The best teacher you ever had / were
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26-11-2011, 07:16 PM (This post was last modified: 27-11-2011 04:05 PM by Stark Raving.)
 
The best teacher you ever had / were
The "Educated Idiot" thread deals with problems with the current education system.

In this thread I would like to invite people to tell about the best teacher they have ever had or, if they have teaching experience themselves, what is the best teaching performance they remember giving in their teaching career, and why they think that the best (in both cases) was the best?

My best teacher ever was at University. He came into class (Thermodynamics) on the first day of the semester and told us the following: "I am not going to tell you anything that you can read from the textbook. I will tell you, in advance, what topic we will cover during the next class and you are expected to read up on it before coming to see me. Then, I will tell you the historical background (how the science was discovered/created), the significance (in view of the rest of Physics), the applications it made possible, the further research it inspired, and I will tell you lots of anecdotes, funny stories about colourful characters and about careers made and ruined."

I had never learned so much about anything as I did during his class and, for the first time in my life, I fully understood what education was all about.

Later in life, I spent many years teaching on many levels, from high school to college, and I always tried to live up to his example. Maybe, later, I will tell you a few stories about how successful I was at trying.

But, for the moment, I would be a lot more interested in your stories of the best teachers and best teaching experience you have had.
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26-11-2011, 07:35 PM
RE: The best teacher you ever head / were
That'll be the Colombo clan. Let's give it up for William, Paul, and Mary!

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26-11-2011, 08:47 PM (This post was last modified: 26-11-2011 08:58 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: The best teacher you ever head / were
I've had the luxury of being a student of quite a few brilliant Computer Scientists, but Christopher Cherniak and Raymond Martin while I was a Philosophy student at Maryland stand out to me. They did their best to teach me what self was. And then I became a Computer Science Major because my wife got pregnant and I had bills to pay. But I'll never forget that period of enlightenment. ... I miss it even, I was onto something then before I got sidetracked and waylaid. ... But it's probably for the best ...

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And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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27-11-2011, 01:30 AM
RE: The best teacher you ever head / were
I spent my first 7 years at a private school (for girls only) and steadily maintained grades of 'A's and 'B's but I cannot recall any memorable teachers (but I can remember being forced to go to church every Tuesday morning - blah!). As my mother died when I was 10yrs old and the family finances were low (mainly because of hospital bills), my father could no longer afford private education for my brother and I. Year 8 (or back then it was labelled as 'Form 2') I then went to High School and as it wasn't a strict environment my grades then spiralled into D's, E's and F's (I really needed the strict guidance as I was a bit of a rebel - hehe).
The fondest memory in High School was a science teacher called Miss Fish when I was in Form 4 (Year 10). She was an inspiring lady with a lay back attitude and a passion for helping her students understand what she was teaching. I learnt so much that year and I contribute her teachings to my love of astronomy and theoretical physics.
Some of the other teachers I had were the worst!!! I almost felt sorry for the teachers we gave so much shit to but hey, they shouldn't have been teaching at all!
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27-11-2011, 03:06 PM
 
RE: The best teacher you ever head / were
When I was teaching Algebra to first-year college students, I decided to make things more interesting by turning one class into a court-room drama.

According to my script, I was accused of loan-sharking, for charging exorbitant interest to one of my victims. One student was the prosecutor, one was the judge and I conducted my own defense. The rest of the class was the jury.

I set out to prove my innocence by algebraically deducing the compound-interest formula on the black board. In the deduction I hid a devilishly clever mistake that would lead to a result proving my innocence. The prosecutor and the jury was supposed to catch me making that mistake that I ever so casually glided through, without anyone noticing it.

The result proved that I was justified in charging $300 interest on a $100 loan over one year, at 12% interest rate.

The class was absolutely frantic, trying to find the mistake and send me to jail and, eventually, they did – to much glee and gloating at my expense.

However, nobody was bored during that class and nobody forgot the formula.

I am sure there are other educators on this forum who could tell us how they managed to inspire/intrigue their students.

I hope we will hear from them on this thread.

Failing that, I am hoping for more stories and examples about the best teacher you ever had.
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27-11-2011, 04:03 PM
RE: The best teacher you ever head / were
I was very close to being a high school dropout. I loved school, but classes got in the way. I couldn't be bothered to do homework or study. If it was a class that interested me I could ace every test without studying since my photographic memory kicked in. If it was a class that was not interesting, I didn't care how I did anyways.

I had a teacher whos class I found terribly boring. It was physics (which I am now fascinated with) but the class was nothing more than memorizing formulas and equations. I hated it. I was on the verge of flunking out, when my teacher took me aside for what I assumed would be a lecture on how I was being lazy and not working to my potential. These lectures were commonplace throughout school for me. Instead, he told me about how some people were better suited to different types of subjects and learning environments. He made a deal with me that if I worked through physics and passed, he would make sure that the following semester I would be enrolled in a class I would love. The deal was though, that I didn't get to know what the class was. I had to trust him.

Well, I worked my ass off, and managed to pass the class with a C. Then, he told me the class was Anatomy. I was pissed. I thought it would again be a boring class of memorizing names of bones and other boring stuff. This is what made this teacher so great. Turns out he had cared enough to actually get to know me, and figure out that I could handle very difficult courses as long as they suited me. I fell in love with the class (also taught by him) and by the start of the second term (of which there were three) I was tutoring other students, something a "kid like me" would never have dreamed of doing. I learned to excel, since even though I loiked the material, I had to study, since a lot of the things we had to learn, we had to figure out on or own.

If it weren't for Mr. Monk, I really doubt I would have made it through high school.

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27-11-2011, 06:52 PM
RE: The best teacher you ever had / were
I have only had two teachers of note. At least in a positive way. Plenty to chuck into the negative category unfortunately.

One was a math teacher *Gasp* my worst subject. My most hated subject. She was a great teacher and took a kid who skipped class frequently and turned him into an a student at least for one year. I remember the only time I skipped her class, coming in the next day and getting fucking reamed out full volume cuss words and all in front of everyone. I never skipped her class again. The only good math teacher I've ever had.

The second was an english teacher who was funny. He would joke around and even had a poster of cindy crawford hanging up in a locked cupboard that no one could see. He taught well enough, but the reason I count him highly is because he forced me to do public speaking which I hate with a fiery passion. I did horribly at it, succumbing to multiple fits of the giggles, but hell at least I did it. He told me even though I was an A student (in his class anyways) that he would flunk me if I didn't do it. He meant it too.
He was forced into early retirement about five years ago because one of the parents came by on a day when that locker happened to be opened. The parent saw the fully dressed Cindy and filed a harassment complaint.

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28-11-2011, 04:52 AM (This post was last modified: 28-11-2011 04:57 AM by Filox.)
RE: The best teacher you ever had / were
Whenever somebody mentions this subject I remember my biology/chemistry teacher Julija Bachich from elementary school. That woman is everything a teacher needs to be. Her students loved her so much that most of them would return to the school years after they finished, just to say hello to her, I went so far that I even visited her at home. Smile Most of the time in her class I would go to the shop to buy her something, because she would send me, not because I had a crush or something. She could afford to send me to the shop while the rest of the class were listening her lecture, because I was great and had straight A from day one, but only in biology and chemistry and only because she was the teacher. To tell you the truth, I can't put a finger why was that, I think it was the whole attitude toward life, that she had, that made me love her and her classes. For example, she once told us that: "A person who is more stupid than me can not offend me" and a few times she had problems with some students they would tell all sorts of bad things to her, things that could easily get you expelled from school, she would only tell them to leave her class for that day and continue the lecture like nothing happened. That would make the angry student FURIOUS, but the rest of us loved how she would not get mad or take it out on the rest of us. What she personally did for me was that I finished every chemistry formula from the books for 7th and 8th grade when I was at the beginning of the 7th grade. After that there was not much of a point attending the class for the next 2 years, but I went there for fun and for being the best in the class, sometimes she would let me explain the formula to the class while she was eating peanuts... Some people just radiate with ease and calmness and that is enough.

I was sort of a teacher for half a year in my university, I was a demo, demos, demostrator, whatever do you call a person who shows what to do in a class, while the other person is giving the lecture on the board... Anyway, me and one other student were doing that for the Informatics class (Word, Excel and Corel) instead of the professor, he would just come and sign the grades, after we did the whole lecture and exam thing. I was pretty good, I even gave private lessons to some of my students, although I was a student there as well. Good times those were...

Interesting, but there was not a lot of good teachers in my high-school. There were some that were good and nice, but nothing I would say was great and extra. I flunked my 3rd year (drugs and alcohol), then I had to repeat it and it was a piece of cake, everything was familiar form previous year, plus, I ended up in a "girls only" class, me and a friend of mine, who flunked with me. So we were alone in a class of 41 women... Good last 2 years of high school. Smile At the end I finished with A, and most of the professors thought I was never gonna finish. I showed them, even finished the 3 year University after high school. Suck it!

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28-11-2011, 03:31 PM
 
RE: The best teacher you ever had / were
The best teacher I ever had in high school was a youngd man, built like a weight lifter, teaching us both Hungarian literature and English language.

First time he came to our class (we were 16), the blackboard wasn't cleared.

He asked who the monitor was. A chubby kid replied and admitted he had forgotten to clean the blackboard.

"No problem", the teacher said, and picked up the kid, with one hand, by the lapel of his jacket, lifted him up effortlessly and cleaned the blackboard with him.

When he got mad, he kept banging the floor with the desk while sitting behind it.

He did get our attention.

He did not waste time on the slowest student .

He asked a question and then pointed at a student. If he did not get the answer instantly, he kept pointing at one student after the other, until he did.

We were sitting at the edges of our seats, hardly daring to breath, not wanting to be humiliated by not being ready when the finger pointed at us.

We all achieved magnificently, because we loved him, we admired him, we wanted to be the best we could be for him.

I just had the sad news from Hungary -- he died at the age of 98.

What a man, what a life!
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28-11-2011, 09:59 PM (This post was last modified: 28-11-2011 10:25 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: The best teacher you ever head / were
(27-11-2011 03:06 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  When I was teaching Algebra to first-year college students, I decided to make things more interesting by turning one class into a court-room drama.

According to my script, I was accused of loan-sharking, for charging exorbitant interest to one of my victims. One student was the prosecutor, one was the judge and I conducted my own defense. The rest of the class was the jury.

I set out to prove my innocence by algebraically deducing the compound-interest formula on the black board. In the deduction I hid a devilishly clever mistake that would lead to a result proving my innocence. The prosecutor and the jury was supposed to catch me making that mistake that I ever so casually glided through, without anyone noticing it.

The result proved that I was justified in charging $300 interest on a $100 loan over one year, at 12% interest rate.

Might as well play that out for the rest of us here. Sounds like fun.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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