I can’t say I’m where I am because of me. I can’t say that at all.
At first, I was going to post a quick response to this facebook post:
In honor of National Teachers Appreciation Week, the HGSE community reflects on their favorite teachers. We encourage you to leave comments below for any HGSE faculty, college or K-12 teachers that you would like to thank on this special week: http://youtu.be/F3p3szwo46U
Kindergarten, I had Mrs. Gerard. She was amazing and super intense. I knew no English but somehow I still remember Presidents James Monroe, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln. I remember random letters. I remember money. I remember a treehouse inside the classroom where we had an astronomy unit. HOW DO I REMEMBER ALL THIS? My mom says this was also her most intense year of school. 😛 (I moved in the end of Kindergarten, and went on to some other teacher, who was a boo.)
First Grade: Mrs. Pamela Hayworth. The strictest, scariest, tiniest teacher I ever had. She stayed after school with me and another group of kids and practiced reading. She taught me how to pronounce Eugene. She was a scuba diver and was really scary. I have very positive feelings though 🙂
Third Grade: New school (again). Mrs. Beck. Magical. Taught me to love fairytales, Roald Dahl, and multiplication. She modeled awesome teaching. I love her. One bad thing: I had to sit next to Ian Jennings often, a crazy boy with behavioral problems who wiped boogers on me and tried to cut my skirt with safety scissors. ***FAVORITE TEACHER ***
Sixth Grade: Independent study. I met with Althea once a week. She taught me how to learn by myself. She stopped me from saying “like.” She helped me to become an independent thinker. Seriously set the foundation for the rest of my life. And that is huge.
Eighth grade: Algebra. My second year at a new school, in junior high, was miserable. Mr. Tsuruda taught a traditionally difficult, leveled, high-stakes class in an interdisciplinary, engaging way that acknowledged different learning styles. He was great, caring, and “cool” (for an old man. :P). Most thankful though for the fact that he took me from the dead-end math track to the one that ended in Calculus. I think that also changed my academic trajectory.
Junior Year Lit: Mrs. Klein. She taught me how to read and write. Like, really read and write. This set me up for college. I swear, most useful class ever. Also, introduced me to my favorite author: Toni Morrison. Inspires and finds time for me even today.
Junior and Senior year Math: Ms. Chute. I was in the depths of math despair, and this lady can teach. And by teach, I mean that she can teach calculus so that I understood it, loved it, and owned my standardized tests…. she did all this without teaching to the exam. Awesome. Also, she knew how to be a mentor even if she wasn’t in the “official” position as one.
Sophomore, Junior, Senior Years: Mr. Camner. I think I took like, 7-8 classes with this man. Ceramics, Advanced Sculpture, Independent AP Art Studio, and Yearbook. He created our art lab and pushed me artistically and as a person. So grateful for the opportunity to learn how to make glazes, put on an exhibit, cast bronze, and of course, blow glass.
Spanish: Sr. Vericat.Honestly, not the best spanish language teacher. GREAT literature teacher. Amazing, caring, kooky, crazy man. Artist.
Professor Celeste Langan: Taught me to hate and then to love Romantic literature. How is that possible? Also, taught me how to write better. Her person also just inspires me.
Professor Julio Ramos: Understanding, compassionate professor who cared for me as an individual, and not just as an academic pupil.
Professor Tim Hampton: So smart, so humble, so down to earth, so supportive. Love how he conducts seminars and love his brains! haha.
At HGSE, there is an abundance of amazing, supportive professors. I have a hard time though. Some professors, I’ve been less than pleased about their instructional style (especially, since I like smaller classes where we delve… which is not the nature of education), but then I love how they care. I think I’ve loved or found a reason to respect all my professors here. However, thankful for Dr. Pamela Mason, my program coordinator… because she’s a woman who’s been there, and done that. Really thankful that I’m in close quarters with someone who has not just studied education, but who has been IN the schools. Thankful also for Jenny Thomson, Lauren Capotosto, and Christina Dobbs in being so gentle in walking me through increasing my scope of understanding literacy. Loved Kay Merseth and Vicki Jacobs’s helping me understand just education and pedagogy. Mad respect and thankfulness for Fernando Reimers and Monica Higgins in inspiring me just about… entrepreneurship and leadership.