What teacher in your life had the most effective teaching style for your own learning style? Do you feel you learned more from them than other teachers?
My Plant Biology teacher in 1981 at CSU Sacramento knocked teaching out of the park.
These were not ideal conditions for teaching. She was teaching a non-major class required for General Ed, which meant that her students were there because they had to be. None of us walked in that door because we had a burning desire to learn the class, family, genus and species of some random fern.
And yet, kids lined up in the hall early out of respect for this natural-born, charismatic individual.
What was her magic potion? She was a great story-teller and dramatized everything. She turned pollination into a steamy sex novel by anthropomorphizing the, er, relevant parties. She bounced around the room, talking in an animated voice. She loved plants, and we loved her.
She provided plenty of hands-on practice before the dreaded walk-around-the-room-to-stations tests. When we were seated, scribbling answers into a Blue Book, she had this way of dispelling all the tension in the air by sighing deeply and loudly, as if she was at her wits' end on a thorny question, which cracked everyone up and got us to relax.
I have looked long and hard for this professors' name. (37 years have passed). And I simply can't find her on any lists of retired professors. But here's an intriguing possibility: she had a sex change. Everyone knew she was gay. And a retired male professor fits the bill exactly with reputation and body type...
I would have just loved to have sent her/him a fan letter, and say, how, after 37 years, they were my favorite teacher. When I became a teacher, this is who I tried to emulate.
Mrs. Domanski, my 6th grade teacher. Everyone feared being assigned to her class. The other 6th grade teacher was known for being very nice and maternal while Mrs. Domanski was known for being....stern.
In the house I grew up in, there was no room for excuses or whining, only solutions. If I had a problem at school....fix it! If there was something I needed to do but did not know....go to the library (there was no internet back then). If you made a mistake, you learned and moved on. I required this type of structure for success and Mrs. Domanski did not disappoint.
Her method of teaching was to teach us HOW to learn and to solve our own problems. She required a level of thinking that is not included in most curriculums today and insisted on self-reliance. If you went to her with a problem she would simply ask questions of you until you came up with your own answer...you then learned to ask these questions of yourself when new problems arose.
She is my favorite teacher of all time and I learned the most from her because her method was familiar to me: I learned how to learn and apply that learning to solve.....anything!
There is no one teacher who's teaching style was best; however, those who were passionate and utilized an animated delivery were best in my opinion. I always sat in the front row to avoid distractions. One teacher who was also a close friend and mentor often became so passionate during lectures he would spray so much saliva when speaking that my glasses required constant cleaning. Those with humor and passion in their teaching style seemed to attract my attention and focus so learning was best from them.
Mrs. Page taught me in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, in a one room school. She had studied John Dewey and did what she could to emulate him. I was in process of a long term rejection by my mother, and Mrs. Page took me under her wing. I was a difficult student, but she was a patient teacher.
A very difficult question.
"learned more" how do you measure that say between English grammar lessons and sports lessons?
The man I learned a lot of what I now consider most valuable was my one on one tutor at university.
His style was to ask me question after question, prompting me to think more and more deeply about physics questions. So much so I was frequently wet under the arms at the end of the hour.
It was very memorable, often painful and certainly expensive. But well worth all that.
The one teacher that worked best for me was my 5th grade teacher who did not have a typical elementary classroom where everything was organized down to a perfect pre-planned design. She allowed chaos when it was necessary and understood that not all of us learned in the same way.