Thursday, August 16, 2012

Top of the Heap!

"A great teacher leads without having to prove it.

Monday's Riddle sparked the topic of education, opening up our theme of teachers this week. Lizzy reviewed Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea, which tells the story of an incredible teacher and his unique class. Friday, we will be hosting an interview with, Sarah Weeks, author of the delicious middle grade novel, Pie. It will be great to learn a little bit more about the story behind her story, so be sure to check back!

Teachers play such an important role in our lives- whether we consider them to be good, bad, or great. There are some teachers that I can remember not liking very much, and then looking back and realizing how much they actually taught me- though it may have not been the lesson that they were intending. Today, we want to shout out to a couple of incredible teachers, who changed the course of their students lives.

This week's top of the heap: Great teachers! 

Fairday: I think Professor McGonagall from the Harry Potter series is a great teacher. She is stern, but fair- and funny at times. Right away, Harry and Ron can tell that she is strict, but also that she is an ally. Minerva McGonagall can whip a class into shape, teach a fascinating lesson- I would absolutely be over the moon to take her transfiguration class- and set her students on the path to their goals. One of my favorite scenes is in The Order of the Phoenix, when she sits down with Harry to discuss his future career as an Auror. Umbridge is just brutal about Harry's decision to pursue this path, and she puts up block after block to try to thwart his dream, proclaiming that he will never work for the Ministry. I always get the chills when I read this part: 

Professor Umbridge stood up. She was so short that this did not make a great deal of difference, but her fussy, simpering demeanor had given place to a hard fury that made her broad, flabby face look oddly sinister. 
     "Potter has no chance whatsoever of becoming an Auror!"
     Professor McGonagall got to her feet too, and in her case this was a much more impressive move. She towered over Professor Umbridge.
     "Potter," she said in ringing tones, "I will assist you to become an Auror if it is the last thing I do! If I have to coach you nightly I will make sure you achieve the required results!"

So, here's to Professor McGonagall and her constant dedication to her students, no matter what the obstacle- and I seriously cannot even think of a bigger or more obnoxious obstacle than Professor Umbridge! ~ F

Helen Keller & Anne Sullivan 1898
Lizzy: There are so many amazing teachers in the world. Even making a difference in the life of one student will have far reaching consequences. One of the teachers that I am most impressed with is Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller's teacher. Anne didn't have an easy life. Her parents died when she was young and she had nowhere to go. Going blind certainly didn't make things easier. When she went to be the governess for Helen Keller, life changed. Working with Helen was extremely challenging. Helen had been born with sight, but then went blind at the age of two and also became closed off to the world. Through determination and unique teaching techniques, Anne helped bring the outside world to Helen and did whatever she could to help her learn. I loved hearing about how she spelled w-a-t-e-r on one of Helen's palms while she poured water on the other to help her with the association. Anne tried approaches that didn't work, but she wouldn't stop. Instead she would alter her teaching style. Taking little steps, she helped Helen to learn more words and eventually go on to graduate from college. Helen Keller was a scholar, public speaker, and author. The two kept up a friendship throughout their lives. Not only did Anne Sullivan help Helen Keller to experience the world around her and develop her voice, she is an inspiration to teachers everywhere.

Helen Keller and Mark Twain in 1903


  1. Professor McGonagall is the best. She tries to show she doesn't care but she does. Love her!

    Anne Sullivan is the ultimate teacher. I never knew her name so thanks for that. I only knew that Helen Keller had a teacher that taught absolutely everything.

    1. Hi Adriana, Professor McGonagall is just so trustworthy- I always felt that Harry thought of her as a comfort- I love the relationship between her and Umbridge, Anne Sullivan was amazing! Lovely to hear from you : ) ~ F

  2. Anne Sullivan is a role model for educators everywhere. Spark a light within and let the child dare to shine through.

    1. Hi Claudine, Great line! The word "dare" is perfect. Great to hear from you! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us : ) ~ F

  3. Both of these teachers are great. I love Prof. McGonagal. She is so strict- but you know how much she cares. I like a teacher that you know what to expect. Awesome scene with Umbridge (can't stand her).

    1. Flex- I like a teach who I know what to expect with, too. It makes school much easier. :) Thanks for stopping by! ~L

  4. Both of these are excellent teachers. My favorite is also Professor McGonagal, althought I'm afraid I'd be more like Neville Longbottom in there. I also favored Lupin for his knowledge and creativity in teaching.

    1. Donna- I can relate to feeling like you would be Neville in class. :) At least he was the best with plants. Lupin had some amazing teaching techniques. I especially loved the Boggart lessons. ~F


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