English teachers get all the glory. Ask a representative sample of people what teacher they remember the most fondly from their school days, who encouraged them to pursue a particular dream or a career, and I’m willing to bet a disproportionate amount name an old English teacher.
And it is true that the majority of them are wonderful! (My seventh-grade literature teacher was a Buffetthead who read The Hobbit aloud to us and told us stories about her husband the retired FBI agent; she was a wizard with a cloud of perfect grey hair.) They have unfair advantages — more often than not they’re also chairing the Quiz Bowl team and directing the school play; you see more of them than your pre-calc teacher by necessity. So here is your chance to praise the slightly less showy geometry and orchestra and geography and government and biology professors of your youth. Give them their fair due.
If you were homeschooled, please list your favorite parent. Be honest.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.