Today is National Teacher Day. Great teachers do so much more than pass on knowledge about certain subjects. Somehow, they see what is inside their students and make a connection that inspires young people to work hard. They help them see the possibilities for both the present and future. Here is our tribute to some of the teachers who made a difference in our lives. (And be sure to leave a memory of one of your favorite teachers in the comments!)
Heather Kindseth, Creative Director: My favorite teacher was my Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Botke. She was the sweetest person I ever met and always had a smile on her face. She was full of encouragement, and it was obvious she truly loved being a teacher, making sure everyone in the class felt a part of the group, liked learning, had the help, and support they needed throughout the day. Thank you, Mrs. Botke!
Christianne Jones, Managing Editor: My favorite teacher was Mrs. Schorn, who taught band and choir (from 5th grade on). She wore cool red glasses and funky clothes and had more energy and patience than anyone I’ve ever met. We always got to play the coolest pop songs in pep band and had the best homecoming field shows. Plus, anyone who’s willing to listen to 5th graders play instruments deserves a special award.
Bob Lentz, Art Director: One of my favorite teachers was my fifth grade teacher in Litchfield, MN: Mr. Buschette. I was in fifth grade in 1987, which is the first year the Twins won the World Series. Mr. Buschette would play the day games on the radio during class! The best part, though, is that he would quiz us on baseball terms and somehow tie the call of the game into our English and math lessons. Awesome.
Emily Harris, Graphic Designer: Linda Brooks taught me photography and senior art seminar in high school. She helped me realize that my love of art could be more than just a hobby.
Donnie Lemke, Managing Editor:
My favorite teacher is, Amy Lemke—my wife. She teaches early childhood special education, spending each and every day preparing young students for a bright academic future. (And she still has the patience to deal with me each and every night!)
Ali Deering, Editor: My favorite/most influential teacher ever was Ms. Pryor. I first met Ms. Pryor in the fifth grade. I lucked out and had her as my homeroom teacher in eighth grade. I still remember being SO excited when I got my room assignment. She taught eighth-grade English and literature. I already love English and writing, but she really encouraged and furthered my interest in it. She also introduced me to some of my favorite books (The Outsiders and To Kill a Mockingbird). She was, without a doubt, the most dedicated, caring and overall best teacher I ever had. I was SO lucky to have her — I probably have her to thank for the fact that I'm an editor today.
Beth Brezenoff, Managing Editor: I was a good student, so I pretty much liked all of my teachers, with a few notable exceptions. But my very favorite teacher was my fourth-grade classroom teacher, Ms. Danielson. I'm not sure why, but I remember coming home from my first day of school that year gushing about her. She had pretty hair. Maybe that's why. I also remember that she did more to reinforce self-esteem based on internal qualities than any other teacher since — which was very important in fourth grade.
Julie Gassman, Senior Editor: It is hard to pick a favorite teacher, so I will choose one who did the impossible: In sixth grade, Mrs. V made diagramming sentences one of the most fun things we did in class. She divided us into two teams, led by captains. (Being a clumsy bookworm, it was definitely the only time I was chosen captain for a competition. The contest was judged on speed and accuracy. The team came out on top won two pieces of candy for each team member. But there were no losers, because the other team each got one too. Thanks to Mrs. V, diagramming sentences is still my idea of a good time.
Kay Fraser, Art Director:
I will not forget my seventh grade teacher, Macarone. I helped write the school play. After we finished writing it, she asked me to help during tryouts. I read one part, while the people trying out said their lines. After having casting tryouts for a week, Macarone decided I was the best person to play one of the main characters. I was an introvert, so I FREAKED OUT. I didn't want to. But she insisted I give it a shot, so I did. It was the first play I wasn't behind the scenes. I did just fine; I even enjoyed it. I wouldn't have acted or sang in front of people if it wasn't for her. Thanks to Macarone! She was one in a million.