A Really Fabulous Teacher

Every now and then I know that a blog post is going to have such fun comments, I am almost giddy writing it. My “french tipped nails” (I saw that somewhere recently) kind of skip across the key board like a jackrabbit across a dewy pasture. Yesterday the Wednesday crew of the Living Proof staff went to lunch at a Salada not far from our office. (Salada is the Luby’s Cafeteria of salads. I just rolled my eyes. Of course, I’d rather have Luby’s. Seriously? But, as sprouts and spinach go, Salada will do the trick but it can be pretty pricey for those on a ministry celery. Now, lettuce get back to the story at hand.) We’d just had a seat at a long table with our sprouts when my eyes wandered to a table across from us and a woman I could only see from the back. You know how you get that feeling sometimes, “I know that back”?

I knew this one.

I’d seen that very back saunter down the aisles of my classroom at Northbrook High School in Houston, Texas, about three hundred years ago. I stared at her until she turned to a profile. About the time I jerked forward with recognition, one of my coworkers asked me what I was distracted by.

“That is my high school English teacher. I had her for two years straight. Junior and Senior year. She was the best teacher I have ever had in my life and the very reason why I minored in English.”

“You’re kidding!” my coworkers chimed in.ย  “Are you going to say something?”

Just about that time, my person of interest and her friend reached over, grabbed their purses on the floor and prepared to get up.ย  That’s when I knew I only had a second to move on it.I hopped up from my seat, darted over to her, knelt down on the floor by her and said, “Mrs. Fanett, it’s me, Beth.”

(I don’t know why but I have tears in my eyes. I’m really in a silly mood but for some reason recounting this moment is touching a tender place in me.)

She responded just like you’d hope. She stood straight up from that chair, hugged me and sort of cupped my face in her hands, searching to find that seventeen year-old again. (OK, I’m really about to cry now. GET A GRIP. This isn’t Kleenex fodder, Birdbrain.)

After we greeted each other with equal warmth, I turned to my staff at the adjacent table and said, “Ladies, this is Mrs. Naomi Fanett. She is the best school teacher I have ever had.”

And for just a split second, we were no longer at Salada. Somebody grabbed the remote and pushed rewind and there all of us were, even my coworkers, in bell bottoms and short skirts in a classroom in Northbrook High School. Mrs. Fanett was teaching us how to appreciate a word fitly spoken, a word fitly written. She used her hands a lot and her eyes danced as she taught. There was something poetic about her. Something that made high school girls that hadn’t smoked a lot of dope want to grow up and teach English just like her.

I’m not sure why, but she liked me and, better than that, I knew it. It’s such a waste when you don’t. I don’t mean she seemed to like me more than the other students because she didn’t. She was too professional to show a lot of favoritism. She just had a natural affinity toward the kids that actually stayed awake in class and raised their hands for more than permission to go to the restroom. Of course, not many students had the gall to sleep in Naomi Fanett’s English class. It wasn’t that she was as strict as it was that she’d be so appalled. She commanded respect somehow and I never remember a single football player ever even belching in there.

When Mrs. Fanett searched my face for that high school student yesterday, I thought back to what she would have imagined. I had only moved from our beloved home state of Arkansas to the biggest city in Texas the year before. I’d gone from a 2-A school to a high school population a third the size of my entire former town. I had an accent as thick as the piney woods staring down on my tiny childhood home out in Ouachita Hills. My wardrobe was the only thing vaguely big-city-fied, thanks to the employee discount I got through my part time job at J.C. Penney’s. Despite all attempts to sound like I belonged, I only had to open my mouth and yawn for someone to say, “Where are you from?”

But I had a romance with English. And sometimes when Mrs. Fanett would pass out our graded papers, she’d lay mine on my desk, glance at me with the quickest smile and tap the red grade at the top of the page.

Approval.

It wasn’t that I was good at English. It was that Mrs. Fanett was good at English. She excelled at what she did. She acted like teaching high school students was the most important profession on the planet. She fascinated me way back then. She fascinated me yesterday. Before we parted, she told me that she’d recently retired and that she and her husband (also a teacher) were traveling now.

And suddenly I had an uncontrollable urge to go somewhere like Tuscany.

With Mr. and Mrs. Fanett.

There ain’t nothing like a good school teacher. Tell me it ain’t true.

OK, I’m dying to hear about your favorite teacher. Bring it, Sisters. I’ll watch this baby all day.

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657 Responses to “A Really Fabulous Teacher”

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Comments:

  1. 251
    Kelli says:

    Oh this is soooo wonderful! There is nothing I love than a tender teacher story.

    Mine was Mrs. Burns, my second grade teacher.

    She was known as “the mean” teacher but I LOVED her. She wrote my name on the board almost everyday because I always forgot to put my name on my paper, but I LOVED her.

    The way her voice read The Box Car Children still resonates in my head. She taught me to put myself in the story, and turn the words into a vivid picture in my head. I LOVE books because of her.

    We stayed in touch, and later my mom and her became dear friends.

    She was my special guest at a small bridal shower, the woman who made sure I had a stack of great books for my classroom library, and even more importantly presented me with a stack of crisp new books at my baby shower with precious notes to my unborn child.

    She has since become the biggest advocate head of Project Linus, one of my favorite organizations. She sewed a precious blanket for my daughter that has been used a hundred times. And now in adulthood she has given me a passion for Project Linus.

    She encouraged and believed in me when I was a kid and I am forever grateful!

  2. 252
    Deb says:

    My favorite teacher was my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Paul. She was sweet, kind, caring, and helped foster two of my greatest loves, writing and music. We had a piano in the classroom and I remember singing at the end of long school days…she’d pass mimeographed sheets down the aisles with the words to songs like “Piano Man” or “Memories” from Cats. The memory of that piano and those childhood voices is so clear to me. She had a passion for reading and writing, and in our class, English was made fun. I still remember a little song she made up, about the word “to be,” of all things. And best of all, when I moved away that summer, she came to my going away party at a friend’s house. That meant so much to me. About 10 years ago I found her online and wrote her a letter of thanks for her influence on my life. She wrote back and thanked ME…she said that on her rough days in the classroom, she would pull out my letter and read it for encouragement. That made me feel so wonderful, that in some small way, I was giving back to her.

  3. 253
    Heather says:

    My favorite teacher was my grade six teacher. The year he taught me was his first year teaching at my school, so he was enthusiastic and full of great ideas. One day, after reading my journal entry, we discovered that our family pet (who had already been named by its previous owner) was named after his brother-in-law!! Instant bond! Every memory of my grade six year is delightful and positive.

    Fast forward 20+ years… I am a new teacher. I get a call to supply teach at my old school. Imagine my excitement, but I was also nervous for I knew my grade six teacher still taught at that school. At lunch time I made my way to the staff room, and there he was, just as I remembered him! We ate lunch together and shared some great laughs. At the end of the day, he had written me a note telling me that he knew I was going to make a great teacher and he was proud to be my colleague! I will always treasure our lunch together. As for the note, I think I might have it framed!!!!!!!!!

  4. 254
    Hannah says:

    I actually just recently graduated so all of my teachers are still fresh in mind and heart. One in particular that I love is Mr. Thigpen. He had this insatiable love for the word of God and to follow after his Savior. After 9 years of trying to concieve a second child, he and his wife were blessed in June with baby Caleb. He taught American history, personal finance, and government. He and I are both very big picture kind of people with really strange senses of humor so we got on fantastic. What a wonderful man of God.

    Hannah

  5. 255
    Katie says:

    Miss Brouse, my high school English Teacher. No matter what creative poem, essay or short story I came up with, she acted as if it were the utmost honor that I had given her a glimpse into my imagination. Her eyes sparkled, her body vibrated with the umboundable enthusiasm every new teacher possesses. She was the reason I aspired to be a teacher as well as my Creative Writing teacher Mr. Sabel who thought that for me not to make a profession of writing and share my gift would be right up there with having a cure for cancer and never sharing it.

  6. 256
    eva says:

    I loved, loved, loved my HS Psychology/Socialogy teacher who just also happened to be my Student Council advisor, Sunday School teacher, and my pastor’s wife! She even directed my wedding in later years after college.

    Mrs. Daley: sweet, kind(even when she was correcting someone’s misbehavior,) 99% of the time smiling warmly upon everyone, compassionate, empathetic, knowledgeable(that’s a good trait for a teacher, huh?) and, if I could describe her in one word, it would be GLOWING!! Glowing with JESUS, her Jesus, my Jesus ALL over her demeanor.

    We had a mock wedding in that class. She pulled a name out of a bowl and yours truly was selected for the bride!! We had a wonderful mock wedding, however, we really did kiss! We kept a budget throughout the semester, we talked about values, goals, conflict resolution skills, parenting, etc. We learned about life. Without saying a word, Mrs. Daley was without doubt one of the most godly mentors in my young life. Thank you for allowing me to comment about her today!!

    btw, your teacher sounds fabulous and how cool you got to visit a moment with her.

  7. 257
    Destee says:

    The teacher I remember most in regards to making an impact would be Mr.Hull. He was my 7th grade math teacher. I hated math….everything about it. As an A-B student, it was the only subject in school that made me nervous and it required daily homework which also annoyed me. I had gone through my schooling up to that point dreading math, especially tests. Math is just too specific…..there’s no creativity involved, no self expression, no guessing, you just get it right or you get it wrong. That’s what scared me.
    Well, one day I confided my hate for math to Mr. Hull and he took me on as his own personal project. He was going to get me to enjoy and no longer fear math. He had a great sense of humor and would incorporate it into his teaching. He would be sure to encourage me often and assist me whenever I needed it. He gently corrected mistakes and then would be sure to praise me when I did the problem over again and got it correct. I had him for study hall too and he would offer to help me with homework and give me Bonus credit questions. I did really well in his class, recieving many A’s that year. His energy made class so much fun, although “math” itself remained unchanged in my mind as the most horrid work to do. He taught me this…..When you are around someone fun, who loves what they do, and shows they care it can makes something otherwise horrible, tolerable……even enjoyable for the moment.
    I saw Mr.Hull at the library about 4 years ago. I too, had that feeling of urgency to just tell him how I felt. As a 7th grader I could not nearly grasp the appreciation I would one day have for the man. I approached him, he remembered me and we talked about what I was doing in my life. After our small talk I made sure to tell him how much I appreciated him taking the time to build my confidence in math and for being so caring and encouraging. He smiled and said thank you a few times over, tilting his head down in a humbled sort of way. We said our “well it was great seeing you” speal and as I walked away the librarian mentioned how cool that was (our little encounter and the praise I gave him). He replied to her something like this “It’s not often you get that kind of thanks, it’s really nice to hear you’ve done something that mattered”
    Made me feel like running up to him and giving him a big ole hug but I spared him that embarrassement…..and just pretended to look at books while I listened.

  8. 258
    Alisha says:

    I got on the internet to go to J Crew to find some shorts and of course my home page is Living Proof Ministries so I had to stop by the blog before I went shopping and now I find myself posting…

    My favorite teacher was Mrs. Cephus. She taught the 4th grade and she was the best. An older black women who dared to talk to us about GOD! This was back during the early 80s. She was so kind and soft spoken and just a great teacher. She would read us Bible stories out of a book that for the life of me I can’t remember the name. It’s blue and has Bible stories in it. HA Ha that should describe it for everyone. I just ran into Mrs. Cephus at the local Walgreens about 2 weeks ago. I still live in the town I grew up in:) I was with my youngest son (who is 11) and I just about jumped out of my skin to tell him (in a whisper over by the cosmetics) who she was and how much I loved her. You know I had to make my way over to her. Still so kind and soft spoken. Much older now. I was the last class she taught before she retired.

    She meant the world to me because even though she could have been fired for talking about God she did it anyway and I’ve never forgotten her courage. Smile ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. 259
    Lana says:

    Mrs. Vance – I never actually had her as a teacher, but she was my tennis coach in high school. She challenged me instead of letting me “get by.” She showed genuine interest in me and treated me like I was worth something. This was a very important lesson for me in the circumstances I grew up in. She epitomized for me a strong independent woman of God who treated us all like the children of God we were. (and are!)

  10. 260
    Melissa says:

    Mrs. Sharnell Jackson, third grade. I’ll be darned if I don’t get misty-eyed just thinking of her. I’ll never forget when I offered her a Milano cookie from my lunch one day and she said, “Thank you sweetie, but I’m on Jenny Craig!” and I responded, “So is my mom!”. Poor Mom was mortified, but the lesson I learned from Mrs. Jackson was that you might as well live life candidly. She started us out every day standing by our desks 5 minutes of aerobics and stretches. Said it got our blood pumping and it kept us from being jumping beans all day. I looked her up online just a few years ago and told her that every day I think about a career change to teaching just because of the special place she has in my heart.

  11. 261
    stephanie says:

    I always liked art. I was never satisfied to buy any figurine unless I repainted it and I didn’t go anywhere without a pencil and paper. 3 days before the start of my sophmore year my dad suddenly passed away. He was my whole world and nothing made much sense after that. My first period class was Beginning Art with Ms. Cook. I remember going to school with such a heavy heart but really looking forward to that art class. Looking back I can see how she took interest in me, encouraged me and gave me a place to put my grief. I took more classes from her the following years and even started to sell my art to my classmates and the school staff. That girl whose life had been shattered had something to feel good about. The role Ms. Cook played in my life has been immeasureable. I went on to own my business teaching others to paint and selling my work. Around the town where I lived I was “Stephanie, that girl who paints so beautifully”. I owe it all to God and a teacher who took the time to care.

  12. 262
    Beth says:

    What a fun trip down memory lane!

    My all time favorite school teacher was my second grade teacher, Miss Phyllis Jones. Actually, I loved all my teachers at Thomas Haley Elementary but she by far was my favorite.

    She was tall, very well-groomed, beautiful and loved her students.

    What makes her stand out so much [besides wearing the most beautiful clothes and acrylic-heeled shoes circa 1970] was that she taught our class John 3:16 and we said grace before heading to lunch. I always wondered why none of my other teachers did that.

    I was raised Roman Catholic and during that era the RC church didn’t have Bible studies for their parishoners. John 3:16 was the second Scripture I learned. It took me years to realize that the Lord’s prayer was the first Scripture I learned. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Miss Jones will always have a very special place in my heart.

  13. 263
    Melinda says:

    My favorite teacher was Mr. Vertullo, my junior high algebra teacher. He taught in the days when teachers wore suits – his was ALWAYS smeared with chalk from the blackboard. He made me LOVE math!! And that says a lot! His enthusiasm and encouragement took me to a new level of enjoying math problems. I wish I knew where he was right now. I’ve moved from my home state and I don’t even know if he’s living. If not, I know he’s teaching a class in Heaven!!

  14. 264
    Becky says:

    What a great story, Beth!

    This is an easy question for me to answer, although I have two favorite teachers, not one.

    Mr. Randolph was my 7th grade Science teacher. I’m not sure what he knew about Science, but he certainly knew a lot about 7th graders. I am a middle child, and at that point in my life I was wedged between 17yr old twin brothers and a 3 yr old sister. Every time I came into his class, he would encourage me to smile. He told me I had a pretty smile. He called me Rebecky and there has never been anyone before or since who has called me by that name.

    Ms. Donald was my 8th grade History teacher. She also took a great interest in me personally at a time when I desperately needed it. She believed in me when I did not believe in myself. She saw potential that I could not see.

    And on a romantic side note…..Ms. Donald has been Mrs. Randolph for the past 30 years or so:) YES, her classroom was right across the hall from the aforementioned Mr. Randolph. They married a couple of years after I had been their student.

    Thank you for inviting me to remember them. They had an amazing positive influence on my life.

  15. 265
    Lacey C. says:

    My very favorite teacher was my Reading teacher, Mrs. Smith. She was my reading teacher from kindergarten to 5th grade, and she made books come ALIVE. She encouraged my love for reading. She took the time to answer my questions, but how to find the answers to my questions myself. This later lead me to love etymology, and then to take Latin in highschool (read: be a dork). The love of a great story line (and the ability to tell a good one from a bad one) came from her. And the love of losing myself in a good book helped me survive the horrible years during my teens. Reading kept me out of trouble and also kept me from doing the drastic things I desired to do, like running away or killing myself. Love of reading kept me in my Bible, which is the greatest thing she or anyone could have done for me, no matter how indirect it was. I never saw her after 5th grade, but I love her just the same!

  16. 266
    Jeanie says:

    Mrs. Juhl was my 3rd grade teacher at Miller Elementary in Santa Maria, California. She was from Hawaii and would bring in things like pineapple and macadamia nuts to class. Her skin was like a melted chocolate bar and she had very dark hair…I thought she was so beautiful. She taught us our measurements using real measuring cups and water which I obviously paid no attention to since I can never remember how many cups are in a pint or tablespoons in a cup or anything related to measuring. She was so kind and sweet and after I had a harsh teacher in 2nd grade, Mrs. Juhl’s soothing words and presence were like a balm to my overly sensitive heart.

  17. 267
    Haley says:

    I was blessed with so many great teachers. Mr. Waraksa was my Jr. High math teacher and made me truly adore algebra. Mr. Rutledge was my high school history teacher. I had him at 8:00 in the morning and literally could not wait for him to start talking every day. He just stood there and taught us about history like he was telling a story. It was fascinating to me. And I HATE the morning time… so that says even more about him. He also played in a band on the weekends, which made him seem even cooler to us high school students.
    And then there was Dr. Wight at Ouachita Baptist University. He just made me want to know more about everything. By far, the smartest man I’ve ever known. Like I said, I’ve been blessed!

  18. 268
    Rachel says:

    I just loved this post! It almost brought me to tears too–must be something in the air today.

    I have two favorite teachers–the first was my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. LeCroy. She taught me phonics in a fun way and I’ll never forget it. She’s also the reason I fell in love with books at such a young age.

    The 2nd is a college English professor. I took a class called “The Personal Essay,” and let’s just say up until that point, I wasn’t too keen on getting “personal” in my writing. He tore my first essay apart, and almost brought me to tears in the middle of class. I later met with him in his office and he said he did it because he knew I had more in me. I was so motivated after our talk that I went home that day and dug to the bottom of my heart and wrote the most personal essay I’ve ever written. He gave me an “A” and said it was wonderful. I’ll never forget that tough love!

  19. 269

    Oh, no doubt, Mrs. Florence Harrison. English and Literature. She not only taught me and all 3 of my brothers, she also taught both my parents, who will each be 80 within the year! So you can only imagine the age of Mrs. Harrison now. Oh, but still just as prissy and articulate! Every time I see her, I never fail to thank her for pouring into me. And I continue to credit her for my being able to write and speak with some semblance of eloquence today. Thank you, Beth, for reminding us to be thankful for such teachers as Mrs. Fanett and Mrs. Harrison. They are a rare breed indeed.

  20. 270
    Melinda says:

    My favorite afternoon break is to take in the latest posts on some of my favorite blogs – -LPM being the first I come to for a little five minute vacation from my precious preschooler and toddler. But today really did take me away — or take me back to some of the really incredible people I am fortunate enough to call my teachers.

    Mr. Stoia at Urbana High School comes to mind first. He intilled in me a love for writing and all things well written with his impassioned explanations of the themes and takeaways from Macbeth and even the dreaded Bronte sisters whom he taught me to appreciate. He wore his hair long and wildy shaggy always (every single day) wore the most faded, beloved pair of Levis he owned with boots. No one in Illinois wore boots then — but he did with style and bravado. He was coolness and he made English sassy, edgy, and something I wanted to dive into and never come out. But it was Pauline Kayes my sophomore college lit prof who made the deepest imprint on me that I still have on my heart today.

    Before her class I’d spend way too long saying goodbye to Mr. Wrong BF in the hall and then scoot to my desk right in front just in the nick of time. Ms. Kayes couldn’t have missed it but she was kind enough never to say a word about my obvious fawning and pandering to him. Brimming with insecurities I desperately wanted to believe I was as smart as everyone else who filled the desks all around me. But I couldn’t believe it. Didn’t believe it. Until we started submitting papers and mine came back with high praise and commendations from her. Her. Ms. Kayes. She was the smartest person I’d met. Perfectly eloquent, amazingly well-read, astoundingly knowlegeable and not a bit of fuss about her. Think Birkenstocks and floppy smock tops and you’re getting warm. She couldn’t have been concerned with her hair, boys, or beauty applications but she came to life in the classroom teaching us how to write with passion and purpose.

    We were asked to trade our papers with the person to our right one day. Nervous to great abandon I handed mine over with sweaty palms. The student was to remark on the content, style, and composition. Once each of us had the chance to read one another’s work Ms. Kayes asked the boy to my right what he thought of my work. He said some kind things but it was Ms. Kayes who looked me right in the eye (and I can feel the lump forming again in my throat this day) and said, while pointing at me with her strong hands, “You have it. You have exactly what it takes.” She went on to say (while pointing to her uncoiffed head) “Up here.” In her approving, affriming words she handed me a key that unlocked my mind and underlined my confidence in a way it had never been before.

    It was all I needed to soar, to fly, to excel. Today I’m a writer and my security isn’t under the control of any Mr. Wrong (who is long since history all glory to God). Thank you, Ms. Kayes for telling me what I needed to hear and for meaning what you said. Your gift was not lost on me.

  21. 271
    Linda says:

    My favorite teacher was Kathryn… She was my Typing Teacher in the 10th grade. She was single and the most beautiful lady at our school, inside and out… Years later, I applied for a secretarial job at DHS.. I didn’t even know about Dept. of Human Services and what they did, but Kathryn had been working there and I applied because she was there.. We worked together for 32 years. She had married and had 2 children, then gave birth to twins… I later married and gave birth to twins!!! Our husbands eventually would work together for the Hwy Dept. We are both retired now and live just two blocks apart. We see each other often and are special friends.

  22. 272
    Tiffany M says:

    I don’t post often, but I do love this one…even recognized the quote from Christianity Today!

    I had great respect for my teachers growing up. I can recall a few so vividly, but since that was a few years ago, please allow me to omit the names in case they’re not accurate and I defeat my purpose.

    I honor today my 1st grade, 2nd grade, and my High School English and Drama teachers. I know now that the ladies were all sisters of mine in Christ. What I can recognize today that I thought was just a “good teacher” was in fact His love radiating through them. A manifestation of His love for His children. I so regret that we have moved so far as a nation that they cannot speak that for what it truly is. Love for *all*.

    Thank you to each educator reading this- – public school, university, sunday-school to homeschool. We trust you with our most precious treasure, we allow you more time with them than we spend with them. Read these comments today and know God values what you do and so do we.

    To His Glory-
    Tiffany

    • 272.1
      Beth says:

      Amen, Tiffany. We join you in that gratitude!

    • 272.2
      Claire says:

      Tammy,
      I’m reading this with tears. I spent much of last night worrying about last year (whether I taught enough, loved enough, etc.) and about this year (more of the same). I fought the enemy all night long through prayer. Of course, I’ve been tired all day and not certain of much. And then I read your post. What a sweet word to me. What a precious reminder: God values what I do. Though I know it (and have the privilege of teaching His Word to my students daily), it was a timely word for me. Thank you for being a blessing to me today!

  23. 273
    Brittany says:

    My favorite teacher was my Dad!!He was my 6th grade teacher, and it never occurred to him to request that I be in another teacher’s class. He was slightly concerned that the kids might give me a hard time, but when he “picked at me,” as he often does, the entire class ganged up on him! It was a phenomenal year.
    In Science class, we had terrariums with mice (which kept the Principal out of our room), and we covered much of the science curriculum outside, near the creek. He was always known for his yearly production of plays that his homeroom put on for the entire school. He made connections to both English and History through those. He loved to have fun and it thoroughly excited him to see his students, “get it.”
    I guess by now that you would never have guessed that I followed in his footsteps. I am a Middle School English teacher (Please don’t check my grammar,because I’m typing quickly), and I want to be as exciting and caring as he was. I love my job and will never forget that all of my teachers over the years have dropped pebbles in my pond of life that will ripple on forever.
    Thanks for the post, Beth! It’s encouraging for this teacher who is starting a brand new year with new smiling faces. Please remember me in prayer as I start out this year on a cane with back problems. I’m 28, but have decided to let the kids call me “Granny” until I am healed!! Love you!:)

  24. 274
    Kristen says:

    My favorite teacher was Rhonda Downs. I had her my Sr. year of HS and she taught American Sign Language. She would light up the room every time she walked in. Over the past 15 years she and I have developed a treasured friendship. Such a woman of God. So blessed to have been inspired by her.

    • 274.1
      Beth says:

      I would LOVE to have taken ASL, Kristen! I literally tried to teach it to myself for years out of a picture book. I still stare at the interpreters at our LPL events to see if I can understand some of what they’re saying.

      • Bobbie says:

        You have amazing ladies that sign on Tuesday evening! I’ve found myself watching them, trying to follow you through their hands!! It has sparked an interest, I would love to learn. I’ve tho’t about the picture books, but I’m not disciplined enough!!

      • Melanie says:

        Oh, your ASL interpreters are amazing – particularly during the worship. That LOOKS as beautiful as the music sounds.

  25. 275
    Lori says:

    Hi Beth,

    My favorite teacher was Miss Wood. She was my 4th grade teacher and she made learning fun. Later the school would be named after her and I was so honored to have had her for a teacher. She would teach us our multiplication tables by giving us candy for each set we got right. It worked…we all did it. After I graduated from high school and was working close by to where she lived…I ran out of gas almost directly in front of her house. I went up to her door…now I hadn’t seen her in years…when she answered I asked her if she remembered me. She said now wait a minute and then told me exactly who I was!!!! I said to her…I can’t believe that you would remember me after all these years and all the students you have had! She then said…I always remember my good students. I could have cried. Special memories.

  26. 276
    Gayla says:

    I laughed and kind of misted up a little too at your post. I can well imagine your awe of that good teacher in your life… It is VERY difficult to choose just one because I was totally enamored with a good deal of my teachers (thus I became one for the last 36 years)… But the star of the show has to be Mr. Sandbothe, my high school band director. He was a short German man who often sat and talked to our 100-piece band for the whole hour on “how to live”… We sometimes got out our horns and just sat there while he “lectured” and told stories that inspired at least me to be the better person, go the extra mile, and be disciplined beyond that which I wanted to do… He said our lives and our horns had mistakes in them that had to be “blown out” by practice, hard work, and doing it wrong over and over until we got it right. He said if we forgot to keep on practicing when we hit a wrong note, we would flop down and make ugly music for the rest of our lives… I am floored by the wisdom of that today as I look at the bloopers I have “blown” in my life… You bet, Mr. Sandbothe. I was told that he passed away on the edge of his bed as he took off his socks one night. He looked at his wife and smiled and said, “Haven’t we had a good day?”…. he was fine, and then he was with the LORD… I have never quit crying about that one and I couldn’t begin to tell you how many years ago that was….

    Thank you for asking such a wonderful question… I can’t believe how good remembering this feels to my spirit.. I need me some Kleenexes and some practice to get things right today, that’s for sure! Hugs from Missouri!!!!

  27. 277
    Susy says:

    Dr. George Blanco. I went back to school for a teaching degree in 2004 and his passion for linguistics and how to apply that knowledge to teaching bilingual education inspired me to be just like him! I l-o-v-e-d him and made straight As in part so I could make him proud. He was small, white bearded and when he talked about something he really cared about, his hips would swing back and forth like he was dancing! Im sure he had no idea he was doing it. His passion for teaching was contagious and I caught the bug from him!

  28. 278
    Tara G. says:

    Mrs. Anderson, my college piano professor at Cedarville. She oozed the Holy Spirit (and I hope that’s not disrespectful to say because it’s what made me love her) and was one of the first women I saw that from- even after growing up in a Christian home and church- Jesus was real to her and I wanted what she had. She was a wonderful musician but she also had the most fascinating teaching techniques and they worked for(on?!)me! She prayed for me and I knew she genuinely cared. She even came over to my dorm room once when I had a particularly difficult situation. I’m so thankful we’ve kept in touch over the years!

  29. 279

    I loved my high school French teacher. Years later, when I was a brand new Mama, I bumped into her. She was also a fairly new Mama, and we laughed and giggled like peers, only I couldn’t call her anything but Mrs. Holtorf. I she got a kick out of that. She was precious, enthusiastic and encouraging all the way. I still love the French language all because of that ONE year spent in her classroom.

  30. 280
    Iris says:

    Ms. Fraser: flame red hair and really cool clothes and her mum would come on field trips. She thought about how to teach me, I was a.d.d. and no one know what that was back then, but she, she looked at me like it mattered that I learned and remembered and that it mattered, more than that but it mattered that I wanted to be a better student. She was kind yet firm compassionate yet no-nonsense. Loving without going over the top, her approval made a rather ugly and definitely awkward, messy black haired, blue eyed, not the smartest girl in the class want to. Her encouragement made me care, and feel like I was worth something. When no one else wanted to speak to that troublesome messy girl, she did and she touched my head and my hand and she apologized for all the rejection the other teachers had freely given me and said, “Lets you and me work on working on living, and living well. Okay. Lets look forward together okay.” and I nodded and….. we did. I have huge compassion for messy fidgeting little ones boys or girls and they will know they are loved and are special. One teach one life and hopefully that ripples out to many other.

  31. 281
    Christina says:

    I had a few favorite teachers. Second grade was Miss Yoder, now, Mrs. Tropf, and I still stay in touch with her. My sixth grade teacher, Mr. Barrett, my niece has this year. He also read to us, but he played with us at recess. I had two teachers from junior high that I really enjoyed. Miss Belis, now Mrs. Thyr, and also Dr. Taylor, which he is now the President of that school. I stay in touch with the first three teachers.

  32. 282
    Tina in Tenino says:

    My favorite was also my high school English teacher, Mr. Misner. He was just so cool, kinda like a hippee, he wore berkenstocks (WAY before they were cool!) a long mustache and little round glasses. He was like a big kid, only in his mid twenties, and everyone thought he was the best. Quite often we would all “circle the desks” and discuss current events and how they effected us. Yup, in English class!! I also learned more about grammar in his class then any other, before or after. Isn’t it great how the good teachers stand out in our memories for years?

  33. 283
    Janet says:

    My sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Weber, was my favorite. Everyone in fifth grade dreaded learning they’d be in her class because she had a reputation for being harsh. I remember being truly terrified. But she was only strict with kids who didn’t take school seriously. She was just that passionate about education. I liked school and wanted to please my teachers, so she was very encouraging to me. I remember being scolded once, but not in an unkind way. She had just noticed an area I was neglecting and drew my attention to it–a helpful thing.

  34. 284
    Jill says:

    Sharon Kingston was my high school English teacher. She impacted a group of high school kids like no one’s business. She encouraged us to exercise our minds, and to grow and learn every single day. One of her favorite sayings was, “this body is no prize, but my mind is a temple.”

    Not only did she teach us to love literature, she instilled a strong sense of right and wrong, fairness and ethics into a group of kids from Lubbock, Texas that none of us will ever forget.

    The most meaningful story was her own. She was engaged to be married to the most handsome boy in her class. I remember her saying , “He was the epitome of a man”. Shortly before her wedding he was injured, and left as paraplegic.

    She looked us squarely in the face and said, “This is where you see what you are made of. This is where you decide what love really is.”

    They were married for 40 years.

  35. 285
    God's not-so-little Dutch girl says:

    I had many favorite teachers in my grade school years. I remember crying every year on the last day of school because I LOVED my teacher so much and I was going to miss her so much over the summer.
    My absolute favorite one, though, is an easy one. It was my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Gerrits. I thought she was so pretty and nice.(Even though she had me stay at school instead of going on a field trip because I had talked too much during an assembly.) Her husband moved a lot with his job, and now they are living in NC, but we still exchange Christmas cards. I vividly remember when she was home for a visit to her parents. They went to the same church as my family at the time. She told me I was such a beautiful young woman, that meant the world to me. It was very hard when she told me I could no longer call her Mrs. Gerrits, but that I needed to call her by her first name. I felt so grown up, and it just felt wrong to do that, but because she asked, I do.
    My second favorite teacher would have to be you, Beth. I haven’t “known” you as long as some of the others in Siestaville, but I deeply love you. You make me want to follow hard after Jesus. I want the same passion for Him that I see in you every time you teach. Though they are not sufficient, the only words I can say are THANK YOU!
    Okay, now I am about to cry, and I have to get ready for work, so I’ll end this now before the racoon eyes start to form. Thanks for letting us reminisce today,Beth. Have a great week everyone!

  36. 286
    Kiki says:

    I’ve had many wonderful teachers, but one of my favorites is Ms. Joann Oliveto, my first grade teacher. I thought she was so beautiful, and she wore these high heel shoes every day that I so wanted to try on my own feet. Sometimes I would write her a little note and leave it on her desk (something like, “You are the best teacher”), and she would write back on that cool notepad paper teachers have with teddy bears or apples at the top, then place the folded note on my desk (something like, “You are a special little girl, and I am glad you are in my class”). Good memories!

  37. 287
    Jaclyn says:

    I had the worst teachers possible in my small town elemtary school from K-2nd grade. I mean the teachers that everybody’s moms desperately try to keep them away from.. it was awful.. by the 3rd grade I was determined to drop out. My sister had warned me that Mrs. Blair was the meanest teacher in the 3rd grade. I still remember the first day of school that year like it was yesterday. I was sitting in the cafeteria with my mom.. Mrs. Blair was the first teacher to the podium I was praying with as much passion as any 8 year old ever did, sure enough she said my name. Mom said the look of my face was tragic, I was mortified. My sister could not have been more wrong. Never have I had any one teacher show touch my life so much. She was firm but compassionate. She knew my parents and some of the trials in my young life and she reached out to me like never a teacher before or after. She’s retired now but I still love running into her and showing off my son and the great things in my life now. Mrs. Blair was my greatest teacher ever.. she restored my faith in the education system at a mere 8 years old.

  38. 288
    Ginger says:

    For me, it’s Mrs. Boring – my 1st grade teacher! She had the biggest, brightest, most beautiful smile I’d ever seen.
    I used to practice smiling like her. She was so warm, tender and all I remember is that I knew she loved us.
    It’s funny, I still have our class picture and look at it every now and then.
    When my son went to Kindergarten, he had a teacher named Ms. Bell and I promise you – she could’ve been Mrs. Boring’s daughter!!! I even brought up my class picture to prove to Ms. Bell that she could be (looks & personality – the whole package)!!! I was/ am so thankful my son had a “Mrs. Boring”!

  39. 289
    Siesta OC says:

    Realizing this is like bringing an apple to the teacher, I’m over it so here goes: As a girl, you see a female teacher that epitomizes who you want to be. You don’t even know how, there is just something about her that makes you want to be just like her. As a woman I have a teacher that is that woman who makes me say, when I grow up I want to be Beth Moore!
    Now I realize that sounds like I am missing the point, but in reality, ‘that thing’ that makes you, Beth, so inspiring to me is that GOD literally reaches thru you into my soul and grabs me. You are the very picture of who this woman wants to be: GOD-Breathed. An authentic woman who lives for JESUS and loves HIM with unashamed intensity, who cares so deeply for her friends and family, and who lets the LORD steer her course even if it dang near exhausts her. You are fashionable, smart and dedicated. And the GOD breath in you is what this woman of GOD prays for. I am sorry if this is embarrassing, but it shouldn’t be. I thank GOD for you Beth – you are a VERY SPECIAL teacher to me!

    Besides, you are the one who asked the question…”who’s your favorite?”

  40. 290
    Melissa says:

    This story is about my high school history teacher, who was pretty much feared by all. She was a large lady, a commanding presence with a deep voice.
    Her son was on the football team. I was in the band. She hated the band. She scorned the band director and anything the band tried to do.
    The band director was a small and timid man, but finally he had taken all he could from her. One day (it may have been Homecoming) he sent her a bouquet of roses with a sarcastic note thanking her for her tremendous support for the band.
    Do you know she took this to heart and became the biggest supporter of the band from then on, not realizing the sarcasm with which this note was given.
    Just goes to show that a little kindness (even unintended) goes a long way.

  41. 291
    Little Monkey's Mama says:

    Mrs. Hanny…I had her for 2 1/2 years…1/2 of 4th grade and then all of 5th and 6th grades! She was a TOUGH teacher, but my dad said that she’d prepare me for life if I let her. He was right! All of the term papers and projects completed in her classrooms, were much harder than most any other I did even including high school!

    I saw Mrs. Hanny one day at my high school. I was excited to see her! She remembered me, and seemed genuinely touched that I’d come over and say hi…(since I was now in high school).

    Funny…now that I’m a teacher, I get eager to talk to some of my past students. Not all of them are so eager to speak to me…I’m learning that they see themselves as too cool sometimes. But when they do come by or see me at the mall, I know that in someway GOD has touched their lives through me. That makes me day.

  42. 292
    Stephanie says:

    10th grade. Mr. Otero. Biology.
    Oh how he made science fun, interesting, hilarious, and you always felt smart! Biggest mistake was moving away the next year & not continuing science classes with him. I might have ended up a marine biologist had I stayed his student. He had a funny routine – scratch his balding head, thumb and hike his suspenders, push in on his belt buckle.
    Wow. great memories.

  43. 293
    T_Marie says:

    Mrs. LaCroix. Sr. year of high school. AP English.

    I learned how to completely immerse myself in a book or a great story. I learned that it is important, essential, to be myself and appreciate myself. I learned that I needed “a great reading chair.”

    When my mother died the next year (my freshman year in College), Mrs. LaCroix called to check on me.

    When I was getting ready to transfer to a university from the junior college, Mrs. LaCroix came to visit me at Mervyn’s, where I worked. She set a time for us to meet to shop for “a great reading chair” to take to the university with me. We had the best time, shopping and talking – the kind of thing a mother would do right before her daughter goes off to college. I eventually bought a papasan chair. Ever since, I have made it a priority to have “a great reading chair” in my home.

    Mrs. LaCroix was this warm, this interested, and this kind to all of us who were in that class. She called us her “chicks” and she told us, on our last day of class before graduation, “fly and be free my chicks!”

  44. 294
    Amanda says:

    My fifth grade teacher – Mrs. Robertson. My parents’ marriage was falling apart that year, and she found out about it. She was extremely caring. I remember we kept journals that year, and she would write back in mine. I also remember her talking to me one-on-one about how I was doing. She really cared about all I was going through.
    She was also an EXCELLENT teacher. When studying the ocean in science, we decorated our classroom as under-the-sea. In math, she individualized everybody’s math lesssons – we moved as fast or as slow as we needed to with her guidance. She read out loud to our class every day. I remember her sense of humor – how every once in awhile she would break out and sing the chorus, “Wild Thing” and drum her pencils on her desk.
    I met with her a few years ago – as a teacher myself now – and she now a principal – and told her how much she meant. She is one of the biggest reasons I went into teaching.

  45. 295
    NanaHat says:

    My favorite teacher was Miss Vandewald, my Kindergarten teacher. Looking back almost 64 years, the one thing I remember clearly were the high heel shoes she wore every single day…..and she was little and pretty….not too sure what I learned but I do remember those shoes.

  46. 296
    Cindy Hunter says:

    Beth, I could tell you must of had a great English teacher with all the writing you do! My favorite teacher was also my High school English teacher……till this day, I get excited looking up words in the thesaurus and dictionary and learning the meanings etc.

  47. 297
    Kristi B. says:

    Ohh what a wonderful story!! I guess you could say that i’m fresh out of high school. I graduated two years ago, and my favortie teacher was also an English teacher. I had the joy of having her class bot my Freshman and Senior year. English was not my favorite subject, but she made me love it!!! My Freshman year she was a bit scary, but I hung in there and she turned out to be the best!!! I will never ever forget her and her quirky was of teaching!! Thank God for great teachers!!!

  48. 298
    Olivia says:

    Such a sweet post, Beth!

  49. 299
    Lisa Repenning says:

    My favorite teacher was my son’s 4th grade teacher–he had her last year. She made me smile because she loves Jack and told him he had the best smile. And you can tell she loves Jesus, even though she can’t say it out loud in the public school. She has really good hair, and about January this last year I told her so. Then I asked if she’d ever heard of Beth Moore, because her hair reminded me of BM hair. She had heard and was in the same week of Esther as me! We are now girlfriends and doing Believing God together this summer. Neat huh?

  50. 300
    Pam K. says:

    I know I’m a very sentimental person; it’s very easy for me to tear up. But I already had tears when you first mentioned it and was sobbing by the next paragraph! Is it because I’m a retired teacher, or am I just a sentimental old fool? What a fun post to read, thanks! We all hope our former students have good memories of us!

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