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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.

Pittwater High School, Sydney Australia - 1970 to 1975
yes, I know this is ancient history for some people. Anyway, when I started high school, Mr King was one of the young Maths teachers, just recently out of teacher's college. A local lad, and a keen surfer, he drove an orange VW beetle with board racks permanently on top.

In 1974, at the start of 5th form, (year 11) I was in his maths class - level 2F for those who remember the previous NSW senior education system. Plus I started doing extra work for 1st level maths. At the time he was doing his Master's degree part time, which involved some computer programming. So when the school got its first computer (actually, a glorified programmable scientific calculator), he was the staff member responsible for finding out how it worked. This would have been around August 1974. He asked me if I would be interested in using it, finding out how to program it.

Decades later, I am still gainfully employed in finding out how to program computers. He was the catalyst for setting my on a great career, one which has given me enormous satisfaction, and taken me halfway around the world.

I understand he's still teaching at PHS - he constantly refused promotions that would take him away from his beloved northern beaches.

So - Dennis King - awesome teacher. Thanks mate, you probably didn't realise what an inspiration you were (and no doubt, still are.)
(, Thu 24 Mar 2011, 12:30, 4 replies)
Double PE last thing on a friday
"Oh, hi Ungersven. You're in my group next, aren't you? I'm not sure and I've forgotten to bring the register with me. I hope everyone turns up."

I was down the pub like a flash.
(, Thu 24 Mar 2011, 10:44, Reply)
One of my favourite lecturers
was (and presumably still is) called Alan Gunn. He reminded me of Alan Rickman in both look and the way he spoke. In one of his best moments he used a (roughly) one and a half metre bamboo cane to smack someone on the head who had fallen asleep in one of his lectures. This was 1998 so I can't even say it wa usual for the times. Awesome guy.
(, Thu 24 Mar 2011, 9:31, 1 reply)
Rosalind Gow of Madison, Wisconsin, circa 1986-87
Roz, if you're reading this, I don't have a particular story to tell, but you belong on this list.

For those of you not Roz, sorry for wasting your time.
(, Thu 24 Mar 2011, 3:48, 4 replies)
The teacher who changed my life
So I could have talked about so many great teachers, like Mr Rooks our PE and RE teacher, in PE he had a whole class of year 9 boys doing dance because we respected him that much, and in RE he would come in and give us a topic, then for the next hour the whole class would debate about said topic. Unfortunately the RE teachers we had in the following years couldn't handle us, we almost gave one a breakdown. Or then there's Mr Hazard who would talk about his amazing cat who couldn't land on its feet. Apparent he tested this from 5ft above a stone floor before deciding it would be better to test it on his bed. Or Mr Denis the physics teacher who always wore country casuals.

No, this story is not about those teachers. In fact this story is not about a teacher I even liked. This story is about Mrs Foster. Mrs foster was my year 9 physics teacher, we didn't quite see eye to eye. She thought I should go home at night and do homework, i thought I should go home at night and play video games. Once she even threatened to come to my house and talk to my parents about my lack of homework. She never did thankfully and after year 9 I no longer had her as a teacher.

So how did she change my life? Well I made it all the way through to 6th form and was taking my AS levels, and managed to spectacularly fail them, so much so I decided I would repeat year 12. When I was going through year 12 again Mrs Foster had become a form tutor. And upon hearing that I was repeating she requested me to be in her class. Now, I know what you're thinking, she helped me to get to excellent grades, passed a levels and went to UMIST to study physics, went on to get my masters, then a PHD and now I'm one of the top scientist in the world. But no, you'd be wrong. I did go on that year to get good grades in my AS, but that was thanks to Miss Kenningham who stayed back every night after school and allowed me to sit in her classroom revising while she marked homework. Unfortunately Miss Kenningham left after that year and the next year I thought I could study by myself, but I was wrong and never did get to go to UMIST.

Back to Mrs Foster, she changed my life in what would seem a very small way, but like a snowball it grew and grew. Mrs Foster suggested that I should volunteer at the local youth center helping younger kids with homework (I know!) and running a youth club. Well that introduced me to the local youth service, from there I went on a trip to Italy, then to Africa to climb Mt Kilimanjaro (this is one of the reasons I didn't study for my A levels) and I also found out about Camp America. I went on Camp America and after a few times out I fell in love with the most amazing girl ever, and she loved me back. We got married a year later and now I'm living over in the states, I'm currently back in college studying to be a substation electrician.

So sometimes even the teachers you don't really like can be awesome. I was actually thinking of emailing her before this QOTW came out as it has been 10 years since that fateful day she suggested the youth service, and I'm pretty sure she thinks that she failed with me and never turned my life around.
(, Thu 24 Mar 2011, 1:16, 9 replies)
my counting teacher was the awesomest!!
(, Thu 24 Mar 2011, 0:59, 14 replies)
My Physics teacher
My Physics teacher was a lovely man called Mr Howell. We had many lessons with him that involved things catching fire or otherwise being destroyed, but the experiment that most sticks out in my mind was an A Level class involving a UV lamp and a plastic bucket.

He comes in, smiling that we're going to have an exciting experiment today, and plugs the UV lamp in to show it off. He then proceeds to tell us how dangerous UV light is, and to keep us safe, he's going to put a plastic bucket over the lamp. You'd think a man teaching physics would realise the issues of putting something plastic on top of something that gets very hot, and that maybe just turning the lamp off for the time being while we weren't using it would be the proper course of action. You'd be wrong.

Twenty minutes into the lesson, with Mr Howell explaining the theory behind this experiment of his, one of the kids started complaining of a funny smell. The smell of burning plastic. Mr Howell rushed over to the lamp and took the bucket off. There was a funny noise and we looked at the lamp. The bottom of the bucket was stuck to the lamp and the bucket now had a large hole in it.

We learned an important lesson that day. Putting a plastic bucket on a hot object is dangerous.

(, Thu 24 Mar 2011, 0:52, Reply)
awesome teaching - nacht
too late for last week, but it kind of works ...


many years ago I was an undergrad at a West London Uni that most people think is in Bristol. being a bit of a high-flier I was on an Eng-with-Management course with all the braying fools that entailed. I later dropped down to MechEng & then dropped out to geekdom - most of the others ended up doing Accountancy. anyway, meh

so, back to the story. our intrepid heroes had hired the SU minibus for an hilarious student trip to somewhere or other. on the way home the bus needed fuel, so they pull into a service station. fule #1 gets out & attends to the pump. what's this says he, "the nozzle does not fit!" fules #2-8 gather around & proclaim "we are the future of British Engineering, clearly this multinational oil company [from whom we are all begging sponsorship & careers] has it wrong! it is our duty to right the wrong & then they will clasp us to their corporate bosums & shower us with thanks (& ££)"

& verily, a 2l plastic bottle is found from within the minibus, the bottom cut off, & the fuel funneled into the tank

so off they go, the foe of the fuel filler vanquished & the secret safe with them to share with their future [hopefully] employers in the hope of future bounteous reward!

5 miles later & the minibus dies. AA man comes out & says "what twat put diesel in the petrol tank?"[1]

[1] or the other way around
(, Thu 24 Mar 2011, 0:48, Reply)
I have a dream....
wouldn't it be great if there was a school with EVERY teacher as awesome as the ones in these pages?

(, Thu 24 Mar 2011, 0:12, 2 replies)
The best day was when
we all stood on our desks and said "Oh Captain, my captain". Then he taught me I was wasting my talent solving other people's equations when I was meant to be sweeping up Or something. bindun?
(, Wed 23 Mar 2011, 22:16, 2 replies)
Is the..
..story of an inspirational English teacher too hackneyed to repeat?
Short version then - this guy was wonderful. He was a year from retirement and so spent most of the days retelling stories of teaching in the "bad old days" - bruises, blood, black eyes. The kids got an even worse deal.

The concept of a structured lesson didn't sit well with him, leaving those of us who were paying attention bereft in an old man's train of thought. From Emily Dickinson to EXACTLY WHY WE SHOULDN'T BE LANDING ANYTHING ON MARS, all in between Civics and Maths. Highly effective, somehow.

As one of the non-lummoxes of the class I was volunteered to make a little speech on behalf of the class at his retirement. I put a lot into it and in the end made him cry, which I still feel guilty about.
(, Wed 23 Mar 2011, 22:00, Reply)
My First Day in Comprehensive.
It my first day in the big school, and i was shaking like a shitting dog. I'd heard all kinds of horror stories, sod getting your head flushed town the toilets by the 6th formers, i'd heard that in comprehensive they actually expected you to do work in class instead of seeing how much lego you could fit up a nostril...

Understandably, i was apprehensive. After a couple of hours of being issued exercise books and timetables, we were herded off to our first lesson. Maths with Mr. Adams. We'd already been told that he was an ex-wrestler, and had swum the channel. I was therefore somewhat surprised to find he was an incredibly skinny old man in his 60's with a huge straggly beard. The wrestling had been about 30 years earlier.


I shat myself. My face was lightly sprinkled with spit. All my fears of the big school were realised. This was horrific. The class greeted this outburst with total and complete silence.

And then he said -

"Good. Now if you turn to page 14, we'll get started."

From that point on, he was completely lovely. Patient. Calm. Quiet. Always a smile on his face. I only had him for that first year, he retired after that. But no-one ever messed around in his class.
(, Wed 23 Mar 2011, 19:03, 1 reply)
Twisty (baw_bag's one reminded me of this)
Quite a sound teacher, taught us Geography and why not to become a teacher when you grow up, just because of the amount of crap thrown your way. He did play on it a bit though and seemed to allow the nutters and gobshites to vent at him for a bit, rather than going chair-throwing berserk like some other teachers in the school (I am NOT exaggerating that, one teacher introduced himself by hurling a plastic chair through a filing cabinet, I shit you not).

The only problem with him was he actually got embarrased a few times due to the insults. Considering we were in the 13-15 catergory the plethora of insults were quite imaginative from us. One such classic was from Stu, during a quiet "Read this chapter about ox-bow lakes or some other shite that won't help you get that IT job" moment.

He asks Twisty "You've got a kid haven't you sir?"
Twisty rather guardedly and already smirking slightly said "Yes..2 actually."
"How old?"
"16 and 4."
"So....did your oldest...um...ever hear what you two were upto then?"
Awkward pause while Twisty takes this in.
"Well to be honest, you can't be doing it right then."

Oh dear, fell right into that one didn't you. In fairness he laughed harder than the rest of us and agreed he had a point there, good times :D
(, Wed 23 Mar 2011, 15:38, 2 replies)
My form teacher, 11-14
Mr Matthews was an ex-prison officer, divorced without custody, and had a son the same age as us. He was a great mix of friendly funny, and diciplinarian when he need to. He used to take 5 selected boys on a 2 week trip to either Wales or Cornwall every summer holidays....... in his Ford Capri..... on his own!!
Yes I know what that sounds like these days!!! Dodgy old peado takes little boys on his own personal sex-abuse trip every summer!...... But it wasn't!!!

I realise now, that he was very careful who he selected, and considered the personality mix quite carefully. The result for us was that we had two weeks of wonderful holiday where we basically ran wild, and did whatever we fancied! The only rules were to not get arrested, don't destroy anything belonging to him or the house we were staying at, and not to kill or maim ourselves!

What did he get out of it? Well probably the only two weeks of holiday a year away from his home, and a chance I think to do the things he missed doing with his son?

I reckon it would be virtually impossible to do that now, which is a shame, but times change I guess. My parents didn't do much holidaying with me, and those few trips with Mr Matthews meant a lot to me, and I remember so much about them even now!

Cheers Mr Matthews!
(, Wed 23 Mar 2011, 15:36, Reply)
"Immanuel isn't spelt like this, boy.
We'll have to have a word about the films you've been watching."

Didn't know what my R.E. teacher was on about until years later.
(, Wed 23 Mar 2011, 15:11, 4 replies)

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