December 14, 2009

It is absolutely amazing what we can remember when the subject is pleasant and brings back those “glad we were there” feelings.  A recent article in a publication I subscribe to; i.e. “Machine Design”, asked the question; ‘How many high school teachers do you remember?’  The author then tried to draw conclusions between the number of great teachers to the overall level of enjoyment we experienced during our high school years.  He then tried to equate that number with work esthetic, overall GPA, accomplishments after graduation etc etc.  I don’t really know how successful he was but it did call for a small experiment on my part.

I graduated from Chattanooga Central High School in 1961.  (We don’t work we have fun we’re the class of 61!)  You know the drill.  With this being the case, I started to list, from memory, those teachers I felt, had the greatest impact on my day to day learning experiences while at Chattanooga Central.  Given below is that list.  I did not always remember their first names but then again, we never used their first names and I’m not too sure I knew most of them anyway.

 Ms.  Spitzer                Typing

 Mr. Jake Seaton       Mechanical drafting and wood working

  Ms. Rice                      Spanish

  Ms. Robinson           English literatutr

  Mr. J. Airlie Hoodenpyle    Chemistry

  Mr. Hobart Millsaps               Solid geometry

  Mr. Ollie Olyinger    Physics

  Mrs. Blair                     Advanced algebra

  Ms. Cross                     American history

  Mr. E.B. (Red) Etter  Football

  Mr. Stan Farmer        Football

  Mr. Willard Millsaps  Principal

I was amazed at how many I did remember and for all of the right reasons.  These teachers really made the difference.  They were not only fully engaged in their profession, they were very engaging individuals in their own rite.    Ms. Rice ( Spanish ) took a trip, every summer, to one of the twenty-two Spanish-speaking countries in the world.  Mr. Olyinger ( Physics ) worked summers in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  Ms. Cross ( History ) had written numerous articles for several publications on Civil War history.  Ms. Robinson (Literature) had family in England and traveled to the “motherland” to participate in Shakespeare festivals.   Mr. Jake Seaton ( Shop) made and repaired ALL of the furniture used at Chattanooga Central.  It was summer work for him.  I don’t think the school ever bought a “stick” of furniture or one student desk.  They did buy literally tons of lumber.   J. Arlie ( Chemistry) spent his summers teaching chemistry at the University of Chattanooga and working as a consultant for a chemical manufacturer in our town.  Their lives demonstrated a passion for the subject they taught and the ability to put that knowledge into practice relative to very practical applications.  This really impressed all of us and the stories they could tell.  What did you do on your summer vacation took on a different meaning.  

I challenge you to try the very same little experiment. Go ahead—name them, if you can.  The ones that made a difference.


6 Responses to “TEACHERS”

  1. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your blog?
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    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Conclusions. Thank you for taking a look at my most recent post. Please feel free to use any blog you wish in your teaching responsibilities. I would be honored. Take care.


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    but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for
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    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Itchin, I am using Word Press but have never (I think) had problems with hackers. I also send my work to TUMBLR, LinkedIn, Path and Stumbleuponit. There are several really good hosts available but I’m not too sure which ones might be better than Word Press. Take care. B.


  3. pounder21 Says:

    The teachers at Central have always profoundly influenced the world around them. Check out our new Central History site at http://centralhistory.wordpress.com/. I am a chemical engineer, largely due to Ralph Olinger and J Arlie Hoodenpyle, with assists from Hobart Millsaps and Rebecca Haskins.
    Charlie Sedman Class of 1963


    • cielotech Says:

      It’s great to hear from you. Chattanooga Central carries for me very very fond memories. To this day, I talk with my high school friend. Wonderful place and quite frankly, I wish our “kids” today had the same learning and social environment as we did back then. Take care and thank you for reading my blog.



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