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.

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. 201
    Michelle says:

    What, NO PICTURE?? I was totally looking for that πŸ™‚

    My favorite teacher was my 4th grade Sunday school teacher, Debora D. I was 9 years old and wanted to be just like herβ€”beautiful inside and out! Not quite old enough to be my mother more like an older sister— a wise, godly sister!
    She has remained in my life as a much-loved mentor. She encouraged me as I suffered through a broken heart in my young adulthood (loved your recent teaching about this on Wednesdays with Beth!), as I agonized over whether I was ever going to marry, and then was a part of my wedding when I eventually did marry.
    She has remained a β€œpen pal” of sorts over the years, watching from a distance as I finished my education, embarked on my career, eventually becoming a wife and mother to four beautiful children. Though our in-person contact is limited, over the past 20 years of my marriage she has encouraged me with the Word, and has demonstrated a life of passionate love for Jesus.
    You remind me a lot of her!
    Love you Beth,
    Michelle

  2. 202
    Terry says:

    My first grade teacher, Mrs. Gray. I knew I loved to read — signs, newspapers, my grandparents’ Readers Digest, package labels, etc. — but I didn’t realize anyone else noticed until the very last day of first grade. Mrs. Gray unexpectedly gave out some end-of-year awards and gifts. I’ve never been more surprised than when she called my name for the reading award and presented me with a certificate and a book.

    I’m not sure I can articulate what that simple gift meant to me. It wasn’t really about the book or the award, but that my teacher had noticed me. My parents argued a lot and always seemed distracted by life, and as a result I tended to feel lonely and pretty insignificant. But for a moment on the last day of first grade, someone thought I — and my love of reading — was worthy of recognition. I treasured Mrs. Gray’s act of kindness in my heart for many years. Thanks, Beth, for triggering that memory today.

  3. 203
    Jennifer says:

    I love this post because I so get that moment when you saw her. I recently had that same moment.

    Mine was Mr. Nagrodski. He was my math teacher starting in 4th grade when he came down from the H.S. to teach me at lunch a couple days a week. He had won the national teacher of the year award. He was (is) brilliant. He could have taught at the college level rather than at my dinky high school in a town of 4,000 where only about 5% (literally) of the students would get a 4 year degree. But, he was from there, knew the town, knew the needs, and cared.

    He taught me on and off throughout grade school and jr. high. Then in High School I had him for all of my math classes as well as as my math team coach. Yes, I was on the math team. (And no, it wasn’t a club. It was a team. And yes, we took tests for fun. And yes, we had a theme song. But no, we did not have t-shirts. We were too cool for that) We practiced hours every day. He was VERY strict and his standards were incredibly high.

    And he saved my life.

    I was a very depressed, hopeless child and teenager. He saw through my shields and found ways to encourage, nurture, and protect me. When I was at my lowest, he brought accountability and discipline, but he also brought care and concern. He told me that it would be different one day and I didn’t totally believe him, but I hoped he was right.

    He was right.

    My life is nothing like it was then and I could have never imagined the peace of what it is to know God, to walk with Him, and to see all He can restore.

    A few months ago I saw Mr. Nagrodski for the first time in almost 14 years. It was one of the most emotional moments of my life. I don’t care what you say, Miss Beth, it was a kleenex moment through and through. He hugged me tight, told me I looked healthy and alive, and that he had worried about me and been haunted by me. I told him he saved my life.

    I have no doubt that the Lord used that man to give me hope and keep me going until the day when I would meet Him.

    (of course, I wasn’t thinking about that when he gave us extra homework after we accidentally let out his cows after t-ping his house)

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Glory to God who knows just who we need in our lives to guide us on the path He desires for us!

  4. 204
    patty says:

    What a sweet memory of your high school teacher!! I could visualize the whole thing! Even the sprouts. πŸ˜‰

    Okay, I have 2 favorite teachers from high school.

    Mrs. York.. was my English teacher when I was a Sophomore. She was the hardest teacher that I had and pretty much everyone was scared of her. She pushed me to be my very best. I have many memories from her class. No one and nothing interrupted her class. We had a tornado hit our school that year and I could see out the door that it had turned black and the wind was awful and I want you to know she kept on teaching!! Finally the lights went out and she had to stop. I loved English class, all because of her.

    Mrs. Cublbertson, Spanish teacher, she was a godly woman. She loved Jesus and she didn’t mind telling you about Him. In fact, we received extra credit on our homework and tests if we drew a smily face and wrote, Smile, Jesus Loves You. For my Senior class she made us write and learn in Spanish the Lord’s Prayer!!

    Love you Beth!

  5. 205
    Kerri Brown says:

    My favorite teacher was Mrs. Peggy Harbin. She’s a HUGE part of my passion for the written word and God’s Word! She was my English teacher my Senior year. She was also the sponsor for our Christian Club in high school. The school board tried to remove our organization from campus, but she fought to ensure that we stayed. She helped us discover ways to share the love of Christ with our classmates in creative ways. I know so many of my friends with the same story about Mrs. Harbin.

  6. 206
    katherine page says:

    How do I keep this post to a short one? I have too many to type… I’ll talk about two special people in my life and they so happened to both english teachers which was the least favorite of mine. lol.
    #1 teacher in my life was my Grandma Rita. Oh how the tears can flow at a moments notice thinking about this special lady. I remember as a little girl until her passing in 2002 (my junior yr in highschool) when I would go visit her I would run straight to her classroom. She lived in Illinois and I in Texas. As a little girl when I would come for a visit she would have a seat for me in the midst of her students. She would make me do their homework the entire christmas break i was there and read and participate in class with them. Oh how I would love to go back to those days at times. Although she knew I hated reading and english she would always send me books and newspaper clipings. Although I never found the love of reading like she did I did find the love for people she had. She taught me so much about life and love. Which is why ever since i was a little girl (2nd grade) I wanted to be just like her. i wanted to love my students like she did. I wanted to inspire them like she did. I wanted to hear my students call me Page like they called her. (chokinh back tears). Gosh, I love her so much and so wish she could have seen me in person walk across that stage three years ago and step into my classroom for the 1st time. It never fails that every new year I tell my students exactly why i am standing in front of them. God blessed me with such an amazing grandmother, teacher, and role model.

    #2. quickly, my 7th grade reading teacher Jordia Moorman whom I’m great friends with now. Bless her heart she put up with me and with me always sliding down in my seat when she was about to call on someone. It never failed though, she never would call on me which we both laugh about it now. She is important to me because of her care and unconditional love during those horrible awkward junior high years. When life at home was imbearable she would just hug me and love on me. One thing I know about school is, it isn’t just about the academics and knowledge for some. For some it is an escape from home and a place of hope and feeling of love when you get that teacher who shows interest in you.

    So, that is why I teach myself. I teach art which is my writing and reading. I can get lost in a painting like many can in a book. My prayer is that I can even be half of those two who have impacted my life for ever and have shown me the importance of being a teacher.

    GREAT POST.

  7. 207
    Debra Hanson says:

    Well I just love the way you write, just the way you think. I have done two of your studies and I feel like we are good friends. I am from Arkansas and moved to Texas in the eighties, then moved back to Arkansas 4 years ago, so we have that in common, and my son still lives in Houston so still have connections there. Don’t miss that hot, wet blanket-like weather though. Any way, I had a teacher that seemed to like me for some reason too. It was 6th grade and I was having a difficult time fitting in. I always took up for the underdog and got teased constantly for it. Well Mrs. Thompson was the sweetest teacher with the most beautiful blue eyes, and she was always saying nice things to me, and took up for me as much as she could. She even told me that if she ever had a little girl, she wanted her to have brown eyes like mine. That was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to me, and I kept it to myself like a little secret just between the two of us. She was a good teacher but mostly she was a friend to me when I needed it. And yes, I am getting a little misty as I write this. I truly enjoy reading your blog and the way your daughters adoringly add parts of their lives. What a neat family you have. Don’t stop doing what you do. from your Sista in northwest Arkansas, Debra Hanson

  8. 208
    toknowhim says:

    My 8th Grade English teacher, Mrs. Patrick πŸ™‚ Besides her English class, I was also her aide. Not to mention that I was also on the Yearbook staff with her. She inspired me, and for the longest I wanted to be an 8th grade English teacher, but 8th graders kind of scare me now πŸ™‚ So I teach Preschoolers…

    Like you Beth, I knew that Mrs. Patrick liked me…no she loved me πŸ™‚

    Not long ago, I got to connect with her on Facebook, and she has not changed one bit.

    I do however think Mrs. Patrick might not agree with my free use of multiple periods (…) in my writing πŸ™‚

    Blessings Beth… Love ya!!!

  9. 209
    Nichole's Mom says:

    For me it was Ms. Newcomb my 5th grade teacher at Cabrillo Lane Elementry school. Everyone was afraid of her except the kids in her class! Fourth graders would tremble at the end of the year afraid they would get Ms. Newcomb when school started back up! She was big and loud and so different from all the other teachers! She drove a huge old truck that had hay in it (she had a farm)! When she got mad she was loud, when she was happy she was loud, she was scary, until she became your teacher… After being in her class for just a few hours I could feel how much she cared about us. She treated us like little people, and she had big expectations of us, mostly she had us believing we could reach those expectations. She was invested in us and we knew it. Ms. Newcomb taught me not to be afraid of people unless they gave me a reason to be afraid, and she showed us that we were made of stronger stuff than we thought. She also taught us to dream big. Big and Loud!

  10. 210
    Roxanne Worsham says:

    This is a poem I wrote one year when I taught 3rd grade at Katy Elementary.
    I dedicate it to all of the world’s great teachers!
    Beth, you were the one who taught me to LOVE the Word of God!
    And I do!!!

    I think about my life on earth
    and what I’d like it to be
    Perfect peace and love for all
    A world of harmony

    As for me, my life is to teach
    His calling I do heed
    Children from all walks of life
    Each with a different need

    I like to call my classroom
    My little haven of rest
    and there it is I teach my kids
    To always do their best

    Not only what they read in books
    or write upon their paper
    But how to make the most of life
    For it is but a vapor

    They’ll have their share of tribulations
    This I know for sure
    But they can handle come what may
    With God’s help they will endure

    Dear Lord, I pray for patience
    And words of kindness, too
    That in my life and teaching
    They see my love for YOU

    For only You can give me
    The strength to carry on
    And love these children as my own
    Before the year is done

  11. 211
    Kristi Walker says:

    Oh I had two teachers that I just loved to pieces! The first was my high school Algebra II teacher. I could ace me some English, Science, etc…, but when it came to math it just seemed like all my wires would cross, the formulas would twine together and begin speaking in Sanskrit.

    THEN, Mrs. Ray came along. She taught math in a way that I really understood and she cared that we all “got it”. She would patiently go over things, and then re-do, just to make sure we got it. She would also show us alternative ways to work the formulas, just in case our brains didn’t work with the first one. LOVED HER! Her method of teaching, and her absolute love of watching us learn was contagious. I pray that I have half that much patience as I educate my children!

    Then, there is my college speech professor. Dr. Cox could give a speech that would have you sobbing, and then laughing until your sides hurt. He recognized a desire in me to teach (although I thought he was bonkers at the time!), and sometimes that does involve speaking in public. πŸ™‚ I homeschool my kids, but I’ve been blessed to work in other areas of the homeschool community, including speaking at seminars. I’m not sure that wouldn’t have scared me into a coma without Dr. Cox’s class. He really took time to help us learn the value of the spoken word, and how what you say, as well as how you say it, can affect people around you in a very real way.

    And Beth, I’m tickled that you got to see someone who meant so much to you. I just love those little suprises like that and understand exactly why you teared up! It’s precious to run into someone who valued you and treated you that way, even if they weren’t a direct, long term, part of your life.

    You may not realize it, because you seem to be a genuinely humble woman, but there’s tons of people on this board, and quite probably the world over, who view you in much the same way. You treat us with dignity, love and respect and it comes across in just about every post you write and certainly in your Bible studies. We know you love the Lord better than anything, with your husband and children right behind Him. But, I’d say most of us are convinced that we’re close to the top of your list. Can’t have a better teacher, or friend, than that! πŸ™‚

    Many blessings and much love to everyone, Kristi

  12. 212
    Julie Anne says:

    I so bad want to sit and read (or at least skim) every comment to see if I know any of the teachers mentioned! πŸ™‚ but my couch is calling me for nap time and the kids will be up before I know it!

    We had phenomenal teachers at my high school

    Mrs. Hicks was a fantastic English teacher (and great yearbook advisor, too)
    Mr. Hicks was an AWESOME soccer coach and Bible teacher
    Mr. Halladay was a great gym teacher with a wry sense of humor
    Mr. Kemmerer was a great history teacher and Senior advisor

    so great to remember!!

  13. 213
    Tashi says:

    Mr. Vaughan – my 10th and 11th grade chemistry teacher. He was a crazy old scientist with big coke-bottle glasses whose eyes slightly twitched left and right, even when he was standing still. The rumor was that he had an experiment blow up in his face in college, causing his eyes to twitch like that. Everyone was terrified of him… well, just at first, but as time wore on, you could really tell he was a big softie. Students from the decade before had stolen a rolling chair from the nearby Olive Garden and had given it to him as a present. He loved that thing. He would roll all around the classroom, from blackboard to overhead projector and back again. He was such a character – I do not think there was ever one day that we didn’t spend part of the class laughing. He made learning chemistry so fun. Needless to say… I’m a chemist now πŸ™‚

  14. 214

    my favorite teacher was my music teacher, mr. A. i was only his student my senior year, but God used him to fill a void in my life. i was part of the show choir, so not only was he my teacher during the school day, he led rehearsals several nights a week. i know now what a sacrifice of family time that was. his wife, mother to 4 under 8 at the time, is a saint.

    mr. A was a godsend because two months before the start of my senior year, my youth pastor of 5 years (middle and sr. high combined) abruptly left. mr. A was God’s provision. not only did he enjoy his students, he made himself available to us. we all felt special to him.

    some of us didn’t enjoy eating lunch in the cafeteria, so he let us come eat lunch with him–there were guys there too–every single day. he didn’t do anything unusual or special. he was just THERE. i didn’t know it at the time, but he is a believer.

    i’ve had the opportunity to go back and thank him for what he gave me and the rest of us. i’m so glad you had the chance too, beth!

  15. 215
    amybhill says:

    debbie richman. she was my high school health/phys ed teacher, my cheerleading coach, and my friend. its weird to think of a teacher actually having a friendship with a student, but we did. i even lovingly called her by her first name. i’m out of high school 13 years, and we still meet for dinner every once and a while. i invited her to our last Beth Moore bible study but she couldn’t make it with her schedule at the time. i’m hoping maybe next time πŸ™‚ she’s says i’m her angel. i always call when she needs it most. i’m thankful that God uses me that way b/c God knows He used her tremendously in my life during those extremely difficult high school years.

  16. 216

    Oh, I have few favorites…and I think the common thread is that they were willing to really help me “get” it.

    ~Mrs. Fisher, my geometry teacher and a Believer, also taught my husband; and she allowed us to write notes to each other (we were soooo flirting, even though we were “just friends.”) She was so generous with her time, helping me with all those angles and abstract concepts.

    ~Mr. Emry, not a believer, was my chemistry teacher. I love chemistry. And as a new Christian, I wanted to explain God to him. So I brought my husband’s older brother to defend the faith for me during lunch one day. Mr. Emry listened respectfully but didn’t turn to Jesus that day. However, he was still available to help me and didn’t disrespect me afterward (which some kids experience)

    ~ Mme Souer, my French teacher. She made time to also give extra help to kids struggling with the new language. I would have loved to pursue French in college, but not having her teach me would have been difficult. She showed me while learning this subject can be hard and obstacles encountered, the result of speaking fluently and comprehension of conversation is well worth the work. Because of her, I dreamt in French while in Eilat, Israel!! =) We stayed at a French hotel and I got soooo sunburned from snorkeling. And in my dream, I was trying to ask the owners for something to soothe my skin. Ha! I’m sure it would have been hilarious if I’d actually *tried.*

    ~And thank you, Mama Beth, for teaching love of the Word. I know so many of us have said it, but your love of Jesus and learning is being passed down to us, the next generation. And we’re.so.grateful! Specifically, I was thrilled to learn that loving Jesus with all we are can co-exist with being a girl. We don’t have to become dowdy women (no offense) when we start walking with Him. Praise the Lord, He wants us just as we are!
    love,
    rachel

  17. 217
    Kristin says:

    My eighth grade English teacher, Mrs. Hamilton. She dyed her hair this shocking purple, wore amazingly creative outfits that were slightly hallucinogenic and she was passionate about life. I had never cared more about a dangling participle & best of all, she made us memorize our SSN. To this day I still think of her whenever I use my number. She was a blast & made all of us think we were the highest achiever in the class… Her expectations of us made us expect more of ourselves.

  18. 218
    WendyC says:

    Wow, I didn’t have to think about this much at all! I didn’t really notice or take a liking to any of my teachers until the 8th grade. My mom died unexpectedly in the summer between 7th and 8th grade and it was as if God then went through and hand-picked certain teachers to help me through those adolescent years all the way through my senior year of high school. I think he must have said “Ok… Mrs. Simpson, this is what she’s going to need to learn from you and Mrs. Chiri, I will need you to teach her about this and Mrs. Schenbeck, she’s going to need someone to show her how to…”. I could go on and on! I have so many favorites to just mention one! God was so faithful in providing me with teachers that taught me more than just math or typing, but he used them to help shape me into the person I am today and I am so grateful for each and every one of them!

  19. 219
    Joy says:

    My favorite teacher has never actually been my teacher (not in the classroom, anyway). It’s my big sister, Amy. She is dedicated to her students not only in the classroom, but in life.

    My mom recently told me a story about one of Amy’s students. Some years ago, she noticed this little boy in her class who alternated about two or three outfits. That seemed to be all he had. She learned that he lived with his grandparents, who were very old (to be HIS grandparents), very poor and very feeble. He even had to be the one to go get the firewood and put it in their old-fashioned wood-burning stove heater (no, this story doesn’t take place in the 1800s).

    Amy felt it impressed upon her to take care of this little boy — discreetly, as to not bring him shame in front of his classmates. She would go buy some clothes every now and then and sneak them into his bookbag. She would find a way to slip him some lunch money. She would buy him school supplies if she saw him in need.

    Fast forward a few years to just a few months ago. She was at a high school basketball game with her teenage daughters. After the game, she felt someone tap on her shoulder. She turned around, and looked up to that boy, who is now in high school. He had the hugest grin on his face as he hugged her tightly.

    I’m not sure what he said to her, but I know she was (and is and will be) rewarded.

    She is truly one of my heros.

    P.S. She’s also married to a cowboy-type named Keith who is an avid hunter. Go figure.

  20. 220
    Denise says:

    ok… now I’m sobbing… and will post my favorite teacher…but being a teacher spending days, weeks and years looking for the book that will touch or interest one student or a class and the project that will inspire or spark that love of learning in those you have for a brief time but in some moments (like the end of summer) wondering if the more than full time job is worth it. I thank your English teacher also.. for without her we perhaps would not have these Bible studies that have drawn us closer to our Lord. Thanks to you and your English teacher.

  21. 221
    Gena says:

    Mr. Richardson my Calculus teacher my senior year – first period. He was the best! Very encouraging in a no-nonsense kind of way. Definitely developed my love for math and logic. And when we snuck in one night and filled his classroom with balloons 3 feet deep that we spent days blowing up, he just laughed and enjoyed the static electricity.

    I remember him being very disappointed in my post-high school plans and that still makes me sad.

  22. 222
    JR says:

    I was one of those students that LOVED her teachers – almost all of them. So, it’s hard for me to pick one. Some of my favorites – the social studies teacher who believed all the conspiracy theories and loved to have everyone argue with him, the English teacher who made us diagram sentences and therefore actually understand grammar, the math teacher who looked all big and scary but was hilarious if you behaved and made calculus seem easy, and then there was my band director who I like so much I decided to learn how to play extra instruments just so I could spend extra time with her (yes, I was a total nerd!). She always seemed geniunely glad to spend most of her waking hours with us devoted band lovers.

    My awesome group of teachers helped me keep my head above water while I was struggling to deal with difficult parental situations. I could go on and on and on about them πŸ™‚

    Fun that you got to run into a favorite!

  23. 223
    Ginger says:

    I was just talking about my most memorable teacher–among many very fine ones–last week. Her name was Tommie Logan. She taught me seventh grade English, and we diagrammed sentences every day that year. You read that right. Every. Day. I was the only girl in a class full of boys, and how I landed in there I don’t know, but she would divide the class into two groups, and she taught one and I taught the other. She wore her hair pulled back every day in a tortoise shell clip, and I longed every day to see what it would look like down. I never did.

    Now, this is the funny part. She was also the guidance counselor, and she smoked like a chimney in the guidance office. Back when you could still do that. But for each new concept she would ask the class to call out sentences with the new parts in them. Those crazy boys would always say something like “Ms. Logan loves her nicotine!” She would laugh and laugh and diagram it on the board just like they had said it. “Give me a sentence with a dependent clause, Lee, darlin!” She’d say. And he would come back with something like “While going out late at night to buy more cigarettes, Ms. Logan had a nicotine fit.”

    If I could pinpoint one class that I still use what I learned there on a regular basis, it would be that one, but sentence structure is only a part of it. She taught me how to stand up in front of a room full of people, kids, and use whatever gets their attention to turn them to whatever it is that you are trying to teach. I learned how to be unselfconscious in front of an audience for a purpose. And also how to diagram sentences better than anybody. Weird, but that’s what I remember.

  24. 224
    Jennifer says:

    My favorite teacher was my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Fred Pierce. (My husband, also a teacher, gets tickled at how I always refer to him as “Mr. Fred Pierce” and nothing different) It’s pretty uncommon to see male elementary teachers today and it was very uncommon to see them back in the day. (B.C. πŸ™‚ He was awesome. There was nothing he couldn’t do. As well as teaching our 5th grade class, he was also our basketball coach and music teacher. He wore Mr. Rogers sweaters and had a smile that lit up the room. Every child should have such a positive role model in their life. He made a great mark on my life. Thank you Mr. Fred Pierce.

  25. 225
    Luain says:

    My favorite teacher was my third grade teacher, Mrs. Cox. I loved her. And she loved me, too! She made third grade so much fun! I was very good in math and we would have “multiplication races” at the blackboard and I beat everyone in both 3rd grade classes, so she let me race the 5th graders and I beat them, too! I was so proud! My twin girls are going in to fifth grade this year, and their whole third grade year I talked about Mrs. Cox and how I loved her and what a great teacher she was. This past May, our small 2A school had our All-School reunion and I had seen Mrs. Cox about a month earlier and told her I wanted her to meet my girls at the reunion. She said that she probably wouldn’t go to the reunion – so I told her if I didn’t see her, I was going to call her and come visit. I did call her that friday night when I didn’t see her and she called me back on Sunday morning and came over to my sister’s house where we were staying. She got to meet my girls and we visited for two hours. It was such a sweet time – and of course, she told my girls stories about me in her class, and how smart I was, etc…. that is ALWAYS good for your daughters to hear about their mommma! Very special time!

  26. 226
    Jana says:

    My favorite teacher was my band director. He not only taught us about playing instruments, but about playing on a team, or the band, in his class. He taught us respect for each other, to have some sort of pride in what we do and to do it to the best of our ability. He encouraged me to take leadership roles when I wanted to sit back and loaf. Even now, I miss the hard days of marching in the heat and freezing cold and the great music that he introduced us to. Though I felt God’s call into the area of music, he helped that along in SO many ways, and he wasn’t a Christian.

  27. 227
    Stacy says:

    Dear Beth,
    Like Heidi, I wish I had said it first, but you are my all time favorite teacher. As you have taught me the contagious love of our Lord from your own experiences and the pages of scripture, my heart has said and prayed, “Oh I want a love affair with Jesus just like hers.”

    Your sweet little Texas accent left me using mine after each session, even though I was living in CA at the time. You’ve always talked to us “on the other side of that screen, like we were right there with you” and believe me, I for one always felt that way. I feel like I know you because of your transparency and the fact that I share a similar background of abuse. I just finished “So long insecurity”, where once again I have sat at your feet to learn how to claim my God given dignity and seek ultimate healing.

    Just like your school teacher cupping your face, I have felt that we who join with you in study, no matter how far away, are receiving a very similar connection(in an odd way that you know us too).

    Thank you for connecting us more solidly to the Ultimate Teacher(Jesus)- past, present, and future so that we might sit at His feet daily from now until eternity calls!

  28. 228
    Tanya says:

    Beth,
    I had so many favorite teachers. I was Teacher’s Pet for sure! Two that stick out are from elementary. One teacher, Mrs. Griffin had a baby during my third grade year. Can you believe that I taught her daughter ballet 8 years later? It was such a sweet moment for me. The second was my fifth grade homeroom teacher, Mrs. Abshire. I found out she retired after I started my first job after college. On the last day of school, I left work early and took her a vase full of flowers. I saw her in the hallway and her mouth dropped when she saw me. I lost it. I bawled like a baby. She was the kind of teacher who invested in students. She mailed me letters through school mail when I was in junior high and high school. She even came to my wedding. Thanks for a fun post!

  29. 229
    Lisa says:

    My goodness there are a lot of us on here!

    Beth, without sounding…um, not good with words like you…like a “teacher’s pet” maybe, but you truly are my favorite teacher even though I’ve never met you in person. God blesses me so much through you.

  30. 230
    Charity says:

    Mrs. Honnald, 3rd grade. I had just moved to Dallas, TX from small town, New Mexico. My parents newly divorced and I was a broken 9 year old. I cried every day and she would hug me and I would get lost in her big turquoise jewelry and smell her Liz Claiborne perfume. To this day when I smell it, all I can think of is her! She gave me “happy pills” (jelly beans) and never once told me to get over it or get a grip. I wish I knew where she was today!

  31. 231
    Casey says:

    Mrs. Helen Banks, 8th grade American History teacher. She had already retired from teaching in Oklahoma and then started over in Callisburg, TX. She made you want to know all about our history and the very first day of class the first thing we wrote in out notes was,”If we do not learn our lessons of history we are destined to repeat it!” That was 24 years ago and I remember it like yesterday! She taught like it was a performance. She yelled and laughed and pointed that finger kust to make sure we got it! Her class was the BEST!! And she was sure to tell us how proud of us she was.

  32. 232
    Sarah says:

    Her name was Mrs. Troxell. She was by far the hardest teacher I have ever had. For a home school student taking internet classes, she challenged my love of writing beyond what I ever thought possible–and she is the reason why I am an English major. =)

  33. 233
    Stevie says:

    Also my high school English teacher. I had her twice, as a freshman and a senior. By then I already had a love affair going with words, and phrases, and she aided that love. She remembered me when I was in her class the second time (I don’t know why I’m also so surprised when people remember who I am) and that made me feel good. While I don’t do anything paid with my writing, I do have a blog and have written devotionals and short stories. Thanks Mrs. Knight. You made an impression on me.

    Thanks for sharing, Beth.

  34. 234
    Carey says:

    I also had Ms. Fanett for English! Small world! It was my senior year in the 90’s at Klein Forest. She was a great teacher – glad to hear she is enjoying retirement.

    • 234.1
      Beth says:

      You’ve GOT to be kidding, Carey! The restaurant where we were eating is out in that general direction so I bet she still lives near Klein Forest.

  35. 235
    Beth Wayland says:

    Ms. Hebb was in her sixties and she played games with us at recess and read to us all the Chronicles of Narnia books aloud after lunch everyday. I love that she would teach us double-dutch in her gray skirt.

  36. 236
    Kathy Wilshire says:

    There’s nothing like a great teacher to make a kids school year, and even entire school career! My first favorite teacher was luckily my first grade teacher, Mrs. Gaines. Our public school system didn’t have kindergarten in the late 60’s, so first grade was my first exposure to formal education. She was probably in her 50’s when I had her, tall, thin, dressed professionally. She encouraged my natural and parent-bred love of reading. I couldn’t believe we had to wait until late September or October to take our “readers” home! I read the entire hard cover 100+ page book the first night! I was hooked! I loved school from then on. Our class grew as the year went on, and before Christmas we were over 40. We had a student teacher that first semester, who was hired to start another first grade class in January. I had my heart set on going to Mrs. McKinney’s class; she was young, exciting, new. When I found out I was not going to the new class, I was sorely disappointed, not because I didn’t love Mrs. Gaines, but just because I was bored, I think. I’m embarassed to say I went to Mrs. Gaines, almost in tears, saying I wanted to go to the new class! Now I realize how hurtful that could have been to Mrs. Gaines, but it never entered my 7y.o. brain! She handled it with grace and professionalism. She told me Mrs. McKinney would be taking the kids who needed extra help, mainly with reading and writing. She explained that I didn’t need that extra help, and that we would be doing some new fun things in the new semester that we couldn’t have done otherwise. It made me feel smart and helped me understand. As it turned out, I wound up getting to have Mrs. McKinney for both 2nd and 3rd grades, and she became probably my second favorite teacher!
    I was blessed to live in a wonderful suburban school district, my dad gave 15 years to the school board, and there were many great teachers through the years that helped me go on to college and become the person I am today!
    Thanks for this trip down memory lane!
    Kathy W

  37. 237
    Georgia Boone says:

    Mrs. Helen Dinsen….she taught me typing, shorthand and bookkeeping. I loved her!! Clerical work came eeeaasssyyy so I excelled and being so stinkin’ insecure it was wonderful to see those “A”s. She was a tiny petite lady, but ruled with sort of an iron fist. If you were in her class you had better learn and not play, at least not to much. She encouraged me and not many people did that. I was upset when she passed away several years ago.

    Now may I take the time to add a funny here…..I had a husband and wife team in my school. He taught history, gov’t and economics. She taught home economics. If I got an A or B in his classes, I got a C in home ec. If I got an A or B in home ec, I got a C in history. One or the other kept me off the honor roll all during high school. Very frustrating!!! Well, two years ago the business I was working for was going to roof a new home, a rather large new home and the gentleman happened to mention he was from the same hometown as I was. Upon learning his last name, I ask him if he knew this couple and would you believe, (of course you would) it was his mother and father. No I didn’t tell him about the grades, I just marveled at the “small” world we live in.
    High school seems so far away. Thanks for the memories!!

    Blessings for a great rest of the week and a grand weekend. I pray it can be restful for you!!
    Bible Bunny in NO MI

  38. 238
    Rebecca says:

    Oh Beth this is so much fun reading about all the great teachers the siestas have had.

    My #1 favourite teacher is Beth Moore. No one has inspired me more with teaching of the bible than you. Days after listening to you speak I think about it and want to dig deeper. You are a complete inspiration to me and as a women you touch my heart with things other teachers have never done. Your β€œfrench tipped nails” (yes I read that somewhere too) let me know it is ok to be a feminine women. A young little lady told me wearing lipstick was not being a christian . Good thing she was only 6 years old. Thank you for all that you do!

    My #2 favourite teacher was 3rd grade. Right now I am having a brain fart and cannot remember her name. OOPS! Maybe I shouldn’t say that word. Rather, I am having a mental-pause. I do remember that sweet lady was like a grandmother figuire. We were having a test one day when I threw up all over the desk. She never scolded, but helped me to get to the back sink. When I remember her name I will let you know. Part of her name is coming to me…Mrs B. Well anyways she was tender and sweet.

    And I will never forget the things my mother taught me. All she knew from where she was coming from. It is hard to be a teacher of influence but these 3 ladies made it.

    Love Rebecca

  39. 239
    Kay says:

    Carolyn Satterfield, Western Civ I & II at Samford University. I never liked history until I sat under her teaching. She taught five aspects of every era that we studied: music, art, architecture, policts and religion. She was awesome. I even took a third class under her as an elective. She also taught me how to study!

  40. 240
    Amber says:

    I’ve been a longtime reader of the blog, but never posted until now . . . I can’t resist this one.

    Hands down, my favorite was my English teacher in 10th grade. She not only fueled my love and adoration for the written word, but she poured love into my life at a time when I desperately needed it. She knew I was a believer (she was as well), and that my family members were not, and she constantly encouraged me to stay the course and told me how proud she was that I was making a choice to follow Christ. At a time in my life when I could have easily succumbed to peer pressure and strayed from my first love, she drove me to set my face like flint towards the only One who wouldn’t let me down.

    One specific day will always stand out in my mind — a good friend had just committed suicide, and I was devestated. She pulled me into her classroom, shut & locked the door for privacy (which was a big no-no for a teacher to do with a student in the room), and she just held me and let me cry, all the while praying over me. It was exactly what I needed in that moment.

    We still keep in touch every few years or so, though I wish it was so much more. But her impact will last forever. I found myself recently praying for someone like her in my life again to help me navigate some current heartache . . . I’m in a very dark & lonely season, and sweet friends like her just seem to make everything better. I call them “God with skin” — those who just love us with the love of God here on earth.

    I think you’re one of those people, Beth. If I ever meet you in person, I’m just going to wrap my arms around you and say thank you for loving with the love of God.

  41. 241
    LindaWD says:

    I have a few favorites, all who helped make me who I am today – Mr. Jepson, grade 12 Social studies – who made the French Revolution come alive and wasn’t offended by his class trying to sidetrack him! (He had lots of stories about protesting in the States during the 60’s)(I live in Western Canada)
    Mr. Eklund – band teacher extraordinaire – I love music with a passion…
    but I think the teacher who affected me most was Mrs. H (I can’t for the life of me remember her name!) Grade 9 Home Ec. My Dad was on sabbatical leave that year, so we moved from Alberta to Northern Indiana. I went from a private Christian school with less than 100 students to a public school with more than 1800, in a new country and I didn’t know anybody. She saw something in me and always took the time to ask how I was doing. Although she never said as much – she was a believer, I’m certain. She cared about each and every person in that class and we left that year absolutely convinced that we were worth something in her eyes. I don’t remember too much else about her class except realizing I loved to sew and it was something I was good at…
    Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

  42. 242
    ohlookaduck says:

    I had a teacher in 1st and 2nd grade I loved so much I told people she had kidnapped me and wanted me to live with her. People were horrified and told me I could ruin her reputation, which I totally didn’t understand. How could wanting to be her daughter ruin anything?
    Anyway, I loved her and it was a wonderful way to start school with a loving teacher like that. Bless you, Mrs. Lackey!

  43. 243
    Amy Reyes says:

    I had so many favorites… One I do recall was Mrs. Rita Spigner. She loved me and told me everyday. Even when I struggled in her class. Once, years later when I was in high school- My dad was out of work and she came to my home and took me out to see a show and eat. She really blessed me.

  44. 244

    I can’t pick one, so I’m going to go with a group — all of my grad school professors. I went to grad school at a southern private university that doesn’t really love the idea of women being in ministry (look at how delicate I’m putting it!). I had done an undergrad degree in P.R. and the idea of me doing a M.A. in religion was just shocking to everyone — including me!

    But I knew that was what God was telling me to do, so I did it. For awhile, I was the only girl in the program and the only student who didn’t have an undergrad degree in religion. I can’t tell you how many times I was ready to quit. I remember sitting on the back row of class one time, tears rolling down my face because I had just sat through a three hour lecture on the exegesis of Romans and I didn’t understand a blessed thing that had come out of that man’s mouth! I stayed, because over and over again, those very somber men would come up to the girl in the class who brought her laptop in a hot pink cover and say “Young lady, stay with it.” I can’t tell you how many hours I spent writing papers in the dungeon of our library, but let me tell you something — there was nothing like having those professors grade your papers.

    When it came close to graduation, I had to write a thesis. It ended up being 80 pages long and was all about my ideas of how to reach adolescent girls who come from abusive backgrounds, broken backgrounds, etc. I can’t tell you how I felt when I got the letter telling me I made an A on that thesis and was set to be one of the first women to graduate with an M.A. in Youth and Family Ministries. To this day, when I see some of those professors around campus or in town, we still laugh about my days in class (all the men in my classes would bring Starbucks in but, since I didn’t like coffee, I got an empty Starbucks cup and drank Sunny Delight out of it!).

    One of the sweetest things about this entire story is that, just a few days ago, I was asked if I would teach a college-level class this fall… in religion. I’ll be one of the only females in the department and you better believe I’ll be bringing my cup of Sunny Delight with me. πŸ˜‰

  45. 245
    Tammy says:

    My favorite teacher was Mrs. Mongrain. She taught 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade in my little rural Montana school. We were all in one room and I had her for 1st and 2nd grade. When we raised our hands to call on her for help we were allowed to call her name too. I loved her so much that when I was really concentrating hard on a lesson and would raise my hand for help, I would accidently call out “Mom” instead of Mrs. Mongrain because for me she was my mother in learning. She never minded, and she would come over and put her hand on my shoulder and say, “What can I help you with my dear one.”

    She had a small home just a mile from the school and in the summer she would pack up the entire library and take it home. Her husband had built custom bookcases around their entire dining room that were just the right height for small people. They would invite all the children to come every Tuesday and check out books. The boy and girl who read the most books during the summer would win a prize … I always won … because I wanted to please her so much. She had such a big heart for us rural farm kids because she knew we worked on the family farms and she wanted us to experience the world, if only through books. I was only 5 & 6 years old when she was in my life, so I don’t know for sure if she knew Jesus, but I’m betting she knew him really well. I don’t think anyone can love like she did without his Spirit helping her.

  46. 246
    Rosa says:

    Wow, I had alot of favorite teachers, to narrow it to one will be hard. I’ll have to list 3. They were all high school teachers of mine and taught me different things about life and school. Ms. Mathes was a teacher of mine for two years. She taught trigonometry and calculus. She was a wonderful teacher and believed that every student who walked through her door had the potential to be somebody special, and everyone knew that. She also had a way of teaching math, so that people who weren’t “math” people learned something.

    The second teacher was Mrs. Bryant. She was the journalism and photography teacher at Sulphur Springs High School, and everyone wanted to be in her class. I got to be on the yearbook staff my junior and senior year and had a blast. She taught me about deadlines and finishing a project. She helped all of us learn how to manage multiple things at one time and still manage to get them all done. We got to go and tour the publishing plant that printed our yearbooks each year and she always made sure that we has a cool place to eat lunch.

    The last teacher would be Ms.Herman. She taught english and I was in her english class my junior and senior year. She taught me more about putting thoughts together correctly and concisely than any teacher before her or any teacher after her for that matter. Her two years of teaching were far harder than any english classes I took in college, not to knock the college professors, but she was just that good at what she did. But she was tough, but she was fair. She helped me to focus in on my analytical skills, which are important in the job I have today as a CPA, but also invaluable in all phases of life.

    Good teachers make and shape the young lives that are placed in their hands and I was blessed to have many!

  47. 247
    Stephanie says:

    Maybe it was her Santa Clause laugh or her wild imagination. Or maybe it was the motherly compassion she had that she couldn’t suppress. Whatever it was, Mrs. Bishop, in the tumbleweed town of Amarillo, Texas, was my favorite.

    When I moved on to the next grade, I got the school’s “worst teacher”. She yelled too much, and she snapped at me a few too many times. Mrs. Bishop asked me to meet her after school one day. I suspect my mother had spoken with her. So, I saddled up on the other side of her horseshoe shaped desk where she taught me about different personalities, how to handle them, and how I could “put on some earmuffs” when my new teacher’s Mr. Hyde came out.

    Today I work with angry patients in a huge hospital in Houston. Literally, I take complaints from them. And to this day, when they are chewing me apart, I think of Mrs. Bishop and our earmuff lesson.

  48. 248
    Melanie says:

    Oh, this IS a good post! My very favorite teacher of all time is my former HS Choir director, Mr. Walter Alesse, aka Wally Alesse, also lovingly referred to by his students as “Mr. A”. He taught choir & music theory at my high school for 25 years. Thankfully, he waited ’till the year AFTER I graduated to retire. He is STILL so loved by his former students that we’re about to enjoy a reunion with him next month at a catering hall and are at maximum capacity. Folks have rearranged schedules and are traveling in from all over the place just to spend a few hours honoring a man who so impacted our lives.

    Mr. A did far more than just teach music & choir – though he did that with excellence. To a good many of his students, he was and is a beloved mentor, father-figure and friend. He expected and inspired his students to give their best in everything they did – in and outside the choir room. He not only expected and earned the respect of his students but he gave it right back as well. We all knew he genuinely cared about us.

    I am the youngest of 3 girls in my family and each one of us went thru 4 years of high school in his choir. I’ll never forget attending and watching 8 years of my 2 older sisters’ choir concerts, waiting with anticipation ’till I would get my chance to be in Mr. A’s class. Many of his graduates have gone on to successful careers in the music industry and those who didn’t still carry and appreciate the lessons he taught and I think all of us would credit him for inspiring us.

    There’s a great line from “Mr. Hollands Opus” that sums it up for me: “We are your symphony Mr. Holland. We are the melodies and the notes of your opus. We are the music of your life.” Yep, that’s Mr. A.

    Thanks, Beth, for giving me an opportunity to brag on him a little bit. That was fun.

    πŸ˜€

  49. 249
    MMMom says:

    My favorite was my 6th grade teacher Ms. Skinner (Ms. not Miss, oh she was so cool) She was African American, 6 feet tall and wore heels every day which made her about 6’3″. She had a beautiful soft afro, wore BIG hoop earrings and had long red fingernails. I loved her. In addition to her beauty she was an outside of the box thinker. She encouraged us to get out of our rote thinking and let our minds wonder. We didn’t have much affection going on in our house. When Ms. Skinner would pass by my chair, she would lovingly stroke my hair. I wished her to walk by my chair everyday. She wasn’t afraid to set me straight if I got a little big for my britches and she wouldn’t lavishly praise me if I was good either. I wasn’t the best English student, I’m still not, but she was just there a loving encouraging constant. Happy is my heart thinking of her.

  50. 250
    Donna says:

    Lisa, I totally agree with you…Beth is the ultimate teacher…God’s anointing is “all over her.” I have been out of school for so long I can’t remember who my teachers were much less my favorites…LOL! I know I had them but I have “slept” since then.

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