Lousy Teachers 1

Jack Klaff writes:

Mr.Cullen was seriously bad. The rot began on the first day, when he kept saying this weird word, which he then wrote up on the board. And he spelled it the way he said it: ERNEGY.

Lousy Teachers 2

On television they showed a group of pupils about to go into a science lesson. They were going to be taught about electricity, and every one of them had an idea of how electricity works – some current, they knew, flows through a circuit.

AFTER the lesson most of them were really confused. There was a circuit, but "What was that thing that the bulb was in??’

The teacher explained: that thing was just the way the bulb as mounted, so that the electrical circuit he had built on a board looked good.

The TV interviewer said, "But it confused everyone!"

The teacher thought it helped to say, "I have been teaching electricity that way for twenty five years!"

Lousy Teachers 3

Most teachers are bad teachers because they are underpaid, under-trained, and give up very early on. When I went to primary school, I was put into a special section for stupid kids they felt could not be taught because of a general lack of intelligence. This concept (called "tracking") continues to this day, and is the main reason why my spelling is so poor. Starlab Researcher, world expert in his field.

Lousy Teachers 4

I had a History of Art Professor who was teaching us about a Matisse painting, but she was a virgin - it wasn’t just that she had never made love with anyone, something was missing - joy and life. That isn’t her fault. She didn't understand the painting emotionally or intellectually. She was never going to be able to teach this stuff.
Starlab Researcher

Lousy Teachers 5

I had a fifth-grade teacher who was horrible in that he used to slap around the slow girl in the class. Starlab Researcher

Good Teachers 1

When I taught in China I tried to be a different type of teacher, and asked my students to come to me anytime of the day or night with anything they didn't understand - I got that from a Physics teacher named DALEY. Good teachers understand that searching for knowledge is a better habit than acquiring it. Starlab Researcher

Good Teachers 2

In mathematics I hated it when they were always cutting up pies. I just didn’t like it and I never ‘got it’. Those damn pies. Then one year I had a new teacher, and he understood my schema - the way my mind works. He explained 5 over 5, and 7 over 5, and 2 over 5 in clear terms - as abstractions. I just got it. From then on I understood maths. In fact I begun to think mathematically. And the amazing thing was, this teacher had known for me for 3 days at the most Starlab Researcher

Good Teachers 3

From "Confessions of a Philosopher" by Brian Magee (On Prof. F.S.C Northrop at Yale)

Never have I known anyone so excited by ideas; and he was able to pass on not only the ideas but also the excitement…

Bright young graduates would escape from his seminars thrilled by the prospects they had glimpsed and impatient to pursue them – he was more than just a stimulator he was a galvaniser, and they would rush straight to the library lusting to get at the books. Over the years, the heat of his intellectual passion had combined with his intellectual energy to sweep him up to professional level in several fields – not only philosophy and law (in both of which he held chairs at Yale) but also international politics, sociology, physics and the comparative history of ideas and culture… Over and over he would embark on what appeared at first to be digressions …on an astonishing multiplicity of subjects, but always ended by demonstrating their connection with the matter in hand….

Over the course of a year our discussions in his seminar had the extraordinary side-effect of making me aware of organic below-the-surface interrelationships between all my other seminars. It was like a mega-seminar tying the others together;

I think it was Northrop who first brought home to me the cultural centrality of science. I had always, obviously realized that technology was of wide cultural significance because of its social consequences, but Northrop made me realize something quite different, namely that … the sciences and their histories are thrilling in similar ways to the arts and the two interconnect on multiple levels.

It is impossible to have more than the most superficial understanding of ourselves and the world without a serious acquaintance of both.