The best teacher I ever had was Mr. S. at Lomira High School in Lomira, Wisconsin. He taught physics, chemistry and various types of math. Most of the teachers at Lomira were pretty good but Mr. S was stellar. I never realized how lucky we were to have a great group of teachers like that at lomira until I got to college and encountered some of the unique personality’s of the professors there.
Mr. S. dealt with a wide variety students from the most basic math classes to the most difficult science classes and I am fairly certain that most of his students thought he was top notch. He had an excellent way of imparting knowledge and maintaining a good attitude while doing it. He always included “Enrichment” knowledge in his lectures which he would tell you was not on the test but I always thought it was interesting. I borrowed the word “Enrichment” from him to add to my blog title because I always liked it. He let us play chess in class provided we finished all our work ahead of time and he was nice enough to be the faculty person for the chess club during my senior year.
I didn’t have a lot of extracurricular activities so being the chairman of the chess club was a great thing to put on my college applications. I applied to a lot of colleges and I was accepted at several but I was surprised that M.I.T accepted me because my grades were not that outstanding. The M.I.T. representatives told me that the chess club activity combined with my unusually high ACT score test results were critical in getting me accepted. Unfortunately, once I saw how much it would cost me to go to M.I.T. I realized it was far beyond my financial reach. My guidance counselor told me that I had plenty of financial aid if I just picked a college in wisconsin so I chose MSOE instead. MSOE’s primary entrance test is to make sure that you can pay the tuition although once you are in there they don’t pull any punches on the difficulty of the work.
I have no idea if Mr. S. is even still alive or where he would be living but he could still teach some of the professors I encountered about how to teach. His level of organization was so much higher that I was spoiled in high school and had to totally readjust in college to the attitudes of some professors.
One of my college chemistry professors showed up on the first day and wrote a bunch of assignments on the board. He said that there was no reason to talk to us until we had done the assignments and then walked out the door. It was supposed to be a two hour lecture and I was paying good money for this lazy son of gun to talk a little so he could of at least said something. Maybe a word of advice or some enrichment. At that moment I realized what a good teacher Mr. S. had been and I was glad I was not going major in chemistry at MSOE.