Teacher’s Pet

Today’s writing prompt is for me to tell what teachers had a positive or negative impact on my life.  While I don’t think any one teacher in my life had such an impact as to rise to the level of “inspirational” there were a few who definitely left their mark.

Ted Reiss taught physics at Monroe-Woodbury High School.  Up until that class I had only the faintest of notions of what physics was all about.  But once he started discussing the laws that govern the universe … well, he had my attention.  He inspired a fascination with all things physics, even to today – string theory, alternate universes, the stars, galaxies and planets.  He unleashed the “science nerd” in me.  I am still awe-struck by all the discoveries that continue to made in our universe.

Robert Filie taught Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus in high school.  I know what you’re probably thinking – “Boy! This guy is a real geek.”  Honestly, I can’t say that I have ever really used Trig or Calc in my life but Mr. Filie made learning fun.  He was such a sweetheart of a guy and I think all of us in that honors class loved him.  When it came time to learning Calculus we all were so upset that he would not be our teacher.  I learned a lot about what to expect in college and life in general from the discussions in class.

Gloria Smith taught American Government and History.  She made history exciting and challenged my preconceived ideas about politics without ever being judgmental.  She always pushed her students to think for themselves and i was no exception.  She taught me to question authority and to hold elected officials accountable.  She fanned the flames of admiration and respect for our form of government but always insisted that we never let them trample on our liberties – particularly that of free speech.

I can’t really think of anyone who “scarred” me – except for Miss Geraci in 2nd grade; even then she was just mean and twisted.  On the whole my teachers inspired me to learn and to never stop learning.  Of course all of their inspiration would have fallen on deaf ears had it not been for my parents who instilled the utmost importance on education.

To all my teachers and Mom and Dad – thank you!