Revered Teachers – A More Perfect Union (Continued)


November 23, 2011 by rlewiscordell

Fellow Thinkers:

On my last post, I asked about the general perception of teachers unions in America.

A thought provoking comment came in that stated, “Our teachers should be our nation’s most revered citizens – if that were the case we would have a world-class public education system”.

Dr. C.W. Powell was my favorite teacher in high school. It was a small school, and I had him for several subjects in grades 9, 10, and 11. These subjects included English and British Literature, Economics, and Mathematics.

He was a wild looking man with a graying Abraham Lincoln beard and curly grey hair. He was something like a mad scientist in looks and a Mother Theresa in connectedness to his students. I revered this man!

I respected him because he respected me. I believed that he cared about me as a person. I believed that he cared about learning. I believe that he cared about me as a learner. Grades were not really part of that equation. I earned As in his Literature and Economics courses, and I earned my only F in mathematics from him. Dr. Powell simply respected me. He allowed me to question. He patiently explained and taught me in a way that expanded my perspective.

Fellow Thinker, I ask. Who in your life has been an intensely respected teacher? Why has this person been revered by you?

One thought on “Revered Teachers – A More Perfect Union (Continued)

  1. Daniel Digby says:

    You were lucky; I never ran into a teacher with a PhD in our school system. The teachers that had no business teaching far outnumbered the really excellent ones, but I was fortunate in avoiding most of the really bad ones.

    We, too, had an outstanding teacher, and it was also in math. Her name was Mrs. Laycock, and although I had some problems with her (like her insistence on two-column proofs for geometry, in spite of what I thought were far superior methods), she was far above the level of ordinary teachers. She taught us solid and spherical geometry in addition to state-mandated content. She didn’t leave me hanging with my suggestions, either. She introduced me to symbolic logic and its relation to set theory. She also taught trigonometry from the Cauchy perspective (although she didn’t identify the approach). For every question, she had an answer, although it wasn’t always the one I wanted. It took several years before I found anyone else who could challenge me the way she did.

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