Guest Writers

Teachers Who Sucked vs. Teachers Who Scored

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Back in May, I realized my fall 2011 semester was going to be hectic, so I asked a bunch of people to consider helping me out by writing about a memory of a favorite (or not so favorite) teacher who helped them learn something about themselves or the world.

Because everyone has a favorite teacher, right?

And, let’s face it, even the bad ones taught us something.

I was stunned by the response.

Everyone was all: “Omigosh, this is like, totally awesome!”

The guys were slightly less Valley-Girlish.

I am truly grateful to everyone who submitted a story.

So starting next Wednesday — and running every Wednesday until the well runs dry — I will post one story.

For those of you who use Twitter, the hashtag will be #TWITS – an acronym to stand for Teachers Who I Think Scored or Teachers Who I Think Sucked.

(It only took me eleventy-bajillion years to come up with that one.)

If you’d like to be part of the action, I would love to read your words.

Maybe as we go along you might say, “Hey, I don’t see my experience represented here.”

Well, that’s so not okay!

So haul out your yearbooks.

Now, stop looking at yourself.

Okay, now stop looking at you-know-who.

What do you mean: “Who?”

You know the one.

Now turn to the teachers’ page and write about something that one of them did that you promised you’d never forget.

You can find my email address under the “Contact Me” tab. 

Tweet this Twit @ RASJacobson


Renée Schuls-Jacobson • August 17, 2011 • Lessons From Teachers & Twits • “Spot Check”

Jessica Buttram  •  August 24, 2011 • Meet the Buttrams“Hard Ass”

Save Sprinkles • August 31, 2011 • How Can I Complain?“A Different Kind of Punishment”

Steven Hess • September 7, 2011 • “Read the Books”

Piper Bayard • September 14, 2011 • On Life, Belly Dancing & Apocalyptic Annihilation“The Power of a Swift Kick”

Zach Sparer • September 21, 2011 • Faux-Outrage“Substitute Preacher”

Kelliefish • September 28, 2011 • Kelliefish13’s Blog“Mrs. Clayton”

Larry Hehn • October 5, 2011 • Christian in the Rough“Ode to Werner Berth”

Kelly K • October 12, 2011 • Dances With Chaos“Buzz Champion”

Tyler Tarver • October 19, 2011 • Tyler Tarver “Yo tengo el gato los pantelones”

Tamara Lunardo • October 26, 2011 • Tamara Out Loud“Those Who Can’t Teach”

Leonore Rodrigues • November 2, 2011 • As A Linguist“Damage Done”

Mark Kaplowitz • November 9, 2011 • Mark Kaplowitz’s Blog“My 1st Grade Teacher Must Have Had Stock in Crayola”

Mary Mollica • Novemeber 16, 2011 • The Decorative Paintbrush“Not to Be Trashed”

Paul Waters • November 23, 2011 • Blackwatertown“The Good, the Bad & the Ugly”

Penny Thoyts • November 30, 2011 • “Lessons From Mrs. Gurney”

Chase McFadden • December 7, 2011 • Some Species Eat Their Young“If You’re Lucky

SaucyB • December 14, 2011 • Life & Times of a Self-Proclaimed Saucy Bitch“Hidden Potential”

Kathy English • December 21, 2011 • The Mom Crusades“Mrs. Schmidt’s Wonderful World”

Annie Wolfe • December 28, 2011 • Six Ring Circus“The Day Mrs. Dean Saved My Life”

37 thoughts on “Teachers Who Sucked vs. Teachers Who Scored

  1. I didn’t have a favorite teacher that impacted my life, but I did have a favorite guidance counsler Mr. Muench. He listened to me and supported me all through high school. He was what a counsler should be. He guided and listened to my thoughts and I don’t know if he knows how much he changed my life. He believed in me and that was big! I will forever be grateful to that man that treated me like a person with ideas, instead of a stupid kid! Love that man! Peace <3

  2. Great idea, Renee! You’re so right about even the “not so great” teachers having taught you something, but I look forward to sharing with you a story about a high school teacher that I STILL stay in contact with – 30 years later. She was a fabulous teacher, and still is a remarkable woman!

    I will look forward to reading your Wednesday posts, as education stories are one of my favorite. This might be why I enjoy your blog so much – you tie so much in with the education stories, along with being a teacher – you keep it very creative and thought-provoking.

  3. So funny! Earlier this week, out of no where I thought of my 6th grade English teacher and wrote a blog about him! Coming your way girl! Was that my assignment? XO

        1. K: Yeah, well… don’t forget I’m also a twit. And I’ve got plenty of those stories, too. My students (department chairs and principals) know the good, the bad and the ugly. I have made some serious mistakes in my career.

          But thanks for playin’. 😉

    1. Hi Brynn!

      I am so excited to have so many wonderful bloggers share their stories. You would think that these stories could get boring, but just as there are so many different teachers… well, there are so many different types of writers. And each one has captured a different type of person in a different way. It’s really beautiful! Can’t wait until next week!

  4. I had a favorite teacher. Mrs. Scott. First grade, elementary school in Buffalo. I could not add double digits (this was without having to carry). I took my math sheet up to the teacher and started to cry. Mrs. Scott sat me on her knee, wiped my tear and told that it was ok and that she would show me. She showed me as I sat safely on he knee and felt like the most special girl in the world. But I always remembed that she took the time to put me on her knee and care that I had tears. In todays world, I think the teachers are afraid to even touch a child for fear of some sort of child abuse. One moment of individual attention stays with a child for life.

    1. I think you are right. Methinks people are definitely more nervous about physical contact these days. It’s too bad. Sometimes a squeeze on the shoulder can change a person’s whole day.

      A shoulder squeeze can totally undo the death-eye.

  5. Wonderful idea. I think I learned more from the not so great teachers because I became a teacher myself. I remembered what I hated and vowed never to do that to my students!

    1. Soooo true! What amazes me is that some of the teachers I disliked the most were other people’s most favorite teachers of all time.

      My 2nd grade math teacher was positively cruel to me.

      I know people who just loved her.

  6. I have to admit that I don’t really remember many of my teachers… its all kind of a blur. But I am glad that the post turned out to be about favorite teachers and not teachers actually… you know… sucking and scoring! I did have a math teacher in 11th grade that I really liked and got along well with. He seemed like he was about 25 at the time. I imagine he was doing a lot of scoring!

  7. One of my least favorite teaachers was my 6th grade history teacher. Her modus operandi was to assign reading and then hand out worksheets. Then she promptly fell asleep at her desk – every day- and she snored!

    My favorite teacher was Mr. Iman, who taught American History, Economics and Sociology (last two advanced courses, as a senior). He made us laugh and think. I never thought of those two going together, but they do. I never forgot him or his lessons.

    1. Hey SaucyB!

      So excited to have you as one of the originals! And your piece is awesome! Can you imagine that I have submissions into January 2012? I am so excited because they are all so different! It’s really cool reading everyone’s take.

  8. The best lesson my Senior English teacher passed along: You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. But when you get to the test and don’t know what to do because you didn’t prepare, you have no one to blame but yourself. Applying that to “real life,” if you don’t care enough to give the little things some effort, you won’t be able to accomplish the big things. If you don’t care, no one else will, either…so give it your best, every time.

    The worst lesson my 3rd grade teacher passed along (okay, there are several): you have to have some compassion and patience. (1) Don’t expect an 8-year-old in a cast to learn cursive to your standards – she can NOT “figure it out” without you. (2) No matter how many wonderful books you read aloud to your class, bringing to life amazing literary characters from a variety of genres, your 8-year-old students will not lose the memory of writing “Silence is golden” 500 times, or of copying a page from the dictionary. (3) Never leave a room full of 8-year-olds sitting at lunchtime simply to make a point…when their parents expect them to walk home from school for lunch and walk back again, you will come out the loser. (4) Never turn out the lights and walk out at the end of the day leaving your students sitting in the dark, again to make a point, if you don’t want to suffer the wrath of parents who have no idea why their children aren’t home on time. You will not only have a room full of tearful children who will not trust you ever again, but you will also have a bunch of angry parents who aren’t afraid to speak up. (5) When kissing 1 influential parent bottom, remember that there are another 50-60 parents whose bottoms are NOT being kissed – they will wield THEIR influence in unexpected ways.

    1. Hi SuzyQ:

      You had the worst 3rd grade teacher ever.

      I am so sad for you. Sitting in the dark. Copying awful passages repeatedly. Not being allowed to get lunch? It’s hard to imagine.

      I had the best 3rd grade teachers ever.


  9. Dear Renee,

    Sorry to be a bit late to this party. Still traveling in Europe, just caught up to this excellent subject.

    Oh, ouch, “… an acronym to stand for Teachers Whom I Think Scored or Teachers Whom I Think Sucked”???!! Are you trying to give us a heart attack? Your subject line had it right. It’s “who” all the way. Inserting “I Think” does not alter the case of subject/predicate. Oy vay. And you killed off MegaThread the minute I left town. Well, OK, it was done respectfully and ceremonially, and you “owned” it, so I accept. But these “whoms” are unacceptable. Please recant immediately if not sooner.

    I do promise you a report on my best teacher, who made all the difference in the world in how I read, write and think. It’s her fault that I’m picking on you here.

    Love, — Kate (high in and on the Bavarian Alps)

    1. Katie Lady:

      Not for nothing, but I consulted THREE English teachers on the who vs. whom thing. You’d better email me on that one, girlie. I admitted to not knowing which one to use, and it sounds like I’ve gone the wrong way.

      I blame the Saturday morning television.

      They never did any Schoolhouse Rock segments on Who vs. Whom. If they had, I would likely know which was whom. Or is it who?

      Please send tips and tricks fast. My first post is set to launch on Wednesday. I’d hate when my slip is showing. 😉

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