Thanks for telling the AJC about your best teacher

UPDATED MONDAY at 10:30 AM : Nancy has enough folks so please do not send her any more. We appreciate those of you who shared their memories. Maureen

A timely request in view of our discussions today on quality teaching:

AJC staff writer Nancy Badertscher is working on a story about teacher quality and would like to include some feedback from current and former Georgia students about what makes a good teacher.

Specifically, she would like to hear about the teacher that had the greatest impact on your life/learning and what attributes made him or her a standout (25 words or less). If you can participate, she’ll need this and a color photo (just your face) by Wednesday at 5 p.m.  She is looking for teachers who taught you in k-12.

Here’s the specifics of what Nancy needs.

Your name:

High School you attended, city, when you graduated and what you do now:

Name of the standout teacher:

What and where the teacher taught (school, city):

What year you had the teacher:

What made him/her special: (try to keep it to 15 to 20 words if possible.

Send to Please include a telephone number in case she has questions.

Thanks, Maureen Downey for the AJC Get Schooled blog

15 comments Add your comment

Former APS Teacher

August 26th, 2011
3:08 pm

Does it have to be a high school teacher?

Maureen Downey

August 26th, 2011
3:13 pm

@former, The teacher can be from any grade in k-12, but Nancy also wants to know where people graduated high school.

Former APS Student

August 26th, 2011
3:26 pm

What about principals, The best teacher I ever had was my principal, he was great for students but hated by APS. I think if you ask any student in our school they will tell you that he was the best thing to happen to our school. I speak with students now and we have a female who does not even come out her office and APS loves her but as students we hate her.


August 26th, 2011
3:29 pm

My best teacher, and still is, is Mr. Experience. His lessons can be painful at times and often expensive, but rarely forgotten.

Mrs Reality comes in a close second. :)


August 26th, 2011
3:41 pm

Teacher? My bad. I thought they are called “educator”

What a joke.

Tad Jackson

August 26th, 2011
3:45 pm

November 6, 2012

August 26th, 2011
4:44 pm

Not even close, “Experience” is definitely the best teacher. I know, that’s the easy answer, but it’s also the truest.

Cobb Teacher 2

August 26th, 2011
5:04 pm

I thought I would check back after taking a month-long break from this blog. I loved this post, but reading the comments only reminds me of why I left. People like Tim can’t resist the urge to be rude. So long again.

Once Again

August 26th, 2011
9:12 pm

It will be interesting to see how many homeschool moms or dads are allowed to be included in this “story.” My mom was certainly a great teacher. She taught me how to read so that I went into kindergarten already reading extremely well, worked with me with flash cards for spelling, math, etc. when I was barely out of my crib, and put me into Montessori and other private schools so as to keep me out of the horrible Los Angeles Unified School District (she was a single parent and nobody homeschooled then besides). Every one of my teachers was great because they really cared about their work, worked for FAR less than their government counterparts, knew they could be fired for poor performance, travelled long distances to their jobs (I had one who travelled nearly 100 miles each way to work – and what a wonderful sense of humor this man had despite everything), and put all of their creativity and heart into their work (but then a private school allows that). My hats off to all of them.

Another Teacher

August 26th, 2011
9:27 pm

@ Cobb Teacher 2. I remember some of your spirited earlier comments, and also the blog posting where you declared that you simply could not stand the constant negativity. This was right in the middle of the APS cheating revelations and comments WERE pretty negative, whether from angry APS parents or from demoralized non-cheating APS teachers who had to return to their schools in a few days to begin another term.

I hope that you stick around now though. There are a few trolls left…about 3, I would say…but they’ve pretty much been shouted off the stage. It all reminds me of a typical class with typical adolescent (or younger) students like Tim who have always gotta wisecrack so everyone will laugh……But there are enough grown-ups on here too.

we r b ing n fected

August 26th, 2011
11:26 pm

My shop classes aka Auto Mechanics and Collision Repair courses were the reason why I stayed in school. To bad high schools today can’t see the importance of courses like this. It taught me knowledge, skill, and discipline. It has also kept me employed all my life. Thanks Mr. Whitehead at the old Samuel Howard Archer High School 1958 -1995. And we wonder why kids today aren’t interested in school.

AP Lit/Comp

August 27th, 2011
8:39 am

@Cobb Teacher 2, I was JUST thinking the same thing. So many of the comments are just unnecessary or downright mean; my husband actually has asked me not to read anymore because I’d get so demoralized. I saw the topic from the general news page and thought it might be nice to see what folks wrote. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.
By the way, my best teacher was my AP Lit/Comp teacher from my senior year at Coffee High School. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so you can guess what I teach at my own public high school. I love it.


August 27th, 2011
8:44 am

My comments cannot be published because , if I tell you my real name, I would probably lose my job because of my posts on this blog. But my BEST teacher…

It is a difficult choice because there are really 6 teachers that made me the person I am today. Seven, if you include my mother.

Mrs. Wilcox, 5th grade, Emerson School, Burbank, California. She turned a daydreamer into a productive student and taught a little girl that she COULD succeed.

And, from Jonesboro High School, Jonesboro, GA, 1960-1965:

Ms. Labon Harden,Social Studies and Science, 8th grade, . She forced a shy child to speak in front of others and turned a terrified, shy girl into a confident public speaker. Her unusual teaching methods–cooperative grouping in 1960– became the basis for a lot of my teaching methods later.

Mrs. Betty ( J.E). Edmonds, grades 8,10, 11, and 12, English and French, Jonesboro High School, whose strict academic demands and determination that I learn the rules of English grammar so that I would understand what I could already practice– the WHY of I did what I did automatically because of my teacher mother’s early insistance . She gave me the love of languages, especially French, and the academic traditionalism teaching methods that I follow in my classroom to this day.

Mr. G. Cyde Eidson, 11th and 12th grade English,who taught me to write, and to analyze literature, and to THINK and form opinions that were rooted in literature but synthesized into new and original concepts. He made me love Shakespeare and Chaucer, and his teaching made my college literature classes much easier. He was the most riveting” lecturerer” I ever heard and his lectures taught me how to keep my students interested and engaged during necessary lecture times.

Mr. M.C. Padgett, Principal, JHS,and extraordinary math teacher, who helped a student struggling with Algebra One by tutoring her in his office after school. It was he who recognized that I had what would today be labelled as a “learning disability” in math that impeded my ability to understand and remember basic mathematical facts and strategies. His lesson to me was to never give up and because of him, I learned to persevere through Algebra II, Geometry, and college mathematics in order to receive my degree. He taught me to look carefully below the surface when a child was struggling.

Mrs. Virginia Rogers Hasty, who taught me Algebra and Geometry and always sensed when I needed more help, more explanation, more support, and was always willing to provide it. Her patience inspired me to be patient with my students who could not grasp a concept the first time it was taught.

Finally, my mother, whom I cannot name because it would reveal my own identity, also a teacher at JHS: She gave me her love of literature and learning; she gave me her unconditional love and patience; she gave me the gift of NOT ever comparing me with my brilliant younger sister who could blink twice and make straight A’s.

All of these teachers changed my life and each had an important role to play. I can’t choose just one because, without all of them, I would not be what I am today. God bless them all.


August 27th, 2011
9:23 am

The (few) responses here speak volumes.

Maureen Downey

August 27th, 2011
9:39 am

@Digger, They are not supposed to respond here — they are supposed to e-mail Nancy. I am happy for folks to post about their favorite teachers, but this is simply a shout-out for a newspaper story.