Comments on: Fight against America’s War on Teachers: it’s Thank a Non-Cokehead, Non-Abusive Teacher Day! http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/21/fight-against-americas-war-on-teachers-its-thank-a-non-cokehead-non-abusive-teacher-day/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 27 Sep 2014 00:08:01 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: token undergrad http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/21/fight-against-americas-war-on-teachers-its-thank-a-non-cokehead-non-abusive-teacher-day/comment-page-1/#comment-758957 Thu, 23 Dec 2010 21:40:26 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13651#comment-758957 Thanks for initiating this, Historiann.

I was never in Mrs. Retter’s sixth-grade class–the San Diego Unified School District didn’t reclassify me as “gifted” until high school–but I had the distinction of being the only non-student ever allowed to borrow books from her classroom library. Thanks to Mrs. Retter’s classroom library, I read Robert Louis Stevenson and Dumas père, and I became a fierce partisan of Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 1745-6 Jacobite rebellion. Like me, Mrs. Retter always questioned authority, she didn’t present very conventionally, and she certainly didn’t ever keep her opinions to herself; her classroom and her person created a safe zone when I was bullied every day for being smart and different and talkative and not very feminine. Mrs. Retter is the reason I never tried to disguise my nerdiness or my intelligence in order to fit in. And though I didn’t fully realize it until I wrote this comment, she more than anyone is why I realized I want to be a historian when I grow up.

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By: JJO http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/21/fight-against-americas-war-on-teachers-its-thank-a-non-cokehead-non-abusive-teacher-day/comment-page-1/#comment-758271 Wed, 22 Dec 2010 20:00:36 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13651#comment-758271 I benefited from a fantastic group of teachers in a fantastic local school system, so it would be tedious to name them all, but the highlights include:

Ms. Bussey (later Ringgold) — calculus and I.B. math. Best teacher I ever had.
Mr. Harold — history (a Scotsman and graduate of the University of Glasgow … he used to jokingly date major events in relation to the founding of the university (1451). I got a huge kick out of being able to deliver a paper there at Omohundro about a decade(!) ago. He had already passed on by then.)
Ms. Tatum — sex ed: a crusader for sex education, tolerance, and emotional health in the schools against local and national backlash, some of which was aimed specifically at her.
Mr. Hoover — English
Mr. Klass — English

Also, @Meghan, 7:45am — I know Mr. Martin and will be passing your kind words along through channels…

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By: eldgie http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/21/fight-against-americas-war-on-teachers-its-thank-a-non-cokehead-non-abusive-teacher-day/comment-page-1/#comment-758145 Wed, 22 Dec 2010 16:33:55 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13651#comment-758145 Past about 6th grade, I never liked math, but some of my most memorable teachers taught that subject: Mrs. Rabin, who made geometry fascinating, and who got a bunch of us hooked on bridge (yes, we were nerds!); Mr. Stimson, who was a total sweetheart; and Mr. Williams, who simply didn’t accept the idea that some people just can’t do math, and who cheerfully dragged me kicking and screaming through pre-calc.

My all-time best teacher was Zebulon Robbins, 6th grade. Mr. Robbins, if you’re out there, thank you!

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By: gwoman http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/21/fight-against-americas-war-on-teachers-its-thank-a-non-cokehead-non-abusive-teacher-day/comment-page-1/#comment-758123 Wed, 22 Dec 2010 15:42:41 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13651#comment-758123 I lurk here often, but this is my first post. I’ve two teachers to commemorate. The first, Miss Cobb taught first my grandmother, then my mother and finally me in kindergarten. She was so very, very kind, and that helped make kindness a norm for me.

The second teacher taught me Civics in the tenth grade. I wish I could remember her name. She recognized the worth of all her students regardless of color or class or academic standing. This was a first for me. Thanks for the opportunity to thank her.

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By: Susan http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/21/fight-against-americas-war-on-teachers-its-thank-a-non-cokehead-non-abusive-teacher-day/comment-page-1/#comment-758118 Wed, 22 Dec 2010 15:34:33 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13651#comment-758118 Apologies for forgetting my sixth grade teacher, Mr. Saltzman’s, name. He had us read The Red Badge of Courage and Green Mansions. Even though his favorite punishment was writing lines of something, he helped “smart” kids know that smart involved work.

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By: Meghan http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/21/fight-against-americas-war-on-teachers-its-thank-a-non-cokehead-non-abusive-teacher-day/comment-page-1/#comment-758109 Wed, 22 Dec 2010 14:45:50 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13651#comment-758109 Cheers to Mr. Martin of Western Albemarle High School, who taught me how to be a real historian. I had thought that history was boring before his class, but he taught us how to read primary sources and how to use the internet to find even more sources — this was still a new idea back in my day! His class was the first time I realized that I loved to research and write.

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By: Katherine http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/21/fight-against-americas-war-on-teachers-its-thank-a-non-cokehead-non-abusive-teacher-day/comment-page-1/#comment-758085 Wed, 22 Dec 2010 13:18:55 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13651#comment-758085 Miss Klyberg (it was the 60s)of Willard Elementary School, my first grade teacher. She made all of us feel special and loved. When I got chickenpox and had to stay home the reading thing clicked and she piled on the books. She never worried that when I returned I was going to be way ahead of everyone else. She continued to give me books to read even after I left her class.

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By: Notorious Ph.D. http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/21/fight-against-americas-war-on-teachers-its-thank-a-non-cokehead-non-abusive-teacher-day/comment-page-1/#comment-757945 Wed, 22 Dec 2010 07:30:35 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13651#comment-757945 Ms. Prentice, my 8th-grade English teacher, who actually dared to give twelve year-olds books like Animal Farm, then showed us how to read them on more than the superficial level.

Mr. Brenner, my high-school German teacher, who spent almost as much time teaching us about medieval “German” history as the language itself; my interest in medieval studies may have started with purloining the historical fiction that my mother brought home from the library, but Mr. Brenner’s classes suggested to me that there might be more to learn, and that I just needed to go look for it.

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By: MsMcD http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/21/fight-against-americas-war-on-teachers-its-thank-a-non-cokehead-non-abusive-teacher-day/comment-page-1/#comment-757898 Wed, 22 Dec 2010 05:19:01 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13651#comment-757898 I’ve really enjoyed reading all the reminisces. I also never went to public school in the States. I grew up in Europe. One of my favorite schools was mostly populated with teachers who had been kicked out of America for being “pink” in the 50s. My teachers were hippies, non-conformist and intellectually rigorous- and I thought they were great!

My favorite: Ms Patricia Barry, 9th grade English. Many of the books we read that year were at one point banned in America. She didn’t believe there were any bad words in the English language, and she gave me first and only F so that I would be forced to work harder (that’s what she told my mother who was also an English teacher). She also spent her free time getting supplies for schools where the students were very poor. She forced me to think- and for that I will always be grateful.

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By: Western Dave http://www.historiann.com/2010/12/21/fight-against-americas-war-on-teachers-its-thank-a-non-cokehead-non-abusive-teacher-day/comment-page-1/#comment-757822 Wed, 22 Dec 2010 02:28:23 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=13651#comment-757822 Mr. Williams, my fifth grade teacher, who dealt with my tendency to talk to neighbors after finishing my work by giving me a copy of Macbeth and telling me to read it whenever I got done early. It took me all year, and I don’t think I understood it but even then I had a sense that the really good stuff was going to be hard.

Mrs. Janie Peterson, 11th and 12th grade English who cultivated my sense of being an intellectual and always treated me like a smart person. Despite the fact that I wasn’t in the honors class that year.

And oddly enough, Alan Lowe, a gym teacher who noticed that no matter how bad I sucked I always tried and therefore taught me a few things about the importance of persistence and technique in the face of talent. (The fact that he was short like me didn’t hurt either).

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