To celebrate World Teachers’ Day 2021 on Tuesday, October 5, we called for stories of Surrey Teachers’ favourite teachers in last week’s STA Connection. Here are the entries we received:
My favourite teacher was Ms. Henry at David Brankin Elementary when I was in Grade 3/4 in the early 2000s. Learning was always really fun with her. We did many creative projects across different subjects. I will never forget decorating easter eggs with beeswax and having a box in the class for book exchanges. Students would all bring a book in from home and place them in the box, we would then pick a different book to take home. She also had a lot of gardening tools in her classroom that my best friend and I used to use to tidy up the school garden. I think that she inspired me to become a teacher at an early age because of how fun and engaging everything was. This was the era of worksheets but somehow even those were a blast to complete with her. I believe she has retired now but definitely one of the most memorable teachers I have had.
My favourite teacher was Mr. Bruce Gurney at Windsor Secondary in North Vancouver from 1983-1987. He taught me geology and earth science in various grades. He was funny (always had great Earth-related puns) and had such an amazing passion for the subject. He never appeared stressed or frazzled in any way, and his lessons were always funny and engaging. I remember being mortified when a classmate cheated on a test as I felt like this was such a betrayal to my favourite teacher. He always wore a tie and a white lab coat (at least I think he did)! I know that he’s one of the reasons I became a teacher!
Mme. Maldowny was my grade 1 teacher at Comox Elementary. My favorite memory in her class was when she invited a Japanese exchange student to teach us the “head and shoulders” song in Japanese and how to fold an origami fox. I still remember the words to the song 30 years later! Mme. Maldowny always made me feel loved, warm and special. She smiled at us and taught us French all day. She is one of the many reasons I went into teaching. I now teach grade 1 at a school where English is a second language to most of the students. I think of her often and try my best to remember to treat the kids the way I enjoyed being treated.
I was fortunate to have Marie-France Castex as my French teacher in grade 10 and 11 at Fleetwood Park Secondary. She provided her students with an authentic and engaging experience in learning the French language. I could tell how passionate she was. With her warm smile and cheerful personality, she was the kind of teacher who played fun games and brought chocolate fondue with fruits and homemade croissants for her students to enjoy. She inspired me to become the French teacher I am today, as she saw something in me that I didn’t know I had. I was a shy student, as I rarely raised my hand and never liked facing an audience. One day when Marie-France was away, the TTOC said there was a note left for me. Some boys started saying, “Ooh you’re in trouble!” The note was asking me to teach the lesson. I wondered why my teacher chose me and not someone else. As nervous as I was, I got up there and I did it. I want to thank Marie-France for believing in me, and I am grateful to have her in my life today, as she has become a wonderful and dear friend.