A few of my students today were wondering why I make them use the AEA search sites instead of allowing them to just google things. I was telling them that it was so that when they went to college, they would know how to use the scholarly search engines and not be at a loss. One of them asked me why this was so important to me. I quickly told her about my English 11 and British Literature teacher and how her goal was that none of her students would go to college unprepared. I struggled somewhat in her classes, but discovered when I went to college that I was much more prepared for the rigor of college than many of my classmates. Classes they struggled with, I found fairly easy. She pushed us beyond our limits and I remember struggling to do well in her class and really wanting a good grade from her. While she had high expectations, she would also encourage us and tell us not to give up. Sometimes I would get so confused in her class, but thanks to her encouragement and belief in me, I never gave up and ended up doing well in college. We gave her a nickname, the Hulk, but it wasn’t out of disrespect, but out of respect that we called her this. Thanks Carla Hultgren.
This then brought to mind my English 10 teacher, Mr. Morrison. We not so respectfully called him Mr. Moose. He spoke in a monotone voice and still used the bell curve to grade. His policy was to give 2 A’s per class, 3 B’s, a bunch of C’s and then 3 D’s and 2 F’s. It didn’t matter what your percentage was, this was how it would be played out. I remember him calling me to his desk towards the end of a grading period to let me know that I would be getting a B. He told me that in a regular class this would be an A, but he only gave 2 A’s. I tried so hard to get out of his class, but not only would the office not allow me to switch, he called my parents and ended up talking to my dad, who of course then punished me for causing problems and not be a good student in class. Mr. Moose was also the person responsible for my only trip to the office and 3 day in school suspension. Thankfully the assistant principal at the time, told me that he wouldn’t give me the suspension, but I had to spend the rest of the class period in the office. All of this for leaving my textbook at home. His outer office was right next to the side door that staff came in and out of the building for. I was never so embarrassed as to have people see me sitting in his office.
Two teachers that both left a lasting impression on me.