for my behavior! It is a lot different being on the other side of that desk.

    Two weeks ago we had an OLD FASHIONED HYMN SING at my church. I was in the lobby greeting our visitors when this sweet little old lady walked up carrying my camera. She asked me, “Do you know who this camera belongs to?” I said, “Yes ma’am, that is my camera.” She said, “Well, you shouldn’t really leave it sitting over there. Someone could take it.” I had my eye on it the whole time but I kindly thanked her and took possession of my camera. I then asked her the question I was crazy to know. “Are you Mrs. Harris?” She said “Yes, why?” I squealed, “Mrs. Harris!! You were my elementary librarian at Spring Branch Elementary!!!!” I was obviously waaaaayyyyyyy more excited to reconnect with her than she was me. I didn’t care. I threw my arms around her and hugged her with all that I had! I escorted her into the sanctuary and sat her down. I then, very proudly, grabbed everyone I knew and introduced them to Mrs. Harris. It was a great day!


  44. 194
    Becky says:

    Ha-Ha- Yesterday was a special day for you wasn’t it? About two yrs ago, I met up with one of mine also. Mr. Raleigh, she is somethin’.
    I had her for 2 yrs, she loved each of us no matter what. She never raised her voice,but had control in her class, all of us just loved her, even the jocks. In all these yrs I have never heard anyone say anything neg.about Mrs. Raleigh. When I met up with her I’m tellin’ ya, the woman looked as if she hadn’t aged one bit. She retired a yr ago, good for her, but sad for the Education system in my little bitty home town. I talk to her from time to time, and it is always special. She impacted my life, that is for sure. She liked me,and made me feel accepted. You see, I’m one of those students that some of my teachers thought If they made fun of me in front of the class, I’d do better…wrong. That never works. But not Mrs Raleigh, she was helpful, loving and kind, she would take the extra time you need to understand something. I remember several times her sitting beside me while I worked on something.
    I’m happy you got to see your former teacher that you cared so much about. It is good for the soul….isn’t it?

  45. 195

    I had a couple of favorite teachers. One was my French teacher, Mr. Tanton. The way you describe Mrs. Fanett in your English class is how I remember Mr. Tanton. I had him for at least two of my three years of French in high school. It seems to me like he even won a district-wide award my senior year. Even as an immature and self centered 17 year old, I knew he deserved it. His classes were fun and exciting. As I finished High School, I was convinced I would go into international business or be the US ambassador to France some day. *wistfully* Ahh the dreams of youth. But better laid are the plans of the Father, no?

    Another was my chemistry teacher my senior year, Mrs. D. She had a really long and difficult to pronounce last name, so we all just called her Mrs. D. Now, it’s not that I loved chemistry or anything. In fact, I didn’t appreciate her until college when I was the only one in my Biology 101 lab at Texas A&M (read that as weed-out 101) who knew and understood how to write a lab report. She was hard and I worked hard in her class. But that woman prepared me for what was to come and the hard work that would be required of me in college. And that preparation kept me from being a casualty of the huge university weed-out classes.

    I love that you got to see this special woman in your life. And I love more that she got to see you. THere are not many teachers who get to see the rest of the story once their students leave their care.

    Have a great and wonderful day!

  46. 196
    Rhonda McClellan says:

    I too have a “best teacher in the world”! I was an Air Force brat and God blessed my life with “Miss A.” (Annette Albrecht) as my 4th and 5th grade teacher in Crete, Greece. We’ve always stayed in touch, but I was THRILLED when just a few years ago she traveled to my home in Georgia and we were reunited in person. Oh, how I loved (and love) “Miss A.” She cared about every student, but I KNEW she loved me! :-} She made learning fun and she brought out the best in every life she touched. At the end of 4th grade, I cried, as she would no longer be my teacher. I begged my parents to do something about it. (of course they couldn’t, but I’m sure they prayed for their shy girl who blossomed under “Miss A.”) I earnestly prayed for God to do something to make her my teacher, and would you believe that wonderful, amazing, BEST TEACHER, role model, special lady was also my 5th grade teacher?! I praise God for her!!! I praise God for hearing a little girl’s prayer and answering!

  47. 197
    Nancy says:

    My favorite teacher was my mom. I watched her teach 5th graders for all of my childhood. As soon as I could read well enough, she had me grading papers. As soon as I had the math skills, she had me averaging those grades. She was one of those teachers who had the respect of her students and could discipline with just a look. She always tried to make the lessons interesting, with special projects and fun activities.

    When the time came for me to do part of my student teaching experience, I went to her school (though not with her). When the time came for her to retire, she brought boxloads of resources for my classroom. In those resources, I found stencils and other items that had belonged to my grandmother, that she used in HER classroom.

  48. 198
    jenn says:

    Oh, hands down it was my 11th grade English teacher. I’d never done exceptionally well in English class before, nor did I after. But he saw something in the way I wrote that no one else ever bothered to notice. I remember having to write a paper on ambition. I wrote on the fact that I believed that my greatest ambition was to achieve a level of faith that would trust God no matter what. I went to a public high school but I knew that Mr. Hanlon was the only one who would read my paper. I would see him almost every week at church so I knew I was safe with my audience.

    A few years ago, when I was pregnant with my first born, my mom called me with bad news. Mr. Handlon had gone out for a run prior to attending a dinner for his father in law. He never returned home because he’d had a heart attack while exercising. I wasn’t able to attend his funeral. The long lines spoke of the enormous impact he’d had throughout his teaching career. It is so sad knowing he was left behind a wife he adored and his young children. He was taken so young, only in his 40’s.

    Whenever I write on my blog, which is almost never being home with 2 small children, I always sense him smiling and understanding my thought process. He was a an amazing man. And if God still employs our resurrection bodies on the other side, I am quite sure that the writing of the book of chronicles has been entrusted to Dave Hanlon.

  49. 199
    Siesta OC says:

    I will add, Paige was our Pastor’s wife when I was growing up and she also taught aerobics at the church. My mom went to her class and I would help in the nursery (I was 6-10 years) but I remember thinking, “when I became old enough, I was going to go to Paige’s aerobic’s class!”
    We moved away and I never did, but we are still very good friends and she has been and is a wonderful woman of GOD in my life. I guess teaching is teaching, in every way!

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    Georgia Jan says:

    As the daughter of a career Marine, we moved a lot. By the time I graduated from high school in 1975, I had attended 10 schools in 12 years. (I believe that may be one of the reasons I don’t ever meet a stranger, even to this day!) I was blessed to attend both my junior and senior years of high school in one place – Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Georgia! My favorite teacher was Mrs. Linda Wise, my 11th grade English teacher. I especially loved literature, and she had a way of even making “Beowulf” interesting. I learned so much from her and respected her so much. She even let me keep her dog one year during the Christmas break while she was away. We didn’t live that far from each other, and my baby blue VW bug would get me there! She gave me a Christmas ornament that I still have – and it goes on my tree every year. She passed away a few years ago, but I think of her fondly for the impression she made on so many lives.

    Thank you Beth for using your great God-given gift of writing – you are my favorite Word/word girl. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Love, GJ

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