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Ruby tunes's Message:

The teacher who made the most difference in my life was Sister Zeno. She looked like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies, very thin and wiry and full of energy though she was probably well over seventy. She was a Franciscan nun and was both the principal and a teacher at the Catholic school I attended. I was only there for one year, but what a year! I learned so much.

Sister Zeno was my ninth grade teacher for all subjects, and a master of them all, including English, Latin, History, Algebra, Science, and Debate. Iíve never seen such well run and yet intense debates as we had in her class, with formal rules, a student moderator, and challenging topics that really made you think. The entire class always eagerly participated. I remember how thrilled I was when it was my turn to be chosen as moderator.

My fellow students and I were from lower to middle class backgrounds, and about half the class was Latino. Very few of us had parents who had been to college. Sister Zeno inspired us to strive to do our best, and she never raised her voice nor did she have any discipline problems. Thatís amazing, considering we were teenagers!

Her motto, which I had engraved on a paperweight I used during my own teaching career, was ďDare to be different...in a positive way!Ē

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
LuBelle 01-14-2021 08:39 PM

The teacher that may have make the most difference in my life was probably my own Aunt Marjorie. When I was in 7th grade I was terrified by my English teacher. She was a formidable, really mean, older lady. She called on us using cards with our names on them, and her favorite activity for us was diagramming sentences. I totally didn’t get diagramming and she made me cry one day in class because of the humiliation. That Christmas vacation my parents shipped me off to my Aunt Marjorie, who was a high school English teacher. I was there for 10 days, and every day we worked on English, grammar, and (gag) diagramming sentences. At the end of the visit I was a master at diagramming sentences! Ah-HA! I had a better understanding of grammar. It made such a difference in my life! I became the mean teacher’s star student! I floated through my English classes in junior high and high school. I minored in English in college. Thank you Aunt Marjorie! Love and miss you!
BUT, ED.....you made me think. I, too, need to express appreciation to my typing teacher, Mr. DeBryan. Typing was an essential skill that helped me succeed in high school, college, teaching, and I use it today! Thank you Mr. DeBryan.

cvt 01-13-2021 10:31 AM

I became a history major in college because of my favorite history teacher in 10th and 11th grade.

Decades before Robin Williams and others showed teachers standing on desks and acting out historical scenes, my teacher was bringing history to life through his own re-enactments. Standing on a chair or moving through the classroom he would do orations by the classical Greeks and Romans, describe real life in the Middle Ages as well as the Black Death (Plague), explore the Magna Carta and its effects on the world, read passages from Plato's The Republic, explain WWII and its ramifications, and so on. Critical thinking was always part of his teaching, and we had many discussions in class.

This teacher was a nondescript mild-mannered bachelor, and you would never have suspected that he was so dynamic that students couldn't wait to get into his class. He was also tough and did not tolerate slackers, but was always encouraging us to dare to go beyond popular thinking.

I had the privilege of taking two years of history with him, and he is for ever my favorite teacher.

Summerwillcom 01-12-2021 10:28 PM

grade teacher when the people finder 1st came out to thank her.
Her name was Miss Welsh and she was fairly young. She was the most interesting/ kind teacher I ever had ( even though she had a paddle...lol) She seldom used it.
I remember so much I learned in her class. We studied Alaska. I remember seeing the beautiful pictures and learning all about the state. As a kid, I thought it was so beautiful, but such a far off land that I'd never see it. ( Never in my wildest dreams, did I think I'd end up here.)
We studied a lot about current events.
Pollution was a huge problem then. Cities had grey, blue, and green smog. I remember after leaving downtown, you'd blow your nose and black stuff would come out.
We studied laws that were passed to clean up the skies/air. I remember her telling us in a year that seemed far off that cars would have to have emissions checks. When I started driving, I remember going in for my emissions sticker and thinking of her.
I learned more from her than any other teacher until I went to college.
I wish I could have found her and told her, but there was no record I could find of her. Not even the school knew where she had moved many yrs later.

booklady57 01-11-2021 07:51 PM

Mr. Harper, 5th Grade at University Park Elementary. We learned about combustion engines. I still remember the intense diagram he drew freehand on the board (with chalk--pre overheads, whiteboards, or interactive digital resources). We also studied the history and politics leading up to the Vietnam War, using resources that must have been intended for a much older group. It was deeply meaningful and challenging. It was a time when many of us had parents or siblings in the military, and we watched the death counts on television every night. Yes, this is really dating me! Mr. Harper challenged us, and we were engaged. He must have had a lot more freedom with curriculum than teachers today--I'm sure neither of the topics I mentioned were in the standard 5th grade curriculum. Be sharper with Harper was our motto. (It was also a television motto for a local sewerage company!)

jks 01-11-2021 06:30 AM

Third Grade Mrs. Widenhouse. She reminded me of Maria in the Sound of Music with her enthusiasm for everything. Of course we learned cursive, but we also had art projects. Every season we would draw trees and add leaves, snow, and flowers. She also played the autoharp, so we had music while we learned. She later became one of my mother's best friends and was so excited when I got a teaching job, especially third grade!

Linda/OH 01-11-2021 03:26 AM

Mr. Ladd 6th grade English teacher-incredibly handsome and super cool!(1968)

He inspired us to love reading and writing. He played his guitar and played Beatles songs that we interpreted and used for lessons. He introduced us to other music too. I remember hearing classical music for the first time and actually thinking it wasn't too bad It was Vivaldi's Four seasons. We wrote poetry based on it. I used the word "trudged" in one of my poems and he praised me loudly for such a great word to use! I was over the moon that he recognized my writing at all. He planted the seeds for my enjoyment of writing.

Love this thread!

luvtulearn 01-10-2021 08:55 PM

In elementary school
--3rd grade teacher Mrs Cotter. . .a lay teacher teaching in a Catholic School. . .she was as Irish as Irish can be. We started the day every morning singing old Irish songs, learning to speak Gaelic and then sang the mass hymnals in Latin. She was the only teacher I ever had that commended me for speaking German . I wanted to be IRISH so bad. That introduced me to Irish dancing lessons . Boy did I become a whizz at the multiplication and division facts . I couldn't keep up with my dad though who was a poster child for mental math . . she most certainly drilled to kill but it was fun!!!!!

2nd grade
--Sister Joanna . . . the softest kindest nun I ever met. She said I am making the world a better place by just being in. it. She would say " We are one nation under God always striving to be indivisible by giving liberty our all. " She inspired me to write an award winning essay later in 5th grade on "Why I want to be a Nun when I grow up!!! Lololol

Yes Ed , Washington could definitely benefit from Sister Joanna's wisdom right now.

Middle school
--nothing memorable.

High School
French teacher
--Mrs Vogler . I took French all 4 years in high school. She inspired me to study abroad one summer in Paris, study languages in college, and volunteer to tutor children. She had a unique quality in bonding with her students.
I tutored 1st graders in the Catholic elementary school next door to my high school and taught 2nd graders french. That was my first introduction to teaching formally.

Sister Carlanne
--Achieving Christian Womanhood
She had a sense of humor that caused her to be one of the most captivating speakers that I have ever heard. No one ever ditched or missed her class. She was one of a kind. Can you imagine a nun teaching sex ed. ????? She had her sister and her brother teach the sensitive parts. They were funny too.

In later years Cal State universities used Sister Carlanne's videos to show how sex ed was taught . I was sitting in that class 12 years later. My mouth dropped I was so shocked!!!

hand 01-10-2021 03:53 PM

One of my high school English teachers, Mr. MacDonald. I went to an all girls Catholic High School and he was a young male teacher. He made literature so exciting. He allowed us to do great projects, not always papers. I remember using an old wooden soda crate to do a character study. We filled it like a window box with things about the character. Another time we used an opaque projector ( remember those) for pictures and the music In the Year 2525 to support a Science Fiction book. I took him three times for different classes.

But my very favorite memory was when he took about 15 high school girls downtown. We had to get our own transportation there and back. But we had dinner at The Berghoff restaurant and then walked a long way to see a play at The Theater on the Lake. I think it was my first professional play. Can you imagine that being allowed now? He did bring a female teacher with him.

edfan 01-10-2021 02:28 PM

She was my art teacher in jr high and I had no talent for art. But she saw her students as unique individuals and invited me and my parents to her husbandís art exhibition one evening in the city. I was amazed to be invited to such a grown up affair, and amazed that my parents took me. Iíll never forget it.

Ruby tunes 01-10-2021 01:27 PM

The teacher who made the most difference in my life was Sister Zeno. She looked like Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies, very thin and wiry and full of energy though she was probably well over seventy. She was a Franciscan nun and was both the principal and a teacher at the Catholic school I attended. I was only there for one year, but what a year! I learned so much.

Sister Zeno was my ninth grade teacher for all subjects, and a master of them all, including English, Latin, History, Algebra, Science, and Debate. Iíve never seen such well run and yet intense debates as we had in her class, with formal rules, a student moderator, and challenging topics that really made you think. The entire class always eagerly participated. I remember how thrilled I was when it was my turn to be chosen as moderator.

My fellow students and I were from lower to middle class backgrounds, and about half the class was Latino. Very few of us had parents who had been to college. Sister Zeno inspired us to strive to do our best, and she never raised her voice nor did she have any discipline problems. Thatís amazing, considering we were teenagers!

Her motto, which I had engraved on a paperweight I used during my own teaching career, was ďDare to be different...in a positive way!Ē

EdfromBama 01-10-2021 06:56 AM

Good morning to all-

In order to escape thinking about the news from Washington, I have been looking back over my long and checkered career as a student, and I have decided that the teacher and class that made the most difference in my life is not one I would have expected it to be.

First, i expect I learned SOMETHING from all of my teachers- even Miss Skinner, who was a mean old heifer of a third-grade teacher who did not like me at all- but let that go...

In the ninth grade I took a one semester class- Beginning Typing. I sat before an old Remington desk model typewriter the size and weight of a v-eight-cylinder engine and I learned where the keys were and how my fingers were supposed to make them work. Mrs. Rocker was a short and not terribly pleasant lady, but I have come to realize that working with ninth graders will make anyone not so pleasant.

But from the rudiments of typing I learned from Mrs Rocker, I have been able to write college papers, make out job applications, and create book manuscripts. I might have been able to do this all without the typing skills Mrs. Rocker taught me, but I doubt it.

So, here these many decades later, I would like to express again my thanks to Mrs. Rocker.

How about you all? What teacher did the most for you?

good day toa ll- Ed




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