We all have run across good teachers and, unfortunately, our share of bad teachers. Of course, when we’re young and hate being forced to go to school where teachers boss us around all damn day, give us hard tests, and make us take classwork home to finish, we usually consider them all bad teachers. But, to be fair, they weren’t all bad.
I’ve not had as many bad teachers as some and maybe not as many good ones, either. Perhaps most of them were just mediocre. This is a list of the memorable teachers: the ones who were tough but yet taught well, the ones who listened and helped, those who were fun and interesting, and the bad ones… I hope they know how bad they truly were! I have also included a few teachers I either worked with or encountered during my years working with kids in Special Education.
Mrs. Staton – I was so jealous that some of my classmates had her in the 3rd grade and then again in the 4th grade! She was nice and I think she was the first teacher who actually had a sense of humor that came through in her teaching. She made lessons interesting and fun. Years later, when I had the opportunity to work with her, she was the same awesome lady she was when I was a kid.
Mrs. Davis – From my days working in Special Education…I loved working with her in the Resource Classroom. I enjoyed learning from her and discovered a passion for working with special kids that I wish I hadn’t given up. I learned teaching techniques and I admired her in so many ways.
Mr. Whittaker – I took his Basic Math class, not because I needed help with basic math but because I was sick of hard math! Haha! I took Algebra and hated it and I took Geometry and although I memorized the formulas, I couldn’t wrap my brain around how to use them so I nearly didn’t pass. Mr. Whittaker let us chat while we worked, he helped those who needed help and was genuinely a good guy. It was the best math class I had ever taken, even though I didn’t need it.
Mrs. George – My friend and I took tennis in the 10th grade. Mrs. George tried and tried to teach us the correct way to hold and swing the racket, but we just never could get it just right. She was patient with us but in the end, she gave up and just let us play tennis! We still played by the rules and we got our exercise – which was the whole reason for P.E. so I appreciate her efforts and her ability to just “let it go!”
Mrs. Dennis – She was my 2nd-grade teacher and the only teacher who ever chose me as Class Pet. That sounds dumb as I write it but it’s true. She liked me, she knew I was smart, and she didn’t have a problem telling me that. It felt good because I don’t remember my mother ever telling me I was smart.
Mrs. Basque – Oh, she was a big ol’ meany 3rd-grade teacher! She made us learn our multiplication tables! We would have to learn a set (ones, twos, threes, etc.) each week and before we could go out for recess we’d have to be quizzed by her. When we passed to her satisfaction, we got a star on our chart and we could go out to play. I hated it at the time but I learned my multiplication tables! I am seriously glad she did it that way.
Mr. Everett – Oh, I hated his ass. He gave us the hardest tests and on subject matter that didn’t interest me in the least. I hated having to listen to him yap for an hour and had to take notes the whole time, too! “Everything on the tests will be talked about so if you take good notes, you’ll have everything you need to pass this class.” I took notes but still stressed. So, I made cheat notes. I wrote everything on a teeny tiny piece of paper, and by the time I had finished my cheat notes, I had it all memorized and didn’t need the notes! I hated him back then, but I realized after high school, that I learned more in his class than most of my other classes!
Ms. Kathy – She was a Science teacher at my kids’ school, believe it or not. I volunteered back then and loved working in her class. She was very good at making things understandable and interesting! I learned a few things right along with her class more than once! Science was never something I enjoyed when I was in school but I really enjoyed being in her class, even though I wasn’t a student!
Mrs. Libby – She wounded this 5-year-old Kindergartner’s heart. I thought I followed her instructions but she said I didn’t. She reprimanded me like no 5 year old in Kindergarten should be reprimanded. I felt like crap. She ruined Kindergarten for me. I cried and cried that day. I walked on eggshells the rest of the school year. It sure didn’t help that I went home to my mother every day who never made me feel good about myself either.
Mrs. Carey – Not be confused with the Mrs. Carey I had in the 5th grade. This woman wore bright blue eyeshadow and red lipstick. I don’t think anyone ever taught her how to put on makeup properly. In fact, I don’t think anyone ever told her how to put a wig on correctly either. She always had hair sticking out from under the wig in the back and it seemed to be positioned on her head too far forward. She was a sight! The worst thing about her was the smell, not of cologne, but of her breath! Good grief! I hated for her to come anywhere near me! I had her for Home Ec in high school and I could cook circles around that woman. I always wonder how the fuck she got that job!
Mrs. Rule – I never had her as a teacher but when I worked in Special Ed and had the opportunity to work with her, she treated me with such condescension I wanted to poke her eyes out with my little red pencil! Thank goodness the little bit I worked with her was temporary. I had some extra time occasionally so I offered my services to some of the other teachers. Once was enough with her!
Mrs. “Stick Up Her Ass” – I can’t remember her name now; Elise something. I babysat her daughter when I was a teenager, and then years later when I worked at the high school she worked at she didn’t even remember me! I remember her stopping me in the courtyard on more than one occasion, demanding my hall pass like a royal bitch! And then to top it off, she would walk me to the office so I could prove that I worked there! I know I may have looked young enough to be a high school student but she had no business treating me like one.
Mrs. Johnson – Or should I say Old Mrs. Hands In Her Pants?! She thought no one noticed her unzipping her pants to tuck her shirt in, but we did. She didn’t seem to care about anything because we cheated on every stinkin’ test we took in her Biology class. We learned so much in her class! NOT!
Mrs. “Spanish Bitch” – I can’t recall her name. She never took the time to help those of us who were having difficulties. I would have done better than a D had she taken a little extra time. She graded on a curve so that while 90% of the class did well and got good grades, the rest of us didn’t. Well, at least it wasn’t an F.
Miss Kung – This Chinese woman drove me berzerk! She taught Algebra and I had such a hard time understanding her, it’s a wonder I even passed her class. The hardest part of Algebra for me were word problems. Miss. Kung would get up in front of the blackboard and write and chatter and then turn around, point her finger at me and say, “What does that mean, Debbie?” (Remember she was Chinese so imagine her saying that in her choppy Chinese accent.) My screeching loud response was always, “I don’t know!” I don’t think I learned a thing in her class.
I’m sure if I thought about it a bit harder I’d come up with a few more good teachers and few more bad ones, too. These are the ones that stick in my brain! I think most were most likely good teachers but just not memorable to me. How many good and bad teachers can you remember from your childhood or beyond?