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Who was your most influential teacher and why?

It is hard to determine which of my two favourite teachers was my most influential. Mr. Polonio was my grade eleven history teacher. His humourous attitude and laid back approach made attending class interesting and entertaining. We were always pleasently surprised when Mr. Polonio would walk into class dressed as a Roman or other character in order to teach us that day. He would often incorporate music into his lessons and instead of talking or lecture would sing us a song or have us sing along with him about the information we needed to know. My grade 12 economics teacher held a different approach, Mr. Stillo was very reserved and easy-going. He presented his information effectively and accurately. He calmly directed the class with ease and we were always captivated by the information he presented to us. His willingness to help students was clearly visible because he often stayed after class to explain information to students who had not quite grasped the concepts of the lesson. 

My grade 6 & 7 teacher, Mr. O'Connor, was a teacher that I have often considered to be my primary inspiration for getting into education. This is primarily due to the fact that though I don't remember any specific lessons on math, english or similar, he taught our class a number of social justice lessons that have stuck with me. He was also a teacher that had excellent classroom management skills, as he rarely displayed signs of aggravation, but we could still tell when he was disapproving in our behaviour. Due to my enormous amount of respect for him, I was more motivated to achieve and to listen to what he had to offer. 

The first teacher that comes to mind when I reflect on my years at a student is my Grade 12 philosophy teacher, Mr. Sampson. Mr. Sampson is undoubtedly the one teacher who has had the greatest influence on my life.
His teaching methods and compassion for his students has not only shaped the way I learn, but has shaped the way that I think about the learning process as a whole. In addition to the continuous compassion and patience Mr. Sampson exhibited towards his pupils, his student-centered approach to learning is what defined his special abilities as an educator.
A major component of his approach to learning involved enabling students to take ownership of their own learning by requiring each student to reflect and critically analyze their own comprehension strategies and reasoning processes.
This type of learning was generally accomplished by presenting students with a meaningful philosophical question, allowing students to discuss the question in partners or in groups and to arrive and his or her own conclusion before engaging in a class discussion.
During class discussions, Mr. Sampson would help students explore the reasoning and logic behind the various student-generated perspectives developed by the class, rather than simply accept or reject our answers based on validity.
By allowing students to reflect on their thinking strategies rather than simply endorsing “correct” or “good” responses, Mr. Sampson inspired a insightful form of learning that greatly influenced the development of my own metacognitive skills. By encouraging us to deconstruct our own thinking and asking us how or why we understood each logical piece of our understanding, he made us feel responsible and accountable for our own learning. He placed a much greater emphasis on process rather than product.
Gaining the ability to understand why and how I was thinking not only enriched the way learned in philosophy class, but also influence the way I learned in all subject areas. Since Mr. Sampson’s class, the development of metacognitive monitoring skills has greatly shaped my perception of the world, and has directly influenced my teaching philosophy and strategies.

My most influential teacher of all time, also a graduate from teachers college at Nipissing, was my grade two teacher Mrs. Daiter. It was her first time teaching and she made such a profound impact on my attitude towards school and teaching that I am still in contact with her twenty years later.

My anxiety towards school started at an early age, I have always been concerned that teachers were placing judgement on me through my marks, and I wanted to impress people but felt that I had to get good marks in order to accomplish that goal. She was able to show me that by caring about me, and wanting me to succeed made me more comfortable and safe in her classroom. In the teaching she collaborated with the other grade two teachers making recycled paper, creating kites and letting us learn with students that were outside of our classroom. She reinforced the importance of being excited about whatever you are doing. I remembered realizing that you could learn through playing that year. She took us on explorations and allowed us to be creative. She made math problems fun with a flip card reader she made out of cardboard. She made literacy enjoyable by teaching us the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff in a rap that we later performed to our parents on meet the teacher night. Mrs. Daiter shared her culture with us by making us potato latkes at the holiday season.

I wanted to participate in everything she was involved in, she did auditions for the school musical. Due to her involvement I auditioned for the school musical where I was a monkey, and the following year I was the lead in the school musical. We both enjoy performance arts and theatre. She advocated for her students, and exposed us to new learning opportunities that we thought was just playing. Mrs. Daiter instilled in us, at grade two, the importance of personal accountability and taking ownership of our work and our accomplishments and being proud of them. She brought in guests from outside of the school to talk to us, and teach us new and exciting things. We went on local field trips, one of which included the hospital to see the work that people were doing in the community while we were making paper mache and doing spelling tests. She taught me that I could make a positive impact in the world, and that she believed in me and my abilities, which made me a stronger, happier, more confident student. This teacher's smile was contagious, and her enthusiasm towards teaching, and pride in her students was evident.

I've had a few over the years:
1) an honors biology teacher in grade 9 who arranged for me to do original independent research on hominid biometrics at the American Museum of Natural History (New York City)--she fed my interest in science and research
2) an honors English teacher in grade 9 who had us dress up in togas to do Julius Ceasar & who signed me up for track--despite me not wanting to do it! He was my coach for several years later and would take me to other districts for coaching as my events (shot put, discus) were not his specialty. He had a joy in what he did that was engaging. He not only had me interested in literature from the way he brought it to life, but he extended my horizons re. sports. I ended up throwing shot put and discus--and later hammer and javelin--through my undergraduate college years.
3) 2 of college/university professors who challenged me to do my personal best and were there to support interests and ideas that extended beyond the classroom and spanned subjects both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Probably my most influential teacher was my mother, who was a teacher herself. She was so proud of her work and always tried to make a difference for her students. 

It was my research directory, Bob Snider at UBC in Vancouver BC. He showed me how to understand Nature through the microscopic. 

My 5th Grade teacher. She taught with such passion. She was truly concerned about her students learning. 

All of my teachers were influential, even the bad ones. 

I have had several teaches who influenced me - one was Assoc Prof Lang Chin Ying, Josephine who taught us Management during my MBA at University of Malaya. She did not believe in bookish knowledge and encouraged us to challenge accepted theories and concepts. 

My 8th grade math-physics teacher. He is a radical environmentalist and did not accept people not giving 100%. 

My most influential teacher was my own mother. She taught by the example that she lived. 

With out a doubt my mentor, friend Dr. Edwin Crespo, he saw in me a thirst for knowledge and guide me in the direction where i can find my true passion, medical anthropology. 

I have had many influential teachers. I suppose that is so, due to my love of teaching. My favourite aunt is a retired Language and Literature teacher, and my father used to write poetry and read a lot. At school, mainly my Literature and English teachers inspired me on this path. 

My English teacher in school, he listened to what I thought 

Mr. William Marshall. He was my English teacher in High School. And also the Principal of the school.
His dedication, integrity, knowledge, have been an inspiration during my adult life,


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