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🍎 Back to School | Badge of the Month | September 2022

AmaraW Chicago, IL, USA Administrator

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During the first week of each month, we will post a new question, topic, or activity for you to connect with the community and earn a badge. All community members who contribute a thoughtful comment to this month’s discussion, between September 1 and September 30, will receive this badge worth 40 points.

Badge of the Month | September 2022

Question: Who is / was your favorite teacher / professor?

It's back-to-school time here in the United States! Everyone has that one teacher or professor that changed their lives and made them feel seen, even though teachers are rarely compensated in accordance with their impact. This month, we want to share our appreciation for these incredible, hard-working, education professionals. Tell us about your favorite teacher or professor!



  • AdamK12
    AdamK12 Bethesda, MD Level 4 ●●●●

    I've got to mention Alexander Valentinovich Riasanovsky, who taught three of the four members of my family Russian history at Penn. (I knew him at a very different time in Russian-American relations, needless to say.) He was an historian, painter, poet, gourmand, and dog lover who was an institution at the university and is probably the reason why I carry a love for history, culture, and creativity with me to this day. He was a larger-than-life figure who was born in Manchuria, China where his family had fled during the Russian Civil War, and emigrated to the U.S. where he played football in high school and eventually became a Rhodes scholar and got his doctorate, teaching in the history department for more than thirty years. Here is is obituary: Alexander Riasanovsky, History | University of Pennsylvania Almanac (

  • Michael_Cooksey
    Michael_Cooksey Seattle, WA, USA Administrator

    What a fascinating person he was! A life well spent ❤️

  • AdamK12
    AdamK12 Bethesda, MD Level 4 ●●●●

    @Michael_Cooksey It sure was--and he was involved in so many places on campus, including history, the arts, culture--a true polymath with an amazing sense of humor and mischief.

  • JessicaGregory_CHNw
    JessicaGregory_CHNw Indiana Level 2 ●●

    Oh gosh, such a hard question, so many I remember so fondly! I guess the one that's top of mind right now because he passed away just yesterday is my homeroom teacher (and English teacher) from sixth grade, Mr. Blome. Middle school is such an awkward time, and scary for many of us going to a "big school" for the first time. But coming into his classroom every morning was THE BEST because he had the biggest smile and a warm laugh. He helped all of us navigate the transition from elementary to middle school with kindness and encouragement. He built up the self-esteem of every student and was just the best.

  • Michael_Cooksey
    Michael_Cooksey Seattle, WA, USA Administrator

    That's great, Jessica -- middle school is indeed an awkward time, but having teachers like yours make all the difference in the world! 🍎

  • Michael_Cooksey
    Michael_Cooksey Seattle, WA, USA Administrator
    edited September 7

    My favorite teacher was a Linguistics professor I had in grad school. Not only was she extremely knowledgable and well-respected in the field, but she expected the best from all of her students. One might describe her approach as being very old-school -- there would be no hand-holding or coddling of any kind here. Our final grade for the class was based on a lengthy, semester-long research paper we had to write, and she warned everyone on the first day, "I never give A's on these papers."

    Well, that was all it took to push me -- I worked so hard all semester long on my paper, pushing myself to turn in the best work possible. Long weekends, nights, and early mornings were spent in the library doing research on my topic (this was before the internet is what it is today). Well, not only did I get an "A," but she also asked me for a copy so she could cite it in her own research! I have never worked harder in school than I did that semester, and I am grateful that she inspired me to push myself to my limits. She was (and still is) a truly an awe-inspiring, life-changing professor who has dedicated her whole life to academia and her students. 📚️👨‍🎓

  • Topazfae
    Topazfae United States Level 1 ●

    My favourite teacher was my Grade 3 teacher in junior school. I had her in Grade 2, but since the class grew with some new students coming in so, they had to divide up the class into two separate classes. I was one of a few unfortunate students who had to move to a new class with mostly new students - it was the most miserable year for me because I don't even remember anything in Grade 2. My parents must have fought, and I was moved back to the other class in Grade 3 (I went to a small province-run school - each class has a maximum of 6 students). At that time, cabbage patch kids were a fad (mid-1980's). A few students in the class were not from well-off families, so she bought all students a cabbage patch doll.

    Mrs. Butty had a cottage on an island up north in Ontario, and she would invite the whole class to stay with her for a week in the summer. It was a magical time and we had a lot of fun. Then I moved on and had other teachers. In Grade 8, she decided to take my best friend and me to an outing in a big city for the day. She was such a good teacher, and she had high expectations and would not accept any work that did not show our best effort.

    She was invited to my wedding and baby shower 20 years after I left her classroom.

  • CamM
    CamM NSW, Australia Level 3 ●●●

    My favourite teacher was my Year 7 Homeroom teacher, who I was fortunate enough to have as my English and Ancient History teacher in subsequent years. Mrs Appleby was simply the right mix of friend and mentor, as well as knowing when she had to push you harder in order for you to achieve results. Her passion for both English and Ancient History - especially Egyptian and Greek history - was infectious and she genuinely cared for every student who passed through her classroom.

    I'd also have to acknowledge Mrs Jones, my final year maths teacher. I was having such a difficult time with the subject courtesy of another teacher having destroyed my confidence 2 years earlier. Instead of assuming my struggles were the result of a lack of ability or application to the classwork, Mrs Jones recognised my confidence was at rock bottom and took me under her wing, helping to elevate me from a fail average to a pass average by my final exams. Her guidance and support was such a positive influence on me at a time when it was desperately needed.

  • bgooldfed
    bgooldfed Victoria, Australia Level 3 ●●●

    My favourite teacher is a tie between two maths teachers. Mr B took my 6th grade maths class, and structured a lot of our learning around fun real-world projects, like creating our own games and making a website for a retail store.

    Ms Chen took maths in 10th grade, and was the first one to really get me to push myself. I remember handing in my work one day, having done the bare minimum - she handed it back and said "I know you can do better". You couldn't argue with Ms Chen. She called a spade a spade and you'd feel pretty stupid to try and challenge that! Without her I probably wouldn't have pushed myself to take specialist maths in my final years or found my way to my current vocation!

  • MattiasM
    MattiasM Lund, Sweden Level 3 ●●●

    Good morning from a sunny and windy Sweden!

    Wonderful to learn about all the heartfelt stories you share on this topic. I personally have some memories of the different teachers I've had and things they've told me. But I've spent the morning trying to find one that stood out, but with no success.

    I do remember things they've said or taught me, but I sadly dont have that ONE person that gives me warm feelings these days.

  • CarolK
    CarolK East Coast USA Level 4 ●●●●

    I have the same issue. So many wonderful teachers along the way ... it's hard to choose one to mention or that stands out in a particular way.

  • Michael_Cooksey
    Michael_Cooksey Seattle, WA, USA Administrator

    That's fantastic! I have a thing for stats professors. I had one who often said (when discussing success rate and probability), "if it doesn't work, change what it means to be successful" (not just in statistics but in life). Statistical thinking 🤓❤️

  • Radam
    Radam Miami, Fl Level 3 ●●●

    MSIE professor teaching a technology class. Most of the class, including myself, pigeonholed technology as something with IT, circuits, and programming which he quickly identified and forced us to do projects using technology but not computer related. It forced us to think outside of our industry and expand our understanding of technology, something I still force myself to do many years later solving daily issues at work.

    For those that are curious, I did my final project on the wine industry, specifically the various bottle closure systems and the fail rate of each. Natural cork was far and away the worst and screw top was the best. Gave those results to the marketing MBA group and that was their final project...

  • Sharleena_Aus
    Sharleena_Aus Australia Level 1 ●

    I had a teacher in high school that was the most feared teacher of all teachers due to his strict no-nonsense stance and deep bellowing voice if you were out of line. I rebelled the school system at about year 11 and ended up having to repeat a year due to non-attendance and lack of work submitted. Repeating a year was what it took to knock me into line. However it was a tough struggle finally doing the right thing and almost every teacher still treating me as the trouble maker I had become. But not Mr McVicar. Although I had been in his warpath before, he respected me and could see that I was turning over a new leaf, while other teachers were still saying 'why don't you just drop out?' He was the first teacher to treat me as an adult, and if it wasn't for his assistance I probably would have given up and left school. I ended up taking home 3 of the excellence awards from the graduation ceremony, and how i loved walking off the stage past the teachers that doubted me!

  • ColbyA
    ColbyA Louisiana Level 2 ●●

    So true! Pays to be agile in what we measure, definitely applicable in XM also!

  • ISJ
    ISJ Bjerringbro Level 2 ●●

    My favourite teacher was during my apprenticeship. This teacher was so dedicated and committed that it rubbed off on everyone in the class. Quite naturally, he switched between different learning styles (which I was not aware of at the time) and in that way ensured that everyone learned more than they should.

This discussion has been closed.