The Bride of the First House (bride) wrote,
The Bride of the First House
bride

Not Friday Five: Best and Worst Teachers

weather: partly sunny
outside: 22°C
mood: nostalgic
I don't travel a lot, so my answers to this week's Friday Five would be lame. Instead, I saw a great question during the week, "Who were the best and worst teachers you ever had and why?"

The Best Teacher I Ever Had

It's a toss-up between Ted Beech and Tim Ireland. And Evan Joubert (zhoo-BEAR) deserves an Honourable Mention.

The Honourable Mention

Evan Joubert taught Physics 11 and 12 with a really cute Dutch accent. I think he speaks Afrikaans. His tests and labs were always insane and stressful. He never gave perfect marks on labs. I came close, but always ½ mark off. My lab write-ups were on page 1 and 2. The Conclusion was page 3-15. =D One of my best labs actually has a 10/10, scratched out and 9½/10 written beside it. No other explanation. Hey, I'm happy being second best if no one else comes in first =)

The Toss-Up

Ted Beech taught Math 12: Algebra and Intro Calculus. He made so much sense. He must've been about 50 already when I was in his class. He had that classic Nerd look. He had coke-bottle glasses, a tweed jacket and facial features that make him look like he could be related to Emma Chambers or Hugh Grant. =)

I had such a connection with his lectures. The funny thing is, he went really fast and lost a lot of people early to mid-lecture. He was very blunt about everything. He'd often say about his examples on the board, "I don't care if I got the numbers exactly right, it's the concept that matters". But he never got pure arithmetic wrong, ever. I'd even dare say he was never wrong. The man did square and cube roots in his head. He berated the Math curriculum for removing the section on Imaginary Numbers. *swoon*

Tim Ireland was my Accounting 11, Financial Accounting 12 and Consumer Ed. teacher. He was also my supervisor in my Assistant Block (I did stuff, like marking tests, filing, etc. in the school Business Ed. Department). I immediately had a lot of respect for him because he was the co-author of our textbook. He was very jovial, loved to laugh and joke. Just like me. I'll never forget The Witness Fitness Centre, the fictitious sole proprietorship we did all our exercises on. I still giggle at this one invoice we had to process: it was a delivery company called S. Cargo and the byline was "When you don't want sluggish deliveries..." HAHAHA!! That's so Tim Ireland. >KD

Tim was the school's Rugby coach. When he was explaining the difference between a Bear Market and Bull Market, he said that bulls attack by dipping their heads down and then gouging upwards, like a good rugby player. A bear, on the other hand, will get up high and then attack downwards. Brilliant! And that's probably what kept me from failing Economics 100 =P

He had a skiing accident some time in the 80s and walked with a limp by the time I was in his class. Tim couldn't walk downhill forwards, he had to turn around and back himself down carefully. Some smartass walking behind him once asked him, "So, how do you know where you're going?" He looked them straight in the eye, smiled and said, "At least I know where I've been." He was a very inspiring fellow.

His Accounting tests were brutal. He had to hand out the test papers face down before the class started. You had to work right from bell to bell. You couldn't check over your answers because there was barely enough time to just do the stupid thing in an hour... that's if you knew what you were doing and hopped right to it. If you got stalled somewhere, you didn't balance somewhere, that was it - you weren't finishing the test.

Imagine, then, the incredible sense of achievement when I scored 108/108 on a Unit Test. I was so proud of myself, I could explode. I'll never forget that he called it The Sterling Answer Key Paper. There was the time I got 113/117, but he scaled it to /110 and I ended up with an A+, but I don't count that as a perfect. I consistently got high A's in his class. Everyone else was barely hanging on to C+'s and talking about transferring to the other block with the easier teacher. By the end of Grade 12, I had my life all planned out. I was going to be an Accountant or do something in Finance. Economics kicked me in the teeth in University and I wound up doing a Bachelor of Science instead.

The Worst Teacher I Ever Had

Suzanne K, Grade 5 Homeroom and Art teacher. I think that was the biggest teacher-student personality mismatch ever.

She was a real fruitcake, like Sybil Trelawney. She was the kind of annoying artsie-fartsie person who kept telling the class to "express yourselves".

Me: It's a bilaterally symmetrical inkblot and, as such, is a mostly random occurrence at the source guided by a few Laws of Physics. It's just a fucking inkblot. It doesn't look like anything. I don't see any colours. Just black. All-Light-Go-In-No-Light-Come-Out black. RGB:0,0,0 BLACK. IDONTFUCKINGKNOWHOWITMAKESMEFEEEEEL.

I'd had her for Art in Grades 4-7 and I always got a C+ which is the lowest mark I ever got in anything. I even swung a B in Bob Armstrong's PE class one term, but not Art. At first, my parents were shitting bricks, but after a parent-teacher conference, they didn't say anything more... presumably because they could see that she was totally cuckoo. =)

My worst report cards were in 5th grade because of her. I got in trouble for doing extra Math questions she didn't assign. She assigned maybe five or ten questions out of the 20 exercise questions. Even the 20 questions in the book is an insanely small amount of practice.

The things that I did well on didn't seem to matter to her. Math and Spelling were never a matter of "how many can I get right on this test?", it was "how many tests can I score perfect in a row?". So, why she gave the class Spelling Award and Math Awards to others whom everyone knew didn't do as well as I did, I don't know. We compared test and homework scores with each other on all subjects back then. It was a very healthy competition. We'd find out who was an "expert" in what subject and study with each other.

Other students who didn't do nearly as well as I did seemed to get all the accolades "for trying". That's extremely unfair to a 10 year old INTJ. I wasn't just TRYING, I was actually DOING AWESOME and not a word about that.

I'm glad I had much better teachers for Grade 6 (Bob Armstrong: PE) and 7 (Len Reimer: Science), otherwise, that could have easily turned me off from school and messed me up for life.

Tags: open-ended surveys, reminiscence
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