At Teach Away, we believe that every child deserves to experience the power of a great teacher. Lucky for us, we have all had an experience with a great teacher!
Since it is Teacher Appreciation Week, members of the Teach Away team wanted to share stories about their favorite teachers.
“My favorite teacher would be Mrs. Clark, who was my Kindergarten teacher. I remember her distinctly because she encouraged my love and talent for reading, so much so that she went out of her way to come over to my house with some books from her personal collection since I had finished all the books in our classroom and K-1 section in our school library. She learned during her house visit that my immigrant mother knew nothing about the public library, so she took us both for an outing right there and then. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have found my passion to be involved in education.”
“My favorite teacher ever was from elementary school, Mr. Perrotta. He was truly an amazing teacher who left a positive impression on everyone he taught. I’ll never forget his favorite sayings “Don’t build a mountain out of a molehill” and “It takes two to tango”. He always encouraged me to do my best and believed in his students. He made class fun and engaging. We always had a laugh. And to top it all off he was warm and empathetic with his students. I can’t say enough great things about him. I’m not sure where he is now, but if he happens to stumble upon this, thank you so much!”
My 8th-grade teacher – Mrs.Potts – believed in me and told me that I could do anything that I set my mind to. I’ve carried this with me my whole life. Thank you Mrs. Potts!
“My favorite teacher was a theatre professor in university named Tanit Mendes. Imagine a vibrant, grey-haired woman with colorful thick-rimmed glasses who was passionate about design and theatre. I had my first class with her in second-year university and was instantly inspired by her and convinced I wanted to specialize in set design. At the second class, she was gone – she had to take a year sabbatical because she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She came back swinging in third year, and I was immediately by her side learning how to do proper drafting and set design techniques. I remember staying up until past 3 am in the drafting lab working on projects for her class and then becoming one of her TAs in my final year. Eventually, Tanit chose me along with 3 other students to accompany her to Prague for the “Prague Quadrennial” – an international conference for theatre professionals that happens every 4 years. It was my first time in Europe.
We stayed in touch after I graduated. I’d meet her for coffee once a month and share my sketches, and eventually, I shared that I think I wanted to leave theatre behind altogether and pursue technology. No matter what, she supported me. Tanit passed away about a year after we got back from Prague. I was working as an Analyst at the time, and I remember taking the streetcar to work thinking… this isn’t what I want to do. When I visited Tanit in the hospital the last time, she told me I would be a wonderful educator one day. I’m working very hard to prove her right and because of her, I want to work in the education space and inspire others whenever I can.
Also, because of her – I have a tattoo of Ms. Frizzle on my back.”
“My favorite teacher was my high school English teacher. I sincerely appreciate his amazing discipline and work ethic, which came combined with his colorful and positive personality. He knew how to make his students respect him and he knew how to make us all laugh. He is and will remain one of the most qualified English teachers to me. He taught us perfect English while having fun.”
“Countless times over the past decade, I’ve told stories from my fourth-grade experience with the teacher who made the biggest difference in my life, Mrs. Gloria Shabbits of McGirr Elementary School. It’s not uncommon for teachers to require students to “exceed expectations” in order to earn the top grade. When Mrs. Shabbits said it, though, she really meant it. Not only did she require you to exceed the assignment’s expectations, but she also wanted you to blow them out of the water – and most importantly, she wanted individual students to improve every week. Read Brett’s full story about Mrs. Shabbits.”