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May 07, 2013

My Favorite Teacher


Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day and, looking back, I was pretty lucky to have been taught by a lot of great teachers! My second grade teacher, Mrs. Roethel, was pretty awesome in that second grade way of looking at things. She was fair, gave us a lot of playtime and was really nice. My fourth grade teacher, Ms. Cytryn, definitely gave me special treatment because I led our classroom to victory in the school-wide reading competition (I read more books than anyone in school, including the fifth graders…pretty sweet). So obviously she was alright in my book.

But the one teacher who really stood out was my eighth grade home economics teacher, Mr. McMahon. Picture this. You walk into home ec on the first day of school and you think you must have the wrong room because standing at the head of the class is, what looks like, a fratboy ex-football player. Burly, macho and a big scowl on his face. Found out later, Mr. McMahon had just graduated from college with a teaching degree and a concentration in social studies. He took the only job he was able to get. Home Economics.

That night, I went home and wrote in my journal that I liked all of my teachers on the first day of school, with the exception of Mr. McMahon, because he seemed mean. By the end of that school year, I had come to dislike every teacher I had except for him.

I like to think of that class as a learning experience for the teacher and the students. Mr. McMahon tried to teach us how to sew (tried being the operative word), he taught us how to maintain a household and we were also given a lesson in balancing a checkbook. And he often peppered in his own personal advice.

The few times I’ve seen Mr. McMahon since then, we’ve laughed about his first teaching position. He knew he couldn’t sew, but he put his heart into that home economics class and was subsequently rewarded. He became a bit of a legend and they also let him teach social studies the following year.

We’re all here because of some pretty great teachers. Tell us – what did your favorite teacher teach you?



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