August 29, 2005, on this blog: Favorite teachers
Mrs. Mog was my favorite teacher in school. I had plenty of good teachers, many of whom probably knew their stuff better than Mrs. Mog did, but I still got more out of her classes than out of any of those others.
And that wasn’t just true for me, she was everybody’s favorite teacher. We all loved Mrs. Mog for one very simple reason: We knew that she loved us. As a result, she never had to waste class time on discipline or playing traffic cop. None of us wanted to disappoint her by causing trouble. And we all worked hard to learn the middle school Social Studies curriculum she taught us — the states and capitals, how a bill becomes a law, how Lenni Lenape longhouses were built — but none of that was the most important thing we learned in her class. The most important thing that Mrs. Mog taught us was that we could do anything.
Mrs. Mog believed that we were capable of being better, of being good, of being great. And because she believed it, she made us believe it too. She made us want to be better, good, great. We wanted to become the people she seemed to see when she looked at us, and thanks to her we believed we could.
If you’re very lucky, then maybe you had a teacher like that too. I hope you did.