Thursday, May 13, 2010

Teach Me

I grew up in Western New York and we moved to Northeast Florida when I was a sophomore in high school. To say that the educational systems in both locations were different is laughable to me. They were night and day. Yes, there were school buildings with teachers and students and administrators. Yes they both had English, Math, Science and History classes. Yes, both schools had school buses. But the academic standards in Florida paled in comparison and so did the social scenes.

But in both places there were teachers who stand out in my memory as the best educators I could have had.

Who were your favorite teachers? Why? It's Girl Talk Thursday. Let's chat. (p.s. Technically the topic was FAVORITE, meaning one teacher. Sorry! I have more than one!)

Top Honors go to my 7th and 8th grade math teacher Mrs. Siegel. (I think that's how you spell her name now.) She had this great way of teaching Algebra that involved rhymes and cadenced phrases that to this day stick with me. She was tough but she was fun. She taught the way that I now know I learn best and since math has never been a strong point for me, well, I'm glad for the foundation she helped me build.

Coming in an extremely close second was Mrs. Balon (she got remarried after I moved away but when she was my teacher, that was her name. So it's gonna stay that way in my brain.) This woman was my French teacher for 5 years. Most people couldn't stand her. I don't really know why. Maybe they should have taken Spanish classes instead of complaining? I thought she was great and she is the only teacher I have ever gone out of my way to visit again when I returned to Western New York years ago for one of my cousin's weddings. If I could reconnect with her again, I would.

Mrs. Cooney, my 4th grade teacher. She hugged everyone (I love hugs) and she once told me that I'd be the first female President of the United States. (cricket)(cricket) Sorry about that Hillary.

Mr. Saylor - Senior High School Physics. Ok so back when I was young and afraid of Math, no one told me that we'd have to APPLY IT ALL THE TIME. Physics? Me? Not so much. But Mr. Saylor let us have cheat sheets on the tests. We could put anything we wanted on an index card to help us with the tests. Do you know how small I can write now? Plus we always had exams "on Thursday" and there is no way for me to convey the funny inflection in his voice when he said "on Thursday" but everyone thought it was hilarious and it was a running joke for anyone in his classes.

Mrs. Basney - Senior Applied Economics. You know how in high school most people don't know what they want to go to college for and they sign up for Psychology and then go to college and figure it out? Last semester of my Senior year I took her class and although I had accepted attendance at UF and declared Psychology as my major, I ended up changing it the first week of classes that Fall. I changed it to Marketing because of her class and that's what I've stuck with and done with my life since. She made me believe I could be really good at business and the creative aspects of Marketing and she was a really, really good teacher too.

So thank you teachers! I was too young and naive to thank you back when you were my teachers, so I hope you know how awesome you were and hopefully still are.