A Really Fabulous Teacher

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

I knew this one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

With Mr. and Mrs. Fanett.

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

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


657 Responses to “A Really Fabulous Teacher”

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  1. 401
    Kelly Jo says:

    One last thing, my favorite Jesus teacher is my siesta mama!!! You will never know what you’ve done to this heart!! I love you to the moon 🙂 seriously

  2. 402
    Sandee says:

    Mrs. Quinn. My fifth grade teacher. So kind. I remember falling in love with books when she read “A Wrinkle in Time” outloud to the class. The 4th and 5th grade were in one class room, with only 10 students total, a small country school. My family moved ALOT, so I never spent more than a year and 1/2 in the same school. …but somehow she made me feel like I was not the new kid, again, and that I belonged..and even awkward, struggling, insecure me was worth caring about.

    A long long time ago, but of all my teachers, she stands out. West Stayton Elementary School, in Aumsville Oregon.

  3. 403
    Heisfaithful says:

    I was in the seventh grade. Our family had immigrated to the U.S. when I was in third and I had just about mastered English enough to feel like I was pretty good at it. In my life, I had moved about 10 times by then and been in 8 different schools. My father had a tendency to express his anger with his hands, voice, and words with my mother and his 4 children. I had buck teeth, a frizzy perm, and hand- me-down clothes from people at church. So I was suffering a bit in the confidence department.

    But Mr. Keller, my history teacher, seemed to see something in me. He put me in charge of recording everyone’s grades. He sat me in the front of the class everyday as he marched up and down the room checking everyone’s homework and called out who had missed their homework and who had completed theirs. I got to make the necessary marks in his book. But he never once checked mine. Always assumed that I had done mine. Needless to say, I made certain to, not only finish Mr. Keller’s homework, but be 100% accurate with all my answers. I so wanted to prove that I was worthy of his trust. Because of his confidence in me, I began to blossom that year. I debated, participated in public speaking, began to look people in the eye, and felt like I, too, was special in some way.

    I received a well deserved A+ in his class, got into the gifted and talented program the following year, and developed some polish and confidence. And I know without a doubt it’s because of Mr. Keller’s belief in me. I don’t know why he chose me to be his “helper” that year. Looking back, I think he saw a broken down little girl who needed some encouragement and he was kind enough to pour some love into me. I thank God for Mr. Keller in my life.

    • 403.1
      Donna Benjamin says:

      Your story in so sweet! Thank the Lord for Mr. Keller! I pray that there will be more “Mr. Keller’s” in the schools this year, so that children can realize their full potentials. God Bless YOU!

  4. 404
    Hollie says:

    When I think of my favorite teacher there is but one that stands out among the many wonderful teachers I’ve been blessed to have had in my life. Mrs. Lisa Cotharn was my 6th grade teacher back in 1989 and left a huge impression on my life both then and even today. She was more than just my teacher though in so many ways and not just during my 6th grade school year. My friend and I always got to baby-sit her two precious children together in tandem and had more fun than I can remember. They always made sure to order a pizza for us before they left, too. Sweetest family by far. A few years later they moved from Texas to Louisiana where she continued to touch lives by her teaching. We would always anticipate the yearly Christmas letter from her noting the exciting moments in their family’s life. She was always so great to keep in touch with us over the years and miles apart. Many years later on in my life, in 2002, I received the most wonderful wedding present that was quite unexpected…Mrs. Cotharn! She knocked on the door as all of us ladies were excitedly getting ready for the big moment, and surprised us by traveling all the way from Louisiana to Texas for my special day. It was a gift that I would come to treasure even more today. A special lady for my special day! That same year she was in an unfortunate car wreck that left her with a neck and spinal cord injury with paralysis in her arms and legs. She had a very hard fight, but no one was stronger than her both inside and out. She continued teaching after a long while all the time assisted by her wheelchair and the computer assisted controls navigated by her head movements. That certainly takes some dedication to continue teaching after such a struggle. She was my inspiration both then and now. Unfortunately in Aug. 2009 she passed away, but was at last free to walk the streets of heaven. I am sure of this, that heaven received quite the treasure of an angel that day. What a blessing to have had the opportunity to have such a wonderful person in my life. She is the reason I became a teacher myself. If I can make a quarter of the impact she made in my life on just one of my students along the way then I have been a success. God Bless you Mrs. Cotharn, you will never be forgotten by anyone you blessed with your inspiring and sweet presence.

  5. 405
    BeckyB says:

    My favorite teacher was Mr. Lewis – 8th grade. He was the one adult in our jr high school who we knew loved every single one of us. And we were hard to love. He wasn’t a push-over. If you brought a squirt gun to class, he stepped on it immediately. But he always had time to talk, always gave you the love and encouragement you needed. I found out later, though I’d suspected, that he was a Christian – and that explained to me why he could love the unlovable, the painfully obnoxious, the girl who wore turtle necks and plaid pant suits to cover up my insecurities. I too became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference like that. Thanks Mr. Lewis.

  6. 406

    My Favorite Teacher

    Ms Elizabeth taught 4th grade at Plains High School where I attended for many years in the mid to late 60’s. This south Georgia school is located in the home town of President Jimmy Carter. President and Mrs. Carter, and their sons, all attended there as well as many of their relatives.

    My first year at this school was 4th grade. My family moved from Atlanta- quite a change from the large and noisy hallways of my former school. I was a very timid child, to put it mildly, but I found this new environment very warm and inviting- just like Ms Elizabeth.

    Ms Elizabeth, a stout redheaded woman devoted to her students, had taught there many years and was known for her loving disposition and encouraging hugs. However she allowed no mischief, and was not afraid to take misbehaving students for some discipline outside the classroom door- if you know what I mean.

    My fondest memory takes me back to every day after lunch, looking forward to her daily reading from the Little House on The Prairie Series. The class would settle down and she would take a stool and sit at the front of the room and begin her reading from the chapter of the day. I would lay my head on the desk and listen intently to her every word.

    Soon I was sitting on that clapboard wagon bench next to Ma and Pa and looking out at the beautiful, wild, untamed west. The long day’s journey would end and the campfire embers would dance around the fire as we finished Ma’s warm supper. The lone howl echoes of the wolf in the distance would send chills up my spine as my mind imagined all kind of things that might be lurking in the dark, just beyond the dancing shadows of the camp.

    Pa would tell stories about the proud and fierce Indians that lived and hunted this great territory. Ma would seem concerned, but Pa would wrap his arm around her shoulder, putting her at ease with his calming assurance… he would always be there to protect us.

    Then, just as things were gettin’ good, the bell outside our classroom door would ring, signaling time for class change for the upper grades (and also, unfortunately, time for math.)

    Once in awhile, if we were lucky, she would give in to our pleading for just a little more (please…please). You see, Ms. Elizabeth enjoyed the stories as much as we did, taking her off to places she would never see, and meeting people whom she’d never have the chance to meet.

    I fell in love with reading that year. I learned that a shy girl could live magically through the escape of words- creating fantasies in the theatre of my mind.

    I am so grateful for that time in my life; when life’s pace was slower and much simpler. That old red school house is now the Welcome Center and home to the memorabilia of our 39th President of the United States of America.

    How blessed I am to have such fond, sweet memories there as well. Thank you Ms Elizabeth.

  7. 407
    Debbie says:

    Eleventh grade chemistry teacher. Mr. Hagen, who gave me a love for science. He sparked in me the joy of learning.

    Oh…speaking of sparked? A test tube blew up in my hand and as I ran through the class with my dress on fire, screaming, “I’m gonna die!”, Mr. Hagen quickly grabbed me and threw my hand into the sink. Just let me say this, the phosphorous that was burning into my fingers, was nothing compared to the burning in my cheeks, as my whole class stared at my bra that was showing through my burned dress!!

  8. 408
    Lori says:


    I always knew you were an excellent writer. 🙂 This post helped me to appreciate my Mom more, because she is an English teacher of 35+ years (high school). She loves you to death, as do I. I have been taught grammatical rules for as long as I remember, and to this day, if I make a grammatical mistake in her presence, she will inevitably correct it.

    I always loved school in general. I loved to read particularly, and still do. So I loved any teacher who read aloud to us from chapter books — or let us take turns doing “round robin” reading (as I later learned it was called while getting my elem. ed. degree). I did have a college Speech professor (at OBU in Arkadelphia, AR) who was the neatest man I’ve ever known, except for Jesus of course. He cared about his students from the heart and on our syllabus he wrote: “Call me anytime, about anything.” I read that, took it to heart, and took him up on that. Long story short, he became like a grandfather to me. He’s passed away since that time, but I like to think of him looking down from Heaven on my life and rooting me on, etc. He certainly did that for me during college. He probably is my favorite teacher of all time — well, definitely he is. A treasure and someone I look forward with joy to seeing again someday and spending eternity with. A clear picture of Jesus. Thanks for this reflective post. It is good to think back of him, and try to be like he was to me, to others in my life.

    I love you so much, Beth. Thanks for sharing your life w/us. (I prayed for you while at children’s camp this week as you popped into my mind — while walking around the beautiful campground — in AR.)

  9. 409
    WendyB says:

    Oh, oh, oh! (Raising my hand and wiggling in my chair) My favorite was my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Cenis. She was elderly THEN. She wore her hair in a little white cloud around her, sturdy black eyeglasses, cotton pleated shirtdresses with a belt around her ample waist, and sensible shoes. Her voice was all warbly. We diagrammed sentences. But, Beth….she READ to us! I’ll never forget the day she read Evangeline to our Marcia-Brady-haired, bodysuit and hiphugger-clad bunch. She wept as she read, and we girls wept surreptitiously with her. God bless that sweet lady! She is partly why I became an English teacher and am now enjoying my dream career as a book editor. Thanks, Beth, for the chance to gaze out my window here on a far-away Heidelberg Army post and relive age 13 and 1972 again!!!

  10. 410
    Marcy P says:

    Beth –
    I know this isn’t what you are asking, but YOU are one of the most important and effective teachers I have ever had. THANK YOU!

    Throughout my life, I have tried numerous ways to read the bible and draw closer to God’s word. My efforts usually left me frustrated or disappointed that I just couldn’t figure out how to make it part of my daily life.

    Then – I ran across Esther. LOVED IT! It was the secret for me on how to study the word.

    Over the last six months, (and I say this only to glorify God and the work that you have done for all of us) your work has created such an appetite in me that I cannot go a day without a study and it occupies most of my free time. I’m starting my 7th Beth Moore bible study in 6 months this weekend.

    That’s one incredible teacher. Thank you, and praise God for you.

  11. 411
    Kristi says:

    Hi Beth,

    I am excited as I just discovered your blog. I have never met or heard you speak in person(want to!!) but I have taken many of your video courses( Believing God, Esther, Stepping Up) through my church as well as seen you on t.v and read many of your books. I have to say that for me, you are like your English teacher. I absolutely love to hear and watch you teach. You are so genuine and have such a passion for God, peoople, and teaching and that just oozes out of you when you are talking. You make the word of God come ALIVE!! You are so engaging and have a way of drawing people in. I always want to hear more!! Thank you for being such an amazing woman of God and incredible example to follow!!

  12. 412
    Anonymous says:

    Virginia Slayden was my favorite teacher. 7th grade homeroom (which meant we had her for most of the day back then in this metro area because we did not have a middle school…it was still elementary) and also Math (her specialty.) Although I was a good student, Math was never my best, so the memories are not about Math. They are all about her strength (she was strict, but fair), kindness, energy and ability to share her gift with a classroom full of adolescents. And somehow Mrs. Slayden made a chubby, awkward girl (who was probably seeking approval constantly, not to mention interrupting) feel as if she was just fine the way she was. During my junior year of college I was crowned homecoming queen at a university (and big football school.) As I climbed through the stands late in the game (I think searching for my parents) my eyes met hers. Mrs. Slayden! She was at the game with her husband, I think. It is what I remember most about that day…what a surprise to see this special woman on a special day. It was such a blessing to know her. She had such contagious spirit, joy and energy. And she was bright and beautiful, not to mention a wonderful, loving, gifted teacher.

  13. 413
    Sherrie Watson says:

    My favorite school teacher was Mrs. Curtis. She was my 1st and 2nd grade teacher. That was in 1974 and you could still talk about God in the public schools. She would talk about God, give us bible verses and play her accordian. I don’t think I will ever forget her and I love still seeing her every now and then.

    Sherrie Watson

  14. 414
    Deirdre says:

    you have probably long since been overwhelmed by stories here, but I can’t help telling you mine. I’ll try to keep it short.
    Two summers ago I got a call from my dear friend Janna Julian. I’ve hardly ever called her Janna by the way, mostly I call her Julian (yes, its relevant, just stick with me here). Anyway, her mom was in the hospital.

    Now Janet Julian was the person I feared most. in a fear-of-the Lord kind of way. I’ve never had to wonder what it meant when the Bible tells us to fear God. I just recall what Mrs Julian inspired in me. Respect, awe, and a burning desire for her love and approval.

    I knew she approved of me as a human being, but my school work could never quite reach. I never had any problem in my other classes. English? a breeze, History? oh my yes, bring it on!, Sciences? my curiosity knew no bounds. But Mrs Julian taught my two worst subjects Old Testament …..and Math.
    I was okay at Bible. but Math? horrible. She spent loads of extra time on me trying to drill mathematical concepts into my silly 4th and 6th grade brain. We survived those years and moved on, but she was always a part of my life due to her daughter being my friend. And I was always deeply in awe of Mrs. Julian.
    So anyway I got this call, and went to see her. Martin and I were preparing to adopt a baby but at the time we didn’t know if it was going to be a boy or a girl and in the midst of polite hospital room conversation she asked what we were going to name the baby.
    so without thinking about it one way or the other I launched into one of my favorite stories – how Martin and I decided our future childrens names on our very first date

    “well what are they?” she asked

    “McKenzie Altie if it is a girl…and Julian Ashby if it is a boy.”

    It took me a moment to realize what I had done. I had just told this teacher, this awesome woman who had helped shape my life, that if we had a boy we were naming him after her.

    she smiled the sweetest smile I had ever seen. and I honestly don’t remember anything else that happened that evening.

    Janet Julian is gone now. and we adopted a baby girl who is now almost 2 years old. but if we ever adopt a boy, we already know his name.

    • 414.1

      I love this:) And I definitely told my fav I decided the same thing if I ever am blessed to have children:)
      You give a child a name that has meaning…and girl, that is the ultimate meaningful one:) I am glad you share that!:)

  15. 415
    Renee says:

    I’m one of those crazy people who, in general, loved school and all the teachers therein. Many stand out for one reason or another, but it was Emma Martin, my 5th and 6th grade teacher, who nurtured my love of writing and encouraged me to keep on. I’ll never forget what she wrote in my yearbook: “I look forward to reading the books you write one day.” I’ve written several, published none, but every time I think back to her words, it restores my faith that someday, it will happen, and that first book will be dedicated to her. Interesingly, I had not seen Emma for years and years. Then three years ago we changed churches and lo and behold, whom did I see across the way but Miss Emma, looking wonderful and fit and far snazzier than she did as my teacher all those years ago. She is still tutoring kids privately, well into her 80s. I’m now a 6th grade teacher myself, at the same school where she was once mine, and she never fails to ask me about my students and my classroom. I guess once a teacher, always a teacher at heart.

  16. 416
    Janie says:

    My 6th grade teacher, Reba Rucker, was my favorite, although I had many that I loved. She made me feel so special and taught me to love English. After I had been out of school for about 15 years, I sent Mrs. Rucker a letter thanking her for all she had done for me and how she had been instrumental in my being a successful adult, even in preparing me to be a Sunday School teacher. That was probably 25 years ago. (I am now 60.)

    A couple of years ago, I received a call from a friend of Mrs. Rucker, saying she had passed away and as they went through her personal things, they had found the worn letter I had written many years ago. On the outside of the envelope, she had written (in her perfect penmanship), “Prized Possession” and I had the privilege of reading it at her funeral!

  17. 417
    Val in KY says:

    “French-tipped nails”…hhmmm, I saw that recently too 🙂

    I had many great teachers and some I remember more than others. I attended a new Christian school in 7th Grade. I was a shy, quiet little 12-yr-old. My family’s house experienced a fire in the winter of that year and we lost about 80% of our possessions. I remember sleeping at the house of a family in our church and wearing the same clothes to school the next day. My homeroom teacher called me to her desk that next morning and whispered to me that she heard about what happened to our family, that she was so sorry, gave me a big hug and a new Bible. I felt so valued in that moment. Thank God for teachers like that.

    Louisville, KY

  18. 418
    Barbara Head says:

    My favorite teacher goes really, really far back. It was my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Reagan, in the small East Texas town of Carthage. I was learning cursive handwriting and I was an awkward left-hander. My mother spoke with Mrs. Reagan about forcing me to use my right-hand because we live in a right-handed world. She took my mother aside and gracefully said “no, no, don’t change her. I will teach her to write correctly with the hand God gave her to use.” I believe because of her caring to teach an awkward left-hander to manage a very good “penmanship”, I grew into a fairly good “person of penmanship”. Thank you, Mrs. Reagan, for caring.

  19. 419
    glenwood says:

    Miss Phillips is my favorite teacher. She taught 4th grade. When I was in college I would visit a friend’s house near where I lived and her mother kept hearing about Miss Phillips and “my fourth grade teacher said”. The mother said I was going to give her a complex and I asked why. She said she taught 4th grade.
    Dr. Carl Ross was my favorite college teacher. He made history come alive.

  20. 420
    Connie says:

    My favorite teacher was my third grade teacher Mrs. Diosaurus! She was young,so sweet to everyone. I was very shy and my self esteem was pretty low. She not only taught the basics she taught our class French.I know that it had to be very difficult but she never let us know.The school district was very poor so I know she not only encouraged the children but the parents! We presented our french skills at a PTA meeting.The pride I felt that day I still remember. Every child deserves such a teacher!

  21. 421
    Valerie says:

    Wow….only God could have ordained that for you Beth. I’m so glad you were able to see Mrs. Fanett & speak to her after all these years.

    My favorite teacher was my third grade teacher, Mrs. Peters. I’m a preacher’s daughter & we moved a lot in my younger days. I had attended kindergarten, 1st & 2nd grades in three different town. Thankfully I got Mrs. Peters my 3rd grade year…adjusting to another new place. This lady was the most wonderful teacher in the world.
    She made learning so much fun. This sounds so silly now, but if we made a 100% on our spelling test each week, she let us stand on top of our desks. (more like small tables) We LOVED it!
    We had a rodeo one time & made stick horses. She gave little prizes if you read books. We had a May Day celebration and wrapped a pole. I kept in touch with her through a mutual friend that I attended church with. I wrote her a letter years and years later. She wrote back & I have that sweet letter tucked away in a very special place. Mrs. Peters has gone to be with the Lord at the age of 99. I was honored to be asked to say a few words at her graveside service.

    I just had to go dig out that little note. (sorry so long!!) She was 95 when she wrote the note back to me. Here’s what it says:

    “Dear Vallery, thank you for your letter. I remember the morning your beautiful mother brought you pretty little girls to enroll at (name of school) Thank goodness I got you. You were such a sweet little pupil. I read all the time. I can’t write. I’m sorry. Write to me again, but don’t expect much of an answer. Lots of love. Phoebe Peters.”
    Priceless, huh?!!!

  22. 422
    Betsy Madison says:

    There have been many good teachers in my life. That’s probably why I am a teacher today. Please do stop and talk with us when you see us out in public. We have a hard and often thankless job and it means the world to us when you tell us that you still remember us and that we made a difference in your life. I recently received a facebook message from a former 4th grade student (now pregnant with her second child). She had seen a preview for the upcoming movie “Beezus and Ramona” and she had to tell me her memories of me reading that book aloud to her class.

    As for favorite teacher–I will never forget Mrs. Flannigan, my first grade teacher. It was the late 60s. She drove her motorcycle to school wearing long skirts, brought her guitar, taught us to sing “This Land is Your Land”, and led sing alongs in the cafeteria.

    To all teachers out there–you have an awesome responsibility and it’s not just to teach academics to children. You have the opportunity to show children how to treat others, you model polite and civil behavior, and you can instill a love of learning. Keep on doing what you do!

  23. 423
    Melissa says:

    My favorite teacher was my High School Chemistry teacher. I had him for Chem 1 + 2 and Physics. He got off subject sometimes and spoke wisdom to us. He was excellent in teaching science and you could tell he loved it. He told us more than once that the hardest thing we’d ever have to do would be raise our children….and so far I believe that to be true!

  24. 424
    Millie says:

    My favorite teacher was my first grade teacher, Mrs. Melton. She made learning magical. When I went to 2nd grade, she told our class that she could NOT bear to be parted from us, so she had moved up with us! I never forgot that. I stayed close to her all through her life and became a teacher myself. She even attended my wedding!

  25. 425
    Elaine Ross says:

    My favorite teacher was my 5th grade teacher. Her name was Miss Beulah Sams and she was from Flagpond, TN. She was an older single lady who wore her hair in a bun on the back of her head. She loved me. That was the most important part of that year with her. We were her life and we knew it. She was heavy like me and we could identify with each other. When she hugged you, (teachers could hug back then) you knew you had been hugged. I don’t remember anything she taught , but I remember she was fun –AND— she loved me.

  26. 426
    Maryellen says:

    Sr.John Agnes. Toughest nun you could ever want to meet. She was a triathlete, I kid you not.
    It was my Sophomore year in an all girls Catholic academy. I had long before decided that I was way too stooped (notice my 2 “o”s please) to be in school, but I had no choice about going.
    She didn’t buy it for a second. Out of shear terror, I did my work…and I did it very well. She made me read the classics and then she made me write…and she approved of me. Once in awhile we would discuss our faith and she knew I loved Jesus. She told me to write about Him.
    I would do anything that nun told me to do…especially after I saw her body slam some nasty Junior against a locker for being fresh. LOL! This was in the early 80’s and we didn’t see a lot of body-slammen’ nuns at that point in history!
    Yup, God bless Sr. John Agnes where ever she may be today.

  27. 427
    Cindy Cobb says:

    Sharon Coil was the essence of beauty in such a graceful way. From the day I entered her sixth grade classroom, I knew there was something different about Mrs. Coil. It was my last year in elementary school but the first year I changed classes. The other sixth grade teachers were men so Mrs. Coil stood out even more. We were all at such an awkward stage in our young lives, and Mrs. Coil was a great buffer for us amongst the other two male teachers. She gave us a soft place to fall. When Mrs. Coil taught geography, I actually envisioned myself being right there in Rome or Madrid with her. The countries came alive. My dad fought in Korea and WWII but would n ot talk about his military days. Mrs. Coil’s teachings actually took me to the places my dad had been and helped me to understand why he was the man he was. War had taken a toll on him.

    Years later, I found out why Mrs. Coil was so different when I saw her at a new church I was visiting. She loved God, and thought she could not teach about the Lord in a public school, she exemplified Him in her character. I answered God’s calling on my life to become a teacher in a Christian school because of the example Mrs. Coil set in education. I believe her godly character also was a precursor to my answering God’s greater call to salvation.

  28. 428
    aubrey says:

    My favorite teacher, and the one who made me want to become a teacher, was Ms. Bedsworth. She was my 5th grade teacher and she was so much fun! She had a whole story made up about how she was from another planet. She would tell us stories from her “world” and would occasionally speak in her native language. 🙂 She had a way of making everything fun. She also gave us journals and had us write in them. The best part was we could write whatever we wanted and she would write back to us. It meant the world to me when I read her personal comments to my rantings.
    I too hope I am making the same impact on my students. I want them to know how special each and every one of them are and how fun learning can be.

  29. 429
    Mrs Ritz says:

    My favorite was 2nd grade. I was in a combined classroom – one giant room with two teachers and two classes. The teachers, Mrs. Roberts and Mrs. Dewey, were great friends (or appeared to be from my 7 year old eyes) and worked together seamlessly and enjoyed the camraderie of team teaching. They made our classroom a ridiculously fun place to be. This was in the height of the original Star Wars glory days, and since their last initials were R and D, and since they both taught second grade, our room was R2D2!
    They made it a game to try to finish the curriculum BEFORE the end of the year, so if a student finished the entire math book they would make up fun, challenging word problems for them to do, and if someone completed all the spelling words for the year, they would give them crazy long words like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, just for fun. I’m smiling just thinking about them. =)

  30. 430
    Brooke says:

    Well, sitting here thinking, I have several of my not so favorite teachers, but there was Mrs. Painter- 3rd grade, she LOVED ME! She went on about my hair, my eyes, she called me “Brookie” she never got my name mixed up with my cuter, funnier friend “Brandi” She told us stories about her life, her childhood and teenage years, places she had traveled that we could not imagine if it had not been for her descriptions. My mom would fry mushrooms that we had found and I would take them to her. Not only did I take them when she was my teacher, but for the years to follow also. She had the most beautiful silver hair, and she still does! She read to us every day. She was and still is a very special person! It is almost sad to think that after her, I never really had a special teacher again. They were okay and good teachers, but not like Mrs. Painter.

  31. 431
    Becky says:

    Mr. Crider, 6th Grade, Jane Long Elementary.

    6th grade was still elementary; the precursor to 7th grade and “Intermediate” school. I was the oldest child, only girl, red hair, a mouth full of braces and sister to 3 little brothers – 8,7 & 2. I was bossy, angry and confused. Overwhelmed, loving parents with Mom in control and Dad the silent type.

    I remember crying in class after a dentist appointment because of the pain and dying of embarrassment because of a bleeding lip. I remember my parents being required to meet with Mr. Crider and the principal. And I remember that I suddenly had “free” time after school. Babysitters started being hired. I remember I could ride my bike to Marilou’s house more. The child was allowed to be a child more.

    During that year I learned that I loved learning. That I loved school.

    I wouldn’t recognize him today; I don’t remember anything more than that he was tall, soft-spoken and strict in class. But I will always appreciate that Mr. Crider did more than his job required.

  32. 432
    Lupw Meza says:

    WOW! What a great post!!! Loved it My favorite teacher – actually I have two. One was Mr. Fletcher – world history teacher in high school. Believe it was 9th or 10th grade. He really emphasize our memorizing The Preamble and other such important documents. Anyway, I really liked him because he was an excellent teacher as well. Sad to say he died suddenly and that was really hard to deal with. My other favorite teacher was Mrs Ramirez, spanish teacher, in high school. I learned so much and am glad now i am using this as a spanish interpreter for the schools… I went on to take college spanish classes and have used my skills on mission trips to El Salvador,Mexico and soon Guatemala. Anyway, our lives move on but our memory does go back to those days when we were in high school and those that impacted our lives. Thank you Beth for sharing your heart on this. You are such a gift to all of us. Bless you!

  33. 433
    R says:

    My favorite teacher was Mrs. Sharon Tringali (she was Italian, beautiful woman)! She was my 4th grade teacher and I loved her. My home life was terrible, and I just wished she could be my mother. I wanted her to adopt me, she was always so positive and encouraging. I loved to read and I was good in school and my best friend and I fought ridiculously to be “teacher’s pet”. Like we raced to hand out papers, or raced to sit next to the teacher on class field trips! My parents got divorced and we moved a few years later but I never forgot Mrs. Tingali. Then to my shock and amazement I saw her at my new school when I was a freshman in high school. She had just taken a job teaching at the middle school next door and it was wonderful to see her again. I’d love to be able to see her again to tell her how much she meant to me and to thank her for building me up at a time in my life that I was so low. Her kindness meant so much to me. She was a great teacher!!

  34. 434
    Teresa Brady says:

    I was also inspired by my 8th grade English teacher. He taught us English Grammar. The 8 parts of speech, diagramming sentences, the proper use of terms. Literature and the love of English. Even in the school cafeteria, he would catch us and we would have to recite the 8 parts of speech. But somehow, I fell in love with the English language. He inspired me to write. It was a small town in Oklahoma. I was the new preacher’s kid in town. I had a place. I ended up majoring in English. I now, blog, write for a newspaper column, speak, am a pastor’s wife and have a passion for women’s ministry. I believe that my English teacher played a part of God’s plan for my journey!
    Loved your story. Reminded me of mine.
    Have a great day.

  35. 435
    Amy Pendergrass says:

    Beth, I loved your story about your teacher! I, too, had a fave teacher growing up. My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Larrimore, was so amazing! Actually, now that I think about it, she looked a lot like you! How ironic! Anyway, she just had this fun way of teaching and keeping our attention. She really enjoyed her job and loved us kids. I aspired to be a teacher like her someday. I did end up getting my teaching degree and teaching 4th grade my first year. It was amazing! I’m not sure if I was as dynamic a teacher as she was, but I hope I was. I have since stopped teaching to raise my girls, but I’ll never forget Mrs. Larrimore!!!!! I remember finding out she’d moved on to becoming the principal of the elementary school I had attended. And when I moved back to my hometown after college to find a job, I even got to interview with her! How wonderful it would’ve been to still have her in my life as a mentor/boss. But it wasn’t meant to be. I accepted a job at a different school. That’s really besides the point, though. Anyway, I will never forget her guidance and direction and inspiration! Thanks for the great story of your encounter with your English teacher!

  36. 436
    Deb Dorris says:

    Hey everyone!
    I have a favorite teacher story, but before I get to it, I should probably introduce myself since this is only my second post. My name is Deborah Dorris (feel free to call me Deb, not Debbie though. Nothing against Debbie’s, it just doesn’t fit me) Anyway, I live in Effingham, IL, originally from Texas. I’m 35 yrs old and been married for 10 yrs. I’m a stay at home mom to 3 kids, Ashley 5, Cailey 3, and my little man Chase who turned 1 in July.

    So my favorite teacher was Coach Wade, ‘Blackie’. I don’t know why they called him Blackie, something from college I guess. Anyway, my high school was very small, and today is even smaller. He coached all the high school athletics. I was not a part of these ;). He also taught Biology, and I was in his class. He was also the dad to one of my best friends. Anyway, Coach Wade wasn’t my favorite because of the subject he taught. When I was a junior, I started having headaches, really bad headaches. Coach Wade started having them too. He and I both were going through all kinds of tests to find out the cause about the same time. Mine came back with a diagnosis of ADD and migraines. His came back with mini strokes but they weren’t sure what was causing them. So the doctors put him on blood thinners and kept a close eye on him. During our tests, he would send me notes of encouragement and we kind of became buddies through our misery. During the summer after my junior year, I got very very sick. I was in the hospital for almost a week before they figured out I had mono that was attacking my major organs. I almost died. During this time he kept checking on me and even gave me one of his coaching tshirts. I still have it. It’s one of my most prized possessions. I recovered from everything and went on to live life. In the meantime, his wife was diagnosed with cancer. After fighting hard, the dr’s at MD Anderson told them to start making memories. They prepared for her death and took trips and dates and lived the next 40 years in about 2 yrs. And then one evening, he was at school preparing something for the next day and fell and hit his head. Because he was on blood thinners, he bled out before the medics could get him to the hospital and he died. His wife shortly after that recovered completely from her cancer! This was about 11 yrs ago. She’s remarried and healthy and happy. And Coach Wade, being a Christian, is dancing and singing with the angels, praising and loving on Jesus!! It’s such a great gift knowing that he was a Christian and knowing that he is in Heaven, right where he should be!!
    Thanks for reading my story! I hope all of my new Siesta Sisters have a fabulous weekend!!

  37. 437
    Yanna says:

    I don’t want to come across as syrupy or a stalker, but I have tears in my eyes as I say this. Beth Moore is my favorite teacher. Thank you Beth, for teaching. I can’t even type because I can’t see.

  38. 438
    Donna Benjamin says:

    My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Stalnaker, was my favorite. On days when things seemed a bit hectic, she would put on a bright red apron, with pockets that contained M & M’s. Amazingly the entire class would sit up and work extra hard, in an effort to earn just one of those scrumptious little candies! One of many creative ways she motivated us all to have a love of learning, (and M & M’s).

    Most importantly though, was the day that she asked my friend and I to stay in from recess. Once everyone else had left the room, she asked us to explain how we had moved so rapidly through the “SRA” reading chart. (We had jumped from somewhere on the first half all the way up to the gold or platinum level, in what I think was a day or two). When she began to quiz us on some of the topics contained between the two extremes, we knew we were caught cheating, red-handed. Instead of chastising us though, she gently explained to us the importance of honesty and trust. Then made us move back to the level we were actually on. That was it. No harsh lectures, no humiliating us in front of the class, not even a note home to our parents. But her gentle words have remained with me to this day–along with my love for M&M’s. 🙂

  39. 439

    The best teacher that I ever had was Mr. Findley. He taught at my high school. His wife and my mom had been best friends during childhood, so maybe that’s why he took to me. But he was that one person that I could confide in and expect to get truthful opinions and advice. I think he’d been a rambler prior to being saved and so he knew both sides of the fence. He set me straight my junior year when I was frequently checking out of his class!!! Even after graduation, I stayed in touch and would go by the school whenever I needed wise counsel, and he aways proved faithful. I was so blessed to even be able to attend his classes at the local community college. I found out during that stint in his classes that his high school classes were sooo much tougher than college courses. I told him my conclusion and he totally agreed. Still to this day, he is my friend. My family and I occasionally see him. He laughs and tells my mother that if she knew all the stuff about my “younger” years that he did — it would still keep her up at night. (not my proudest moments) But he also tells her how he prayed for me. I know that if I didn’t have him in my life over the years, I would not be the same person that I am today. So there it is the best teacher I ever had, Mr. Findley.

  40. 440
    Anonymous says:

    My most inspiring teacher was Mrs. Sewell in the 5th grade. She was so kind to me. That year I was molested for a year of my life by a man, and my Dad left my Mom. It was a rough year. Mrs. Sewell did not know any of this, but maybe she just felt ‘something’ for me. She belived in me. I was very shy, insecure and not a happy child. At christmas our school choir sang at the church her husband preached at. I did not know she was a Christian, nor did my family attend church. Now, looking back, I feel it was her Christian love that helped me. At the end of the year, when awards were passed out, I got the “Most Improved” award. Not really sure if I ‘improved’ anything at all, but I Knew it was Mrs. Sewell that did that for me!! That award boosted my confidence more than she will ever know!!! I know I will see her in heaven one day, and I will thank her!!

  41. 441

    I had many of the same teachers that you had in that small town you grew up in before you moved! The one I remember most was my 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Ewing. She taught me to love to read and learn and like your favorite teacher…her attitude was contagious! I’ll never forget her! ♥

  42. 442
    Lisa says:

    I will join in with the other siestas that you, Beth Moore, are the BEST. (and I started with you a long, long time ago, in the chapel on Thursday mornings). But I’d like to tell you about my 4th grade teacher, Miss Carrye Holland (yep, spelled like that – which is so cool when you are in the fourth grade). We lived in the south and that was the year the schools were integrated, which was a huge deal, as those of us that are old enough will remember. Our schools integrated first by putting black teachers into white schools. So Miss Holland was the very first black person I ever knew. Now, as a southern child, I had been taught just to “stay away – they are just different than we are.” My parents meant well, but that’s what they had been taught, too. So from this teacher, I learned not just the 3 R’s, but that we weren’t all that different. She was wonderful! She was kind! She was beautiful! She was smart! When I hugged her, she smelled like flowers! I proudly made straight A’s that year, but what we learned that year changed our thinking and changed our hearts.
    And now, I am a high school teacher (at your arch rival on the other side of the neighborhood! Spring Woods!)and I would love to know that I might possibly have that impact on the lives of my students. I make sure they know I am big on God!

  43. 443
    Joybreaks says:

    Mrs. Stembridge. 6th grade. Her breath smelled like Sanka coffee. She would read from this book and one line she read often started with “Whatsoever things..” After I got saved, and got into the Word, I found it. I thought..”Oh man, she was planting seeds in me!”


  44. 444
    Karen says:

    My favorite teacher was in third grade, Ms. Holt (who the next year married my 4th grade teacher and became Mrs. Meck). Every day after lunch, Ms. Holt would read to us and she introduced me to one of my all-time favorite books, “Where the Red Fern Grows”. I had my mom go and buy me the book so I could follow along as Ms. Holt read aloud. When it got to the very emotional part at the end of the book, Ms. Holt was choked up with tears and she turned to me and said, “Karen, would you read to the class for a bit.” WOW!!!! For a third grader – that was amazing! When I got married 20+ years later, Mrs. Meck came to my bridal shower and gave me a copy of “Where the Red Fern Grows”.

  45. 445
    rene sandifer says:

    Approval, yes, seeing you as a person, not just a student, yes. My favorite teacher would have to be Barbara Ann Thomas, or BAT as she was called. She was my 7th and 8th grade speech and theatre teacher. We listened to hip music in the 70’s learning to loosen up in body and face movements. She had long blonde hair and laughed alot. She had us out to her lake house for year’s end party. She listened to us when we talked to her. My home life was way complicated and dysfunctional. I confided in her. She listened to me. I felt heard.
    She was a great teacher, and an even better human being.
    Thanks for sharing about Naomi….and for asking about BAT.

  46. 446
    Roselawyer says:

    The teacher that I remember most fondly is my college advisor, Dr. Clark. Dr. Clark taught accounting at SWBC now Southwest Baptist University. A true Southern gentleman from Louisiana, he taught everything from the perspective of a Christian businessman. I had a double blessing in that after I graduated from college, he was my Sunday School teacher for several years.

  47. 447

    This Ozark farm chick’s favorite teacher was Mrs. Gabriell my Home Economics teacher for four years. That woman could spark my interest more than anyone else! Heeehehehe!

    I am now retired from Special Ed. and so appreciate all the great teachers I had growin’ up. Teachers really do make a difference and you are so right baby, ya can’t beat a good teacher.

    From the happy hills and hollers of the Missouri Ponderosa, ya’ll have a wonderfully blessed weekend!!!

  48. 448
    Missy June says:

    I’m late, for sure, but I just couldn’t let the opportunity pass without a shout-out to my English teacher and drama coach, Mrs. Susic. You completely verbalized the way she brought words to life and literature became escapism. Thank you for such a sweet memory and Mrs. Susic, thank you for being inspirational to bizarre high schoolers!

    Also, Mr. Whitehouse made history exciting and intriguing…I’m a history buff today much due to his enthusiasm.

  49. 449
    Karen Hill says:

    I had many wonderful teachers. I can name every teacher I have had since elementary. Two stand out. One a principal, Mr. Travis Galloway, He was very tall and soft spoken. You really had to be listening when he talked. I think that because he was also a member at my church he just stood out. I wrote a poem about him in the 7th grade which I was honored to have read at his funeral. Another amazing teacher was my math teacher at 7th and 8th grade. I know many people want to completely erase those awkward junior high years but I think I learned more math in those two years than in all the years since and Mr. Larry Norris is exactly the reason I became a math teacher. He connected with me. He was funny, strict, and he demanded that we try. He also had a connection to my church raising, he taught Sunday school. Many others stand out as I remember each had their own style of teaching and made connections with me. As I teach that is my goal, to make a connection that leads my students to exceed in all aspects of their lives.

  50. 450
    Selena says:

    I had two favorite teachers. Mr. Lovejoy was my middle school Bible, science, and history teacher. What I remember most about him was how he taught the Bible to us. He explained things in such a way thatI’ve never forgotten them. He made learning fun.
    Mrs. Newsome was my English teach all four years of highschool. The way she taught literature really brought all of those old literary works to life for me. She made us write alot too, which I didn’t care for at the time, but was extrememly grateful for when I had to take English 101 and 102 in college.

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