(Since I wrote a huge post and it got thumped. Thank you for thump tag that doesn't erase contents.)
What with the recent discussion about teachers, quality of education, teachers' unions, and related topics (note to mods: yes, this thread can be about that), what do you think of your own teachers?
Let me try to remember my high school teachers, by class:
- Mike R., health - good. Not the most exciting person of all time, but he taught the material, and he dealt reasonably effectively with a pretty rowdy class.
- [can't remember first name] N., a subject that was basically home economics - Same as above.
- Susan S., biology - pretty dedicated teacher who stayed nicely on topic and kept the class focused, but with sprinklings of humor.
- Jon S., debate - now this guy I didn't like. Yes, he covered content well in class, but outside of class, for mandatory-for-class debate tournament participation, he played favorites, which very much spilled into classroom politics. (Granted, [AC:> politics in a debate class]])
- Lisa C., mathematics - hard-working, disciplined teacher, always came prepared and dealt effectively with classroom shenanigans.
- Sandra I., English - somewhat-effective teacher, but had an annoying tendency to revel in a cult of personality around declaring herself "Queen of Evil" and teasing those students who sucked up to her. Not particularly satisfied, though she did definitely start me onto a road of understanding literary devices that has led me eventually to this very site.
- Robert A., Latin - dedicated, if quirky, teacher, who taught quite effectively (in terms of retention) and whom students quite fondly remember.
- Abby O., chemistry - dedicated to the subject matter, but somewhat disorganized. Highly motivated, though, and also sponsored school teams to compete in engineering competitions. Credited with sparking my interest in engineering.
- Robert S., history - good teacher, stayed on topic, and kept students engaged even when the material was somewhat boring, though a bit slow.
- Luis G., gym - decent, I guess, though there wasn't much to teach in gym; it was more of a supervisory role, to make sure that students used the period for actual exercising—walking circles around the gym at the very least. Somewhat fond of challenging me to chess matches, based on me being the resident (although not the only) nerd in the class.
- Peter L., mathematics - took a college-like approach to teaching: lectured for first half of class, and left students to their own devices to study, do homework, or goof off for the second half, effectively holding office hours. Seems ineffective, but apparently it worked rather well in terms of test and AP scores. Highly effective at shenanigans control, often humorously pwning the person in question. Very fondly regarded.
- Gina R., physics - decent, but her quirks were a bit much.
- Joanne M., English - very nice teacher, and very encouraging of creativity.
- Kai E., psychology - heavily steeped in quirks and personality, which were very distracting to the class as a whole. Relationship with ex-wife and sons and his dating exploits were interesting the first time only. Ineffective at incubating my interest in the topic; only years later did I realize I was interested in psychology.
- Dirk G., physics - not particularly engaging or charismatic, but effective at teaching the material, disciplined and dedicated.
- Michael Y., government and economics - again very focused on his personality, and lots of quirks. He did try to teach the material, but failed to incubate my interest in economics, which I also only discovered years later. (Was already interested in government, but he didn't add much to my interest.)
- Michelle S., American history - fast lecturer, but between her speaking style and the subject matter, highly engaging. I credit her (and George W. Bush) with getting me interested in U.S. history and politics.
- Al M., European history - basically taught like a college professor, with a period-long lecture requiring reasonably fast note-taking. Quite effective, though, and quite fondly remembered.
- [I forget first name] M., Latin - distance-learning teacher for our small class of eight, when our school refused to let Robert A. (mentioned above) spend one class slot teaching it. Did what she could, though the distance learning setup was not conducive to concentration (nor are high school juniors and seniors). Reasonably effective at teaching.
- [I forget the name], AP Biology lab component - class was hosted at a local community college, so this doesn't count.
I'm probably missing a few, but out of the nineteen high school teachers I've listed, there are only four which I was notably dissatisfied with, and of them I'd only say three ought to improve their teaching styles.
FYI this was all at a public school.
edited 25th Feb '11 4:31:00 PM by GlennMagusHarvey