How good are/were your schoolteachers?:

Total posts: [44]
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26 lordGacek25th Feb 2011 03:50:57 PM from Kansas of Europe
Epic win?

The man was a legend, I was going to say. But I guess, a legend proper, not just limited to our school, was the history teacher. Copies of his lessons are used all around the city. Reportedly they were even used by students on the other side of the country.
"Atheism is the religion whose followers are easiest to troll"
27 wuggles25th Feb 2011 04:19:22 PM from Miami, FL , Relationship Status: With my statistically significant other
My best would probably be all of the social studies teachers I've had since 6th grade. Maybe it's just because I love that class, but all of my teachers have been really cool in that area. My best was probably Mr. S. in 9th grade, who was a good teacher and had visited all the areas we covered pretty much.

My worst would probably be my 9th grade teacher who all but told us she was only teaching until she could get a job as a screenwriter/director. She really did not like us that much and would go into rants about how today's generation is so corrupt. Her age? 25.
28 deathjavu25th Feb 2011 04:31:30 PM from The internet, obviously
This foreboding is fa...
I've had a large number of fantastic teachers, a decent number of crappy ones, and the vast majority being meh and average.

Crappy teachers/professors

1st grade (general teacher): Parents signed me up to be with experienced, well respected teacher. She quit teaching to become the librarian, however, so I got a beginner. I was...trouble, back then, and she didn't know what to do with me.

2nd grade (general teacher): Parents signed me up for a teacher that was highly regarded by the principle (this was unusual, because normally we kept the same teacher for 2 years). Unfortunately, it turned out that the reason she was well liked by the principle was because she was always going to conferences and meetings, and therefore she was usually gone once every two weeks. As I recall, I got in trouble 100% of the time we had a substitute. Once for trying to explain that we were supposed to have a pizza day that day, and getting pretty upset about it.

7th/8th grade (Health teacher): As much as I disliked the subject itself, she was far worse than it. Pretentious, condescending, didn't appreciate any discussion that didn't line up with her own way of thinking, overly sensitive (once got me in trouble for saying "hell," as in "What the hell [is up with this computer]?" How could someone so sensitive end up teaching health, anyways?

9th grade (Physical Science, as in precursor to physics/chemistry): Kind of creepy. Held "manners monday," in which he lectured us on various points of manners (gum chewing, spaghetti strap shirts, short skirts, swearing, drug/alcohol shirts, etc.) Basically parroted the official school guidelines on that, surprise surprise. Could often be found looking over girls shoulders during tests, presumably looking at their 'tests'. Okay, maybe that's a low blow. But the manners Monday thing gets worse the more I recall it.


Ahem. She did not know one single fucking thing about the subject she was teaching. She would sit in on the other biology teacher's lectures, take notes, and then use those notes to teach her own class. She sometimes even left her own biology class to take these notes. Right in the middle of class. The only nice thing I can say about her is that she was willing to admit when she was wrong, we would have review sessions after every single test where we could challenge her supposed right answer (there was, on average, 5 questions overturned on every test, out of 40-50 questions total.) Unfortunately, this started to make her resentful towards those of us who constantly had to correct her, and she started being rather rude towards us. Some people a year older than me once started a petition to get her fired from the biology department (the original version was...inflammatory, but later versions were reasonably worded) and they were suspended for two days.

11th grade (American History teacher): Also had a poor grasp of her own subject matter, had an incredibly boring lecture style. My friend and I started playing hangman, joking about how lucky the hanging dude was...

Freshman year of college (Orchestra director): Didn't allow me to participate in the concert after missing dress rehearsal. It's not like it's a play or something, it's the same damn music, being run exactly as it was during practice. Then I got a C for missing the concert. Ragequit. I wasn't very good at the violin anyways. Never practiced. In all fairness, I did fuck this up. But I'm still pissed, talk about disproportionate retribution.

Freshman year of college (World History professor): Ugh. I like history, and I like british accents, so she should have been a slam dunk professor for me. Unfortunately, it turned out that she is the most boring lecturer I've ever heard. She could give a lecture on the nuclear apocalypse and still put the audience to sleep. Worse yet, she ran her discussion sections like a kindergarten classroom, with her patiently waiting for the most obvious, boring interpretation and saying "That's not...quite what I was looking for," to everything else (in the most condescending possible tone). People stopped answering her questions because they were just too obvious, it would be akin to her standing up front and asking the class what 2+2 was. Each week my attempts to ignite some kind of actual fucking discussion got more desperate and less accurate, with me reaching for any straws to come to anything other than the most obvious conclusion. Each week these attempts were stamped out, condescendingly.

Freshman year of college (Civil & Environmental Engineering Computer applications): Grading structure was set up such that formatting and such were more important than demonstrating a knowledge of how to use the programs. Often took off more points for formatting than the rubric had allotted for it. Homework became a rigorous drudge of meticulous checks and rechecks to ensure proper formatting. Had to drop it to prevent a bad grade and take it again.

Freshman year of college (Chemistry for Engineers, which is basically Chem 1+Chem 2 smushed into one semester): Got a new professor who didn't have a good idea how to teach just yet. I could see when he would lose people during lectures. First two tests were 40 multiple choice conceptual questions, 7 short answer calculation questions. People complained about the difficulty, so he cut the short answer questions...and then turned all the multiple choice ones into calculation problems, effectively making the tests 10 times harder (no partial credit for math mistakes, longer tests, frequently had math mistake answers as choices.) I got an easy A because my chemistry class in high school was awesome, but 50% of the class dropped it and of those that stayed, 60% failed/got a D. The final, which was a statewide test, was the easiest test all year.

Sophomore year of college (Statistical Methods): Once again, a professor that cared more about formatting than knowing the material. Had absolutely grueling 3 hour tests that required every minute.

Fortunately, all my professors since then have been...wait, the structures professor I have right now might make it on this list. The way he grades the homework and tests...I mean, jesus fucking christ, he is completely unforgiving. "Oh, you forgot to show the roof slope against these two inequalities to demonstrate that this variable here is 1, even though it's a completely flat roof? Minus 4 points. You forgot to write down a check that the roof live load reduction wasn't/can't be less than 0.5, even though it isn't? Minus 4 points."

edited 25th Feb '11 4:33:43 PM by deathjavu

Look, you can't make me speak in a logical, coherent, intelligent bananna.
Oh, since we're now onto ragging on teachers I might as well add my own anecdotes.

YES! You can get extra credit! How?

Sing along with the Preamble "refrain" of the Constitution song from Schoolhouse Rock.

No, I'm not kidding. The teacher ostensibly determines whether to give extra credit based loudly the class sings. He would even hold his arms up to look like some sort of volume meter, encouraging the class to sing more loudly.

This was our economics/government teacher. Our school's curriculum somehow caused the two subjects to be smashed together, into one class. Half the year is spent on one topic; half on the other. You can take AP (Micro)Econ, which means that your first semester is going to be Honors Government, or you can take AP U.S. Goverment, which means your first semester is going to be honors Econ. Being interested in politics, I opted for the latter; in retrospect I should have taken the former. (He's the same guy who did next to nothing to get me interested in economics; as I said before I only years later realized that I was interested in econ.)

Now keep in mind that econ/gov classes are taken by high school seniors.

edited 25th Feb '11 4:40:59 PM by GlennMagusHarvey

It Just Bugs Me! - a place to discuss media, real life, and other topics.
30 deathjavu25th Feb 2011 05:16:41 PM from The internet, obviously
This foreboding is fa...
Breaking it into two posts, because hopy shit wall of text (and damnit I got ninja'd between posts, sunufabitch).

Now for the good teachers.

3rd/4th grade: Amazingly patient, knowledgeable, somehow had the time/skill to both assist with those who weren't getting it and keep those who were smarter engaged. Basically made me (and many others, according to them) think learning was fun. Me personally, I had some behavioral problems when I came into third grade, and by the time I left I was...well, not fine per se but a million times better. She died recently, iirc sad. I remember sending her at least one note about how awesome she was, so at least I didn't let that chance slip by. I even used to visit her every once in a while when I was still in grade school.

7th/8th grade (Geography/World History teacher): Knowledgeable, fun, never gave out busywork. Was the first teacher to have in class essay tests, the first teacher to teach us the 5 paragraph essay (yes, before our 7th grade English teacher, and he did a better job of it too). Also lectured on philosophy, general and special relativity, black holes and somehow, still managed to fit in his actual subjects. Helped us run a club that watched awesome movies during lunchtime/our 5 minute recess, such as Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Strangelove. Really got me thinking about...everything, really. I'd heard rumors that he was dead, but they turned out to be lies.

9th/10th/12th grade (Pretty much any Tech Ed class): These classes probably would have been fun with any teacher, but he made them extra super fun. Design a gravity powered car that goes exactly 4 ft? Fun. Make an automated machine that crushes cans? Sweet. Work on Solid Works until your homework was done, then do whatever you felt like? Fucking awesome.

10th grade (English): Haha, Mr. Paulson. Gave epic rants about those dumbasses that gathered around fights and yelled "Fight! Fight! Fight!" Apparently he would walk up to them, tap them on the shoulder and say "You want to fight?" Good teacher too.

11th grade (English): Damn good teacher, entertaining.

12th grade (American Government): Just awesome. So awesome that a bunch of my classmates started a Facebook page to...get him elected King, I think. I forget, it's not there anymore. Point was, he was also a badass.

12th grade (BC Calculus): Could explain even the most complex mathematical concepts in ways that made perfect sense. I think he was 50, but he looked like he was 35. Could do handstand pushups and ran further every day than anyone on the cross country team (he was their coach). Total badass.

Freshman year of College (Statics): Taught me statics so well, it would take some sort of permanent brain damage to erase it from my mind. Also taught me GE 1000 (intro to Engineering class), which was a joke, and he treated it as such. He was gone for the first two weeks, then came back after that to tell us we didn't have class for another week. But seriously, that was a good thing because the class was a joke. "Can you solve a matrix? Can you use the most basic functions of excel and word? Can you do simple algebra? You're good to go!"

Junior year of college (Construction Materials): Managed to make lectures about concrete strength and road paving techniques entertaining. Pretty good at teaching as well.

Aw man, that list ended up being shorter than the list of crap teachers...but I guess the overwhelming majority were still just average.

edited 25th Feb '11 5:19:35 PM by deathjavu

Look, you can't make me speak in a logical, coherent, intelligent bananna.
I've had two truly horrible teachers - one for math, a guy who would flip the fuck out at the slightest disturbance and start screaming at the top of his lungs for the class to "SHUT THE FRIGGIN HELL UP AND DO THE WORK!!! AAAAARRGHH!" Strangely, after he left the school, we heard (from another teacher) that he had left his wife and moved in with another man. I guess being a repressed homosexual would explain the anger...

The other was my Japanese teacher, who had similar issues with yelling at the class for minor things. (like dropping a pencil) She also thought that having a student complete a piece of work and then ripping it up and making them do it again, even if the work was good, is a great way to teach.

Those are both from my first high school, which sucked. The rest of the teachers at that school were all average-to-bad, with just one exception, a very overtly Jewish guy who was extremely respectful towards the students and was very well-liked.

Things were much better at my second high school, which had great teachers across the board.

edited 25th Feb '11 5:54:14 PM by Talby

32 deathjavu25th Feb 2011 05:51:49 PM from The internet, obviously
This foreboding is fa...
Oh man, that just reminded me of my 11th grade math teacher. She literally screamed at the class once for talking...before she had started class.

Seriously, she was on the computer, so we all started talking, and then she just got up and started yelling.

She also got distracted by random tangents every 10 minutes, and gave out such an absurd amount of extra credit that I got 116% and 129% over the course of two trimesters with her.
Look, you can't make me speak in a logical, coherent, intelligent bananna.
Screaming at the class outside of class time for being loud sounds like my queenofevil!englishteacher, every so often.
It Just Bugs Me! - a place to discuss media, real life, and other topics.
34 deathjavu25th Feb 2011 05:59:57 PM from The internet, obviously
This foreboding is fa...
Well it was, technically, during class.

On the other hand, she was sitting over at the computer doing something. We had been quiet when the bell first rang, but when she kept sitting there, we started talking. What did she expect?
Look, you can't make me speak in a logical, coherent, intelligent bananna.
That you people would be quiet so that she could concentrate on finishing what she was doing, probably.
It Just Bugs Me! - a place to discuss media, real life, and other topics.
36 Deboss25th Feb 2011 08:38:02 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
In non college school, my good instructors tended to be in the dedicated sciences. They tended to know most of their stuff and were able to explain things off the top of their heads without having to look things up in the book. The worst tended to be my english and art teachers as they insisted I was cheating somehow because I never paid attention and kept calling in my mother because I ignored the teacher but still did good on all tests and what not. My worst teacher was a math teacher who threatened to fail me because I kept moving ahead and doing all the homework and what not before he finished the class, and it was better to fail me than let me move ahead of the class and make them look bad.
37 MarkVonLewis26th Feb 2011 04:35:21 AM from Somewhere in Time , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Back in high school, I had a history teacher who was a retired Marine, and he was the coolest teacher hands down.

Hell, for the Vietnam unit he showed us Full Metal Jacket. Uncensored. Fuck yeah.
Medusa strippers, where the phrase "my eyes are up here" is a dangerous phrase.
The awesome: Mr.Norrie Grade 6: Strict but ultimately an awesome guy, knew all the material extremely well and could teach it. Played guitar during EQAO testing which really calmed down all the overachievers.

Mrs.Killum (probably not how it's spelled) most of grade 2: A lovely woman from China, she ended up teaching most of grade 2 when our teacher got pregnant. Responsible for getting me to understand mathematics. Was required to teach French when she couldn't speak it, so we learned Chinese instead.

Mr.Gutscher grade 11/12 law: Understood the curriculum to an amazing degree, I don't think he ever had to refer to our books for anything. We had group discussions for pretty much everything and he treated it like a university course, you get a few assignments worth a lot of marks and if you're late, sucks to be you. Once lost a bet that would require him to wear a banana suit all day and he DID. Administrative law is much more interesting when taught by a giant banana.
39 Sivartis26th Feb 2011 05:26:47 AM from Washington State
Captionless One
Good: 9-12th grade Japanese Jones-Sensei: cheerful, and always willing to talk about some slightly-related aspect of Japanese culture of share a story.

Sort of Bad: 3rd grade Mrs. Olsen: didn't really get along with her in general; the one instance I can remember is when she sent me to the principal's office for pulling on her finger to get her attention.
40 Barkey26th Feb 2011 05:39:53 AM from Bunker 051 , Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
I had some pretty good teachers at my public high school, unfortunately I've never had a math teacher I liked, which is probably part of why I got poor grades in the subject all the time.

Shitty dry subject accompanied by a shitty dry teacher.

I did have one though.. Willis Mayeda, wherever you are, thanks for being cool. Especially because you were a young teacher who was a total video game nut and would borrow xbox games back and forth with me.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
Mr.Gutscher grade 11/12 law

You had LAW classes in high school???

I thought people usually only encounter law classes after finishing a bachelor's degree!

edited 26th Feb '11 7:42:53 AM by GlennMagusHarvey

It Just Bugs Me! - a place to discuss media, real life, and other topics.
42 wuggles26th Feb 2011 09:28:22 AM from Miami, FL , Relationship Status: With my statistically significant other
[up] At my school they have the "Career tech" classes which are supposed to be electives that prepare you for careers. Most of them at my school are pretty much a free period with some info about the subject thrown in.
The last four years of my education had very good teachers. Most of them (but not all - there were black sheep) were dedicated, knew what they were talking about, furthered learning in clubs for the interested outside the lessons and to boot had overall classes that were either dedicated to the subject or behaved (and sometimes both). This might be linked with the type of school I encountered.
Special mentions:
- Herr C. - Latin - May not be the best teacher in the difficult subject but clearly cared for all of us and our well-being, made stupid jokes and got some interesting expansions in history, greek and lyrical details. Once some of us did somethign really stupid, so he was pretty upset about it. Most of us just started tearing up because we disappointed him and the lesson was canceled for a big hug session and lengthy discussion of school politics.
- Frau C. - Biology - Overachieving perfectionist who went through the full packed lesson plan with a lot of humor on the side. Mock-chocked us if we were getting to cocky. Lessons were always interesting and because she set so high standards the universal exams at the end were a breeze. She's really short and quriky.
- Frau RHK - Protestant religion(no, really) - Before I met this woman I thought of the subject as a joke. She is even stricter than the lady above but thanks to her I feel like I have a reasonable base on the broad intellectual background of the western world and some. I feel there's nothing she doesn't know and with all the extra stuff she does I don't know when she is sleeping.
- Herr H. - History - Thank you for teaching me how to analyse historical primary sources and using them frequently in your lessons. Also bonus points for using present developments and more academical writings while teaching us.
- Frau Ix. - English - Quirky, stubborn and quick to anger. She did a fantastic job of keeping it interesting, making us laugh while being a bit tyrannical. I kinda have a weak spot for her.
- Herr S. - Astronomy - Thanks for making that class Astrophysics 101 and not name all the stars. Even though he was an ass sometimes.

edited 26th Feb '11 10:57:05 AM by myrdschaem

My GCSE teachers were OK. My best teachers were for History, Maths (until he had a heart attack - he survived, but obviously couldn't teach us after that) and an English teacher who wasn't technically our teacher but hung around a lot. The main reason why I regard him so highly is that he was supposed to be in semi-retirement, but came back to teach all our lessons when we were between teachers. As well as being an excellent teacher.

My other teachers weren't too bad. The thing I can say about a lot of them is that they cared about the students like aforementioned English teacher; our replacement Maths teacher, for instance, wasn't very good, but she did take on an extra class, so she deserves credit. The French teacher was good, and the PE teacher was certainly committed to her cause; in my final report my target was to keep on exercising regularly after I left the school.

Graphics teacher was bad, but then she was trying to do a computer dominated subject in an Art room. And in Expressive Arts, my teacher had the potential to be good, but she tended to have favourite students. Who always seemed to be the ones who never got their work back on time, so she kept extending the deadlines, which was frustrating for the rest of us.

On the whole though, I think I had a pretty good set of teachers considering my high school never had the best reputation. They definitely cared.

Now I'm doing A Levels at an all girls grammar school. I don't think the teachers are as good here. My History teacher is good, as are my current Maths teachers (last year's, however, were awful). They've never disciplined their students, that's the main problem. People will chat away for nearly the entire lesson while a teacher makes a weak attempt to start a lesson. Also, one of my English Literature teachers is obsessed with finding sexual innuendo in everything. OK, so most of the stuff we study does have it, but sometimes she'll come out with something which will just earn a blank stare from everyone. She's not a particularly bad teacher... it's just kind of offputting.
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Total posts: 44
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