Teachers play an influential role in the lives of their students. My favorite teacher was my dad. He adopted me at the age of twelve and, within a year, began homeschooling me. He was old-school Italian, and school was not confined to the books. He had us shoveling out the horse barn, picking strawberries, mowing the lawn, and doing inventory at his homeschool book store.
When I was fifteen, he handed me a computer programming book and gave me a 2-week challenge: build a database to manage his company records.
Aside from academics and business, even in his last years of life, he daily challenged me in my faith with long theological conversations.
Although my dad has gone on to be with the Lord, his influence in business and kindness is part of my daily life today!
I asked the gals behind Well Planned Gal to share their experience with their favorite teacher. Here’s what they had to say.
My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Haynes, stands out as my favorite because, when she found out that we didn’t know our math facts, she devised a timed bingo-like game that we did every day until we had memorized them. I still know my addition and subtraction facts cold!
My high school math and English tutor, Mrs. Priest, is another favorite because she gently pushed me to excel and truly became a mentor and dear friend. I would not be who I am today without her encouragement and influence.
I couldn’t decide which teacher to feature, so I will list several.
Mr. Bowen because he taught Bible stories chronologically.
Kip because he gave random biology facts.
Mr. Silkey because he allowed us to skip 5 questions on each psychology test.
Mr. Schrek because you could pass all his history tests by studying lecture notes.
And Ms. Lejune because she gave real-world examples of medical concepts.
My favorite teacher as a child was Mrs. Warrick, my second-grade teacher. She loved kids and teaching and made you feel important. She was that perfect mix of welcoming and stern. She always had complete control over the class. She expected kids to be well-behaved and organized. But she was so much fun that you WANTED to please her.
One time we went into the classroom instead of waiting outside the door as she had instructed. Instead of yelling she did a dramatic performance, putting her hand to her head and saying, “I can’t believe you would do this.” in a dramatic voice. She always made learning fun.
We did lots of reader’s theatre and plays for reading and projects for other subjects. And she played classical music all of the time, teaching us how to pronounce and spell the composer’s names. Being in her room was a life-changing experience for me, as it set me on the path to wanting to be a teacher just like her.
Because I was homeschooled on the mission field most of my growing-up years, my parents held the challenge of teaching me almost everything! But, when I was twelve, we returned to the US for our first furlough, and a young woman named Miss Lynette taught the seventh grade girls Sunday school class at the church we attended for that year. That year, I enjoyed Sunday school for the first time in my life because Miss Lynette not only loved her class but had a contagious passion for God’s Word.
I’ve had several other teachers – both in the local church and in academics – who have been strong favorites, perhaps even more so than Miss Lynette. But, she is the one who showed me what it meant to be passionate about learning, teaching, and loving. Not only has that shaped how I homeschool my children, but it has also given me a passion for teaching youth Sunday school whenever there is an opportunity.