I CAN REMEMBER every teacher I've had since kindergarten, with a bit of brain-prodding. A few of them really stick out to me. My second grade teacher Mrs. Carpenter, my fifth grade teacher Mr. Hedrick and my Physics teacher Mr. Lechtenberger. I remember each of them differently, because they all gave me unique things to take with me, and I am still impacted by what they did. Before a few years ago, I didn't know why my parents cared what teachers I got. I only cared that I would be with my friends, the person at the head of the class could be a giant squid for all I cared. Now I realize why my parents cared so much, my education is a really major thing to rely on a total stranger to provide.
When I was told that I would be in Mrs. Carpenter's class, I didn't know what to expect since it was to be with both first and second graders. Although I don't remember much, I take that as a good thing because I don't remember anytime when there was a conflict of attention between the two grades. I think that is a testament to Mrs. Carpenter's devotion - she taught two classes in the time of one. Although I bet she was really glad when her double-duty year was over, I'm happy I had her, even if I had to share.
In fifth Grade, I was taught by who I think of as the cool uncle of the teaching world. Mr. Hedrick was a young, athletic guy who tried everything to make his class enthusiastic about learning. He played guitar, and made up songs (some of which were irrelevant to the lesson, but they sure were catchy). He always seemed to have a smile on his face, unless you were in trouble, but then instead of yelling or punishment, he loved playing the "disappointment and responsibility" card (you know the one, "I'm not mad at you, I'm just disappointed. I thought you were more responsible than that.") Much to my displeasure, it worked. Mr. Hedrick made me find the better person inside the rebellious young one that seems to turn up in most fourth-ninth graders. Also, just a few weeks ago I was surprised by a letter from him, along with a time capsule letter I had written when I was in his class. My parents thought some of the things I had envisioned for my future were hilarious ("I am a goalie for the Squirt C Ice Pirates. It's a dream come true!"). It was a really nice touch because he had since moved to Scottsdale, and he still tracked me down (and I can imagine the same with the rest of my classmates).
My freshman year, I walked into Mr. Lechtenberger's Algebra II class and I felt like I had walked right through a wormhole onto a 90's sitcom. It was the stereotypical classroom. Goths and Jocks in the back, Bimbos in the front, and quiet kids in the middle, practically just taking up space. Being the only freshman, I tried to just blend in, so I took a seat right in the middle. Mr. Lechtenberger started pushing me to do my best. I was an unenlightened freshman though, I thought girls, not grades should be my priority. He impacted me, but not enough to get an A. I finished with a flat B both semesters. Then, my junior year, I came back to his class to take physics. I was a different student this time, confident, and more importantly, motivated. I worked my hardest to get an A, and that was what it took. I learned the most from that class, even though there wasn't that much material to cover. I learned how to study, and how to work. That's much more important than any of Newton's Laws.