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This is a question Awesome teachers

Teachers have been getting a right kicking recently and it's not fair. So, let's hear it for the teachers who've inspired you, made you laugh, or helped you to make massive explosions in the chemistry lab. (Thanks to Godwin's Lawyer for the suggestion)

(, Thu 17 Mar 2011, 11:18)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Serious lack of funnies here, but anyway (and pre-emptive apologies for length)
OK, so having experienced a serious amount of luck with my secondary education, I wound up reading German at a frankly intimidating place down South. Grammar never having been my strong point, and also being the product of the state system, I was a little nervous and terrified by the thought of being a bit crap compared with everyone else.

The first few weeks did not do a lot to aid this, really (nor perhaps did my decision that bar sports were clearly just as important as my degree). Literature lectures and tutorials were fantastic, but the prose translation classes (English fiction texts into German) were at a level I'd never really dealt with before. These classes, along with twice weekly grammar sessions, were taught by a woman who frankly terrified me - and who I maintain had psychic powers to know whenever you were wavering on a conjugation, simile or general vocab. (Seriously, we tried everything - the confident and disdainful tap of the pen on the book, the concentrating hard face, the whispering of the 'correct' answer to a friend, the 'I'm screwed here' face... nothing worked.) On a weird tangent - grammar classes were also held in Room 101. Make of that what you will. And I became acquainted with the phrase, "Nein, das ist ganz falsch," rather quickly.

Praise was often understated, but sincere, and despite my remaining generally a little on the wonky side with my grasp of adjectival endings and other joys, I was really pleased when said tutor stated how she "admired my determination" in an end of term report, and also when I wrote an essay on the meaning of art (auf Deutsch) that she deemed "quite good".

Fast forward 8 years, and I got a decent degree from said institution, and am now working in Germany, something I am sure I would have never been able to do without a huge amount of teaching from this lady.

Now, I don't suppose many people will have paid a huge amount of attention to the articles in the paper last year, and I myself only found out due to my Dad spotting a side article and vaguely recognising the name, but if anyone saw the article about an Oxford lecturer suffering fatal head injuries after a fall down some college steps, then this is the woman I am currently rambling on about, Gudrun Loftus. An amazing, if slightly intimidating, teacher; and I am sure I am not alone in saying that I cannot imagine the German course at Oxford without her.

So this one is for a woman who deserves a huge amount of recognition for the effort she consistently put in to trying to open the eyes of many an undergrad to the many pleasures (hmmm) and complexities of German grammar.

Gudrun, thanks.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 19:37, 2 replies)
It was the end of the lesson, and I had baccy, but no skins.
I knew Miss. Page smoked rollies, but could I really ask a teacher for a skin. Fuck it. I walked up to her and said in a slightly shaky voice, "Excuse me Miss, you wouldn't happen to have any skins would you?" "Sure, do you want one or three" she answered.

(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 19:22, 2 replies)
General luck on the teaching front
For some reason, I seem to have had more than my fair share of rather excellent teachers. (Well, there was the slightly inept music teacher who used to forget our group was 'working' in one of the side rooms...)
But somehow I managed to wind up having a set of absolutely inspirational (although that is a cringe inducing word) and down right decent lot of them at school. List as follows:

History teacher: Inspired a general love of the Weimar period, and also a huge interest in Russia. Got into bin at the end of our course. Also means that I will never forget the phrase "Slowlyyyy slowlyyyy catcheeee monkey. (On another note, actually offered my parents house space during a time when I was seriously ill (see previous QOTW for that fun and frolics)

Art teacher: criminally underfunded woman who converted a broom cupboard into a darkroom.

German teachers: who convinced me to apply to a university who I still think made a mistake in taking me.

English teachers: who let us watch Blackadder and eat Haribo on Friday afternoons (we were doing WW1).

Was back in the country last year, so popped in to say hi and general thank yous. My old school is now a sports college, and pretty much all of the above have left. Sometimes you shouldn't go back.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 19:16, Reply)
Ms Easton
My english teacher in my formative years was an absolute diamond.
This may have somehting to do with the fact that she made my teenage loins feel 'funny' (despite the childish jibes that she was clearly of sapphic tendancies due to the fact she wore trousers and was Ms rather than Miss/Mrs).


Four things made her awesome.
Firstly she appeared to show a genuine interest uin my deluded teenage belief that I was the reincarnation of Jim Morrison (evidence, we had the same birthday and I 'felt something' at his grave on a school trip)

Secondly, she reassed a mock English exam I sat and marked me UP for using 'fuck' in an essay, after I'd been marked down for it

Thirdly, for our oral exam I discussed Eraserhead, knowing no one else would have heard of it. She had. And I got top grades even though no-one else had the first clue what I was talking about

Fourthly, she told my parnets I could write for the NME! As an indie kid sixteen year old this was about as cool a job as I could imagine.

I didn't end up writing for the NME. But still...
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 18:48, Reply)
Gas baloons
Our chemistry teacher had a stunt for getting the class to pay attention. He would fill up a balloon from a lab gas tap, tie the balloon and attach a string, then set light to the string which would burn down to the balloon resulting in a small explosion.

Once this went wrong and instead of an explosion, the balloon became a small, ungainly rocket which flew round the classroom flame-grilling everything it passed.

On another occasion some German exchange students were in the class so Mr S did his party piece. Then he said
"It's a bit like that airship, the... the... "
--"Hindenburg" I helpfully supplied.

All the German exchange students walked out.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 18:38, 1 reply)
My A-Level Physics teacher
was a seven-foot basketball player called Mike.

Every lesson, he'd sit us round a large workbench and say "right lads, let's talk about physics." And that's what we did. We talked.

Didn't write a bloody thing down for the whole two years. Ended up going into the exam shitting myself thinking "I had nothing to revise... I haven't actually learnt anything on the syllabus, have I?"

Came out with an A.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 18:25, 1 reply)
Don't Touch Her Stuff
I was doing Chemistry homework in Trigonometry class. My underhanded ways were noticed: the teacher seized my books and told me to pick them up after class.

After class, the teacher was busy in a conversation, so I surreptitiously picked up my books and waltzed off to Chemistry class.

Chemistry class had just started when the door burst open and the Trigonometry teacher stormed in. Without a word to the Chemistry teacher, she came up right to my desk and berated me for touching her desk. Then she stormed off.

Don't touch her stuff. That's all I'm saying.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 16:47, Reply)
I used to know a newly-qualified english teacher.

She was teaching her children some work of classic literature that I am not going to google from work, and was complaining about how awakward it was talking about incubi and succubi to a roomful of horny 14 year olds.

She said she couldn't even get them to remember which was which.

I suggested she use the device "a succ-u-bus will suck-you-off"

She was most ungrateful.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 16:41, 2 replies)
Our gym teacher
was a short fat little Yorkshireman, with a chip on his shoulder.

From about the 2nd year on, most of us were taller than he was, a fact he clearly didn't like.

When playing rugby he would alternate between playing, and being the ref. Every so often he would jump into the game and make an appalingly dangerous and illegal tackle on whichever poor fucker had the ball. Any attempt to reciprocate would normally result in him stopping the game and sending off whoever had 'tried te brek meh fuckin leg'.

Best bit. He had in some past life been a bus driver. Swimming lessons were conducted at the town pool about 3 miles from the school. Once or twice a week a large coach would be hired from the local bus company, and he had made a deal where HE got to drive the coach. He used to sit up the front like a little fucking smurf, with this 'Hey, look what I can do' face on him, that had us all cackling like stoned chickens. Daft little stumpy fucker.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 16:31, 7 replies)
Learned the art of being inert from my gym teacher
My high school required students to take physical education all four years, though the state required only two. Those of us who were very small + awkward (= lots of painful injuries) dreaded phys ed class and learned very early on whose class to take: The football coach's. He always had his classes run. To the local park where we'd all hide behind the boathouse, sit around talking the entire class period, and sometimes he'd bring snacks, always junk food. I may have gotten only one year's worth of exercise, but he saved me a world of pain at the hands of bigger, coordinated kids. Possibly my favorite teacher ever!
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 16:20, Reply)
At university, my Poetry lecturer detested first-year students.
On a dreary October morning, 150 of us are sitting clustered in an auditorium, clutching pencils and chatting nervously. At precisely 10am, the door is flung open and a tall man strides in, a cross between Victor Meldrew and the Star Wars Emperor, clad in a beret and red scarf.

He doesn't even bother to take off the scarf, but leans against the desk, looking at his shoes. With a reluctant breath, he raises his head, sweeps his gaze from one side of the room to the other, and sighs.

"What's a poem?" he asks in a sharp, acidic voice.

One girl puts her hand up. There's always one. "It's something that rhymes", she says, probably beaming smugly. I don't know, she was sitting at the front, I didn't see her expression. But I saw the professor's, and wish I hadn't. He raised his hand languidly and pinched the bridge of his nose, then stood up straight and walked to the white board.

"In three weeks you will submit a paper, 3000 words, answering my question", he barked to the room as he stamped four clear letters on the board. He turned to face us, staring.

Someone called out. "How are we supposed to do that?"

"Ah! A neuron fires!" he retorted with vitriolic delight. He raised his chin nobly, swept his arm to the board, and pointed at the four letters: FOFO.

"Fuck Off and Find Out", he declared, and stormed from the room.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 16:13, 10 replies)
My favourite teacher went senile
So he wouldn't remember me now.
When he did remember me though, it was as a fat useless wanker who he refused to talk to. A massive disappointment, and squanderer of potential.

He taught me English, and had the usual traits of a great teacher. Infectious enthusiasm, eccentric, hilarious in a good mood, terrifying in a bad one. All his students responded well to this, and he always got 100% attendance and due respect.

I sat at the back of my class, usually hungover, always silent, but paying attention. Read all the books. All the essays were in on time. Sat, listened, wrote, for two years. Never gave him shit. Never fucked up. Absorbed everything he had to say. I walked away with an A*, and (ahem) the best mark in the year.

Unfortunately, my cretinous shit of a best friend, with whom I was as thick as the proverbial thief, sat next to me in the same class. Even more unfortunately, despite the massive disparity between our academic performance, we shared a weak physical resemblance to one another for those who couldn't be arsed to look too hard. And this teacher found it almost impossible to discern between us two. Although he knew one of us was a mute A-student and the other a wise-cracking semi-retarded twat, he never really got round to establishing which was which.

My mate walked away with an E grade. On results day, he was enthusiastically congratulated by our obviously confused teacher, who then saw me nearby, grinning and simpering, for all the world looking like I expected a fucking hug. He scowled at me, and shouted "I don't know what you've got to smile about. YOU'VE LET ME DOWN!"

And then, for reasons I will never fully understand, I apologised and ran away.

Naturally my friend thought the whole thing was fucking hilarious.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 15:51, Reply)
I'm not sure if this counts as 'awesome' or not...
..but my alma mater has definitely changed since I was there, the teachers never used to get their tits out when I was there :(

(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 15:38, 5 replies)
I guess it's not for everybody
Some people feel, my geography teacher Mr. T-G was a little weird. And yes, he would be chewing chalk during lectures, and tell us in detail about its texture. And yes, he would be mocking that little swot over her mama, or mockingly imitate his teacher colleagues when they were wining about students. But he was probably the single most brilliant person in our school.

There are just too many stories to relate of him. On a field trip on a rainy day, he decided to make a cross country car race against the other cars in our group. As nobody knew the route for the day, they just had to follow him through the fields. When two of the other cars got stuck in the mud, he just laughed “amateurs”, and sped on.
He used to bake his own bread, and often had vegetable from his own garden. One particularly fat teacher saw this, and said “Oh my, you are eating very healthy food” or some such phrase. He answered with a big shit eating grin “Well, am I supposed to eat ill food then?”
He was not just another nut, though. He was actually a brilliant teacher, and taught us everything from economics to geology to proper manners. And he did it in a way both memorable and understandable to our pubescent brains, and so we could always make a connection between our knowledge and the world around us.

Unfortunately, he also liked to flirt with all the girls in the class. And while for the older kids this was a fun little game, the parents of the younger kids didn’t take forgivingly to it. He was expelled some time after I had left school. Some teachers should be kept strictly to the higher classes I guess. Young kids just don’t appreciate a teacher telling them “I’m really looking forward to parents’ evening, when I am going to shag your mom on those maps you see here.”
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 15:31, Reply)
I prefer a single malt myself

(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 15:28, 3 replies)
Aside from Fucker, and the occassional kiddy-fiddling incident, not all the monks at school were nasty.
Father Benedict was cool - he was completely blind, and during a lesson when one of the duller boys decided to try and have a cheeky cigarette out of the window, Benedict threw a board rubber so hard and so accurately he made the target's head bleed enough for the lad to be taken to the infirmary.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 15:22, 3 replies)
Você fala português?
I went to an all boys Grammar school which when I joined was still very traditional, with a pipe smoking headmaster, a house system and everyone referred to by their surname (this was 1995, not 1895..)

A couple of the teachers there who had been there for a long, long time, starting as pupils and then coming back to teach for the majority of their adult lives. There were some good (Kipper), some bad and some just plain bonkers.

I'm going to tell you about the bonkers one. His nickname was ‘Cat,’ apparently because some sixth formers had once locked him in a cupboard over night and in the morning the teachers that found him discovered scratches all over the inside of the door. Apparently.

He was most definitely odd, walked to work every day with a huge green rucksack, long, unkempt, silver hair flying about, muttering to himself and seemingly scowling at everyone. He also was unpredictable in his reactions –he would send you out of class if you accidentally dropped a pencil on the floor, but would just mutter to himself if people started loudly ‘meow-ing,’ at him during a lesson.

Bizarrely I went trick or treating once and ended up on his doorstep –we didn’t know he lived there –and he was incredibly nice to us and gave us lots of goodies.

Teachers used to talk to us about him and the fact that he was extremely clever. We were told he was due to go on holiday to Portugal once and had ordered a guide book online. Things must have got mixed up because he did receive a guide book on Portugal but it was in Portuguese. Most people would just return the book or accept their mistake and donate it to a charity shop. Cat, however, decided to learn Portuguese instead. So he did. The entire language. In a matter of weeks.

Awesome. Crazy, definitely, but awesome!
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 15:18, 2 replies)
Deaf Lloydy
A deaf Geographic teacher who tortured the piss-takers and regularly mis-heard any requests for anything as he was deaf as a post.

He caught one kid doodling a picture on his exercise book.....what looked like a trophy and Swansea City FC stuck under it (this was the time when the Swans were practically wiped from football as they were literally "shite").

Lloydy spots him doodling, walks over and picks up the book. "What's this? Swansea for the F.A. Cup? Are you serious? At least waste your ink by drawing a cock or something, not on this shit" he laughed.

Classy :)
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 15:15, 2 replies)
Why did he only teach us on Mondays and Tuesdays?
In primary school after our first teacher in Year 5 left and a substitute for her fell ill and we never saw her again, we had a new teacher pretty much every day.

But for a while, on Mondays and Tuesdays, we had this particular teacher...

He had a system. It was called the Marble Jar. If the class is well behaved, a marble goes into the jar. Collect 10 marbles, and we all get to play a game.

Parents swooned over him. Kids loved him. Every class got to have a few days with him. You could hear kids laughing for miles around.

Of course, we didn't really learn much that year. Spent too much time outside playing games.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 14:29, Reply)
My old chess teacher
When I was in Primary 5, Mr R was my class teacher. He also ran the school chess club, and I was his star player. Our team of 4 would cram into his rusty hulk of a car heading off here and there vanquishing the other schools in the town. Plus we got away from school early for matches. Happy days.

But Mr R had a calling to be a Church of Scotland minister. He was leaving teaching, and going to become a man of the cloth - way up somewhere in the northern wilds of Scotland. We all knew that he would be a huge loss to teaching - a kind, patient, intelligent and funny man, but who didn't suffer fools gladly and god help you if you got on the wrong side of him.

His final day arrived. Coincidentally, there was to be a school assembly organised for that afternoon. I was now in Primary 6, with a different teacher, and Mr R popped his head round the door and had a quiet word with her. I was told that I was to be excused from attending assembly so that I could play chess with Mr R for one last time. Assemblies were boring as hell at the best of times, but to be excused from attending to play a game of chess was something totally out of the blue. My mates trooped gloomily off to assembly while I happily got the chess set out. Being a geek does occasionally pay out.

During all our previous games, I'd never once beaten him - I was only maybe 10 or 11 anyway, so that wasn't surprising. And that final game he hammered me once more. The result was unimportant to be honest.

Totally out of the blue, I bumped into him perhaps 15 years later. I was now in Edinburgh, and I was in a church hall watching a friend's singing group performing when I saw him - he was the local minister. Small world. I went over and he recognised me straight away. I had just been a kid when we'd last met, but now here I was fully grown and he still recognised me. We joked about getting out of assembly that day, and he admitted that he hated the damn things as well, so the idea of the chess match was as much about dodging that as it was about playing me for a final time.

Apologies for length. Well it was {insert some joke or other about him rogering me over the chess board}
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 13:39, 5 replies)
Linked this a few weeks ago
Teacher shot down in flames

Sparked a fair bit of a debate, literally insurance vs a teacher trying to have a laff with kids.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 13:32, 1 reply)
Flys Eyes!!!
My high school modern History teacher was a top sport. We had the school clown in our class and she would always let him get away with his often inappropriate antics. One of my favourites being a discussion amongst the class regarding camel toes and fly's eyes to which the teacher piped up with "what's fly's eyes?"

At that moment class clown spins around from the chalkboard where he was creating a hangman game (of which the subject turned out to be "big floppy donkey dick") and pulls his short school shorts up as high as he can, balls hanging asunder and thrust his groin to within an inch of the teacher's nose and shouted at the top of his voice "FLY'S EYES!!!" To which the teacher could only laugh hysterically and was completely unable to reprimand the lad despite him giving her a top face thrusting.

Who says public schools don't give you a top education?
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 13:23, Reply)
Dr Caine: Bastard. Legend.
My design and technology teacher at school was a bit of a hero. Quite the wideboy, had the instant respect of everyone in the school. He would frequently abandon lesson plans so we could, as a class, figure out how something he had found or seen worked.

I wanted to be a car designer for a living, and he was kind enough to let me know that I was no where near good enough to do it, so I should think about persuing another career. Best advice I ever had, I doubt you'd be allowed to be that frank with a kid now...
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 13:03, Reply)
The man of mystery.
Fourth form, they called it, or Sub-Junior. Our class was called 4A2CD.

We turned up for English class on the first afternoon at high school and it was taken by Mr. X. The book we had was called Essays and Adventures, a prose anthology of Australian writers.

Mr X was a large gentleman of perhaps 45, dark trousers, white shirt, tie, standard issue. His only apparent oddities were that he was English and he rode a motorised bicycle.

Mr X insisted on absolute silence. We were told to read the first essay in the book and count all the words that began with the letter "n".

I thought it was peculiar, but it was our first day so who knew.

We had two classes with Mr. X. Then he disappeared. Never to be seen again.

Word eventually filtered through. He had fake credentials from some teacher's college in the United Kingdom and didn't know the first thing about teaching anything. That was the story we were told, the facts might have been otherwise.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 13:02, Reply)

Age 14-15, school camping trip to France which had turned into the usual total nightmare for the teachers. Basically a group of 30 kids who would find any excuse to sneak off and get drunk or stoned by any means necessary. Some of us fancied ourselves as a bit more mature one night, so after curfew donned the Gallini t shirts, found a bar in town that didnt ask for ID and sat there with a freshly poured pitcher of lager, and a Galloise each acting like big men.

Barely had i sipped at mine when a tap on the shoulder and there is Mr W, my maths teach glaring down at me, a somewhat scary sight it has to be said. He looked me square in the eye as he picked up my pint and downed it in a impressively seamless one take,

"Nice of you to buy me a pint Matty, now you lot get your fucking arses back to the campsite, before you REALLY fucking piss me off".
We did exactly that whilst he and one of the other teachers settled laughing into the rest of our pitcher. Bastards.

FF 4 or 5 years years and I'm out on the piss in the local town on a weekend back from Uni when again i get a nudge and turn to see Mr W. He slaps me on the shoulder, winks and says,

"i never did get my round in in France, did i? Nor did i get you one for getting an A in maths, what you having?"

Bought me two pints, shook my hand and said well done. Good bloke.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 12:57, 1 reply)
Educational institutions often underestimate the effect of certain teachers on their pupils
Hence the following:

"Hampster...I'm trying to write my personal statement for my UCAS form. Can you tell me why I want to do Physics at Uni?"
"Um...Sally, it's 'cos you fancy Mr Wilkinson."
"I KNOW that! I can't put that on the form though! What do I write?!"
"So, let's go through this logically. What do you like about physics?"
"I...I don't!"
"I don't think I really want to do physics at all!"
"So what do I write?"
"You seem to be left with option of writing 'I really fancy Mr Wilkinson and fantasize about getting a position teaching physics in our school after I graduate so that we can be in the same department' or reapplying for Chemistry."

She still applied for physics
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 12:00, Reply)
I dont think you ever appreciate the crazy things you see as a child until
you get a lot older.

Many years ago in the 80's i had a chemistry teacher who was a complete mentalist. Whilst he was talking to the class he would wander around the students tables surveying his domain.
If anyone dared to talk he would wander behind them and continue to discuss what he was talking about at ear drum piercing volume behind the "talking" persons head whilst spraying them in spit.
My favourite distraction was when a friend of mine left his Head Bag (a fashionable bag at that time) on the table.
My chemistry teacher hated bags on tables and everyone knew this fact because he would tell everyone this fact with regularity.
anyhoo ...at the start of the chemistry lesson in question my classmate not only left his bag on the table but also proceeded to talk after everyone else had settled down.
My teacher calm as you like strolled over to the bunsen burner next to my friend turned on the tap and lit the gas.
This resulted in a five foot flame that not only people in the vicinity could feel but that also burnt the fashionable bag in question.
The teacher then turned off the tap and calmly took a chemistry flask and extinguished the bag which had ignited using some water from the sink.
The class then proceeded to continue as normal.

it wouldn't happen now but then he probably isn't teaching anymore.
Most people might think "what a prick" but a valuable lesson was learnt that day in class
and that was sometimes people should know when to shut the fuck up.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 11:53, 1 reply)
My Mum
Fortunately never taught at a school I attended but must have had some effect as she retired at least 15 years ago and some of her pupils are still in contact with her. Had a happy family outing to her school fete just after she retired and was surprised when a 16 year old yoof messing around with his mates came running over to talk to her.
My favourite has to be the parents' evening at my school when she told my maths teacher he was a disgrace to the profession. Not sure it helped me but must have been an entertaining moment.
(, Fri 18 Mar 2011, 11:46, 2 replies)

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