I was lucky to have a lot of great teachers growing up. I went to a very small, Christian school ran by the church I grew up in. I had a small circle of the same teachers on and off for all my schooling. I spent a lot of time with one teacher, Mrs. Schromm, through out elementary and middle school. She was my main teacher in junior high. She definitely stands above the rest.
The thing I remember most about her was how she inspired us to not just memorize facts, but to love learning. Rather than merely teach us what we needed to know, she taught us how to learn. She modeled this for us by teaching us subjects that she herself had no specialties in. We went through a Spanish program together, and she took us through a special unit on drawing. I learned a LOT in both those classes, because it showed me that I could learn whatever I put my mind to. I didn't need special skills or even special degrees, but just a ready mind.
She loved us, and gave extra to give us a great education. She got her bus license so she could take an entire bus load of junior high and high schoolers to the YMCA three times a week for P.E. She was so good to us.
The way she taught me to look at learning is probably the reason that when asked in a job interview, "So you know a little Spanish and you like music. You could teach music and Spanish to preschoolers, right?!" I said, "Heck, yeah! Easy schmeesy." That was a great couple of years doing something I loved.
I hope I can give my girls the same attitude about life and learning that she gave me. She made me feel as though I was just one Library trip away from mastering any new skill I wanted. Thank you, Mrs. Schromm! You are in my personal hall of fame.