Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Thursday Thirteen 287: National Teacher Appreciation Week

May 6 - 10 is National Teacher Appreciation Week, a time to thank all the teachers who have made a difference in our lives, or the lives of ones' children. I was fairly lucky growing up, in that I never had a bad teacher until I got to college. Sadly, I had two professors there who, though they knew their subjects well, were horrible teachers. Here are thirteen teachers who made a difference in my life.

Mrs. Von Felt — Second grade; gave me a copy of The Secret Garden.

Ms. Parfrey — Grade school librarian, who always new what kind of book I'd like. When my mom died a few years ago, I found a letter Ms. Parfrey had sent home to my parents, praising my library skills. I set it aside to scan and store in a safe place . . . and somehow misplaced it. Yeah, still trying to figure out what I did with it.

Mr. Tracy — 8th grade English and History. Four years later, when told I was majoring in French and English in college, he simply smiled and nodded, "I'm not at all surprised."

Mrs. Bayer — High school English (deceased).

Mr. Chellevold — High school English. I blame him for writing down and looking up every unfamiliar word I encounter to this day. Ah, frontier words!

Mr. Piddington — High school English. The reason I still keep a journal (it started as a class assignment).

Mme Vaillancourt — High school French. She taught us how to jump the Paris Metro turnstiles and took us clubbing.

Senora Calderon — High school Spanish teacher, who thought I should go into linguistics. Sometimes I wonder if I should have followed her advice. (Yes, I had both French V and Spanish I senior year in HS—plus I had just returned from a summer exchange to Norway, so spoke a bit of Norwegian as well.)

Mr. Buehl — High school forensics coach.

Mme Krause — College French (deceased). One of my favorite and more eccentric professors. We kept in touch after I graduated, until her illness about a year before she passed.

Dr. Tarro — College French professor and advisor. He gifted me with a collection of Jane Austen at graduation, "because it's what I imagine you writing." Gee, no expectations there!

Dr. Stevens — College English, some of my favorite lit classes. He made me like Huck Finn, which I hated after HS English.

Dr. Vopat — College English. His writing courses were sooo much fun.

YOUR TURN: Who are some of the teachers who influenced your life?

LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen


colleen said...

Mrs. Kellem took us to see Romeo and Juliet in Cambridge. When I had a book signing for The Jim and Dan Stories in my hometown of Hull, she came and bought one!

My TT is

Paige Tyler said...

Great TT! I had a lot of great teachers, but the most influential was Mrs. Griffin, my creative writing teacher in high school. She encouraged me to become an author! So, thanks, Mrs. Griffin!


My TT is at

CountryDew said...

What a great list! Love my teachers, almost all of them. Most of them had some influence on me one way or the other.

Heather said...

Colleen: That's awesome that she came to your book signing. guess you made an impression on her, as much as she did you. :)

Heather said...

Paige: Here's to Mrs. Griffin, and all teachers who encourage kids to write!

Heather said...

Thanks, Anita! Teachers can have such a powerful influence on kids, both negative and postive. I know I was lucky throughout my schooling in rarely having a teacher I didn't like, even when I disliked or struggled with the subject taught.

anthonynorth said...

A great list, although I left school at 15, so wasn't really influenced much by my teachers.

Jennifer Leeland said...

Mr. Levin--High School English teacher who taught me to love Shakespeare. He really encouraged an ear for dialogue. I miss him. He was so flamboyant.

Hazel Ceej said...

What a nice gift Dr Tarro gave you. Teachers like them are such a blessing. I remember the quote on teacher's influence. It's what a college professor, Dr Franco, tried to drum into our heads (Education majors). She is also one of those teachers who make it their mission to make a difference in their students' lives. Love your list!

Shelley Munro said...

You know I can't say any of my teachers influenced me particularly. My parents (my mother was a teacher) probably influenced me most and gave me a thirst for learning.

The Gal Herself said...

What a lovely idea for a post! And now we see where your love of words comes from. Your TT this week has me remembering Mrs. Purcell, my grade school librarian, who steered me to the biography section when I was young/impressionable.

Novroz said...

As a teacher...I thank you for making this 13 list :)
It's always heartwarming when someone honored her/his teachers like this

Heather said...

Anthony: Sorry to hear your teachers weren't much of an influence. Thanks for visiting!

Jennifer: Gotta love those flamboyant teachers who make you appreciate a subject or author you otherwise wouldn't.

Thanks, Hazel, and yes, it was quite a gift Dr. Tarro gave me, though it was some years before I read all of the books the volume contained. Very astute of him, too, to realize I was more Jane Austen than F. Scott Fitzgerald, which was what a classmate and fellow advisee received.

Heather said...

Shelley: From what I've read on your blog, it sounds like your mother was a great influence for you. How lucky you are!

Thanks, Gal! And yes, there certainly were a lot of English teachers encouraging me in both reading and writing throughout my life.

Novroz: Thank you, I'm glad you liked the list. Here's to all of you teachers who continue to mold young minds!

Alice Audrey said...

Both my kids and I ran into teachers who couldn't handle us left and right. A few even got fired - right after finishing the year. *headdesk*

Heather said...

Alice: Sorry to hear the kids have had a few bad teachers. I hope they have some good ones now!