Open Thread: Who Was Your Best Teacher?

A lot of people remember one teacher or college professor who really stood out, who opened their eyes and made them see new things, who instilled a love of a subject in them.

In high school, I had Phil Garone, who taught history and world cultures with a passion and enthusiasm that I still recall fondly. He was so into medieval history that he once went into a week-long tangent on the Crusades when we were supposed to be discussing the relationship of Islam and Christianity in the modern world. From him I learned that the world is really interesting, and always has been.

In college, I was lucky enough to have multiple superb professors, but I retain a soft spot for the inimitable Robert Knapp, the bearded old Gandalf of the English department, who helped me learn how to really take a text apart, see how the different pieces work, and whether it needs to be put back together in the same configuration. The research I did for his class led to my writing a screenplay that eventually got actually filmed.

Who were your best teachers? What did they help you learn?


Photo—Wikimedia Commons

About Noah Brand

Noah Brand is an Editor-at-Large at Good Men Project, and possibly also a cartoon character from the 1930s. His life, when it is written, will read better than it lived. He is usually found in Portland, Oregon, directly underneath a very nice hat.


  1. Mrs. Norton. 4th Grade teacher, West University Elementary in Houston, Texas. She loved teaching and she loved us. She taught us literature and environmentalism.

  2. Star-Trek

  3. Joseph Harvin says:

    Drill Sgt. Price, Eco. 701st MPBN Ft. Leonardwood M.O. He was not the red faced brute of a drill sergeant. He was different. Analytical in every way. He taught of how to keep good health, clean, and life problems. When he was with few of us at a time, he would bring up abortion, god, women, and ask us how we felt on the subjects. He always taught us to be free thinkers and open minded. Tough but with a sense of humor. I think about the things he said every day.

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