10 thoughts on “Who Was Your Best Teacher?”

  1. Dr. Ricki Kantrowitz-psychology professor and my mentor from undergrad.

    I would positively not be where I am today as a confident woman and professional.

    We maintain a relationship still today and anytime I get the chance-like today with you guys at IR-I love to share and sing her praises. To thank her for her inspiration and support.

  2. Professor Terrance Ball was my best teacher, prodding my interests in sustainable gardening practices and introducing me to the agrarian author and poet, Wendell Berry.

  3. Jay Scoggin, who I had for 4th-6th grade at Marcy Open. He was a hippie who told us the story of how he dodged the draft; my parents blamed him for my pony tail in my young-adult years. He assigned us to watch and report on the news, and taught us that politics had real-world impacts even on kids.

    1. Hi Ben. I had very similar and fond memories of Jay. Coming from a conservative family the environment he created really broadened my way of thinking in a lot of ways. I don’t know where he is now, but it was a great environment to learn in.

      1. Jay retired from teaching some years ago. He’s active in local theater doing set design. What years did you have him?

    2. Jay changed my life. He showed me the men could be good and gentle and strong. He held me accountable and encouraged my insatiable curiousity. I became a professional actor, a playwright, a political activist, an advocate, and a better person because of him. I don’t think I would have made it through my difficult childhood without the refuge of his classroom and his care. The life lessons he thought me have been invaluable. He is one of the finest human beings I have ever known.

      1. I concur with the praise for Jay. He was a phenomenal teacher. I attended Marcy Elementary for 5th and 6th grade beginning in 1974 and had the good fortune of being assigned to Jay’s class. He helped me through a difficult transition, as my family was falling apart, and provided a feeling of belonging and safety to all of us in the class. My favorite memories of Jay included Friday singalongs. Jay would bring his guitar and the class would sing Beatles, Beach Boys, and other songs. This was such a popular tradition that many students would skip classes at Marshall-U on Fridays to join Jay and sing on Fridays. The community created through song was durable and inclusive. I have been teaching for thirty years and count Jay as one of my greatest inspirations for my approach to teaching.

  4. After Jesus, my wife is my best teacher. After 52 years of marriage, I’m still learning from her. For example, she’s teaching me a lot about marriage, parenting, grandparenting and life in general. I hesitate to say more because she is a very private person and hates the spotlight. My point is that our best teachers can be those closest to us.
    So why do I say that she is my best teacher after Jesus? I can’t begin to list all the things he has taught me. We Christians, or aspiring Christians, believe He is God in human form. He speaks to me in scripture and in sacred music; in my church community, in sacred art, in my prayers, actions, and everyone I meet, especially the poor, the sick, the homeless and the refugee (if I’m paying attention). Most of all, he teaches me by his resurrection from the dead– something no one else has done as far as I know.

    St. Paul said that he didn’t want offend anyone with his preaching. St. Francis of Assisi is reputed to have said he preached the gospel, using words occasionally. So I hope I’m not offending anyone and will try to speak less and practice what I preach. If you’re so inclined, please say a prayer for me.

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